DIG for Saturday the 21st of January…..these truths are for me as well…..Ephesians 1 v 1

When I preach in our church I normally preach a series of messages, building on a theme and developing it each week.

At the moment I am considering preaching through the Epistle to the Ephesians so I have been reading over and over again the start of the letter.

And right away in verse 1 I have seen a really encouraging statement.

At the start Paul writes to the people and calls them “saints” and “faithful”.

Now this could be taken in one of two ways; we could say everyone he is writing to are saints and faithful or that he is greeting separate groups.

It is interesting that I have changed my view on this since the last time I studied it; I love that about the Word in that we can keep having revelations and new understanding irrespective of how well we think we know the Word!

I think Paul is writing to the people of Ephesus (thus the saints in Ephesus) but knew it would be read by others, including you and I (hence the faithful in Christ Jesus).

One of the meanings of the word faithful means to believe, or to have faith and I now think that this is written to all other believers (not living in Ephesus at the time) who read this letter.

We can have absolute assurance then that what we read as we move through the letter is for each one of us who has faith and who believes.

So we are all accepted in the beloved, we are all children of God and we have all been redeemed though the blood of Jesus for example (Ephesians 1 v 5 to 7).

The letter to the Ephesians is one of Paul’s grace masterpieces and it is as relevant today as it was when it was written.

The encouragement thorough grace is for us as is the challenges that Paul sets down with regards to behaviour in the latter part of the letter.

This letter is for you and it is for me, as we are “the faithful in Christ Jesus”.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord for all the truths held within the Epistle to the Ephesians and thank you that these truths are also for me”.

Ephesians 1 v 1…..Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ, by the will of God, to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus

DIG for Friday the 20th of January…..we should never be astonished with the provision of Jesus…..Mark 5 v 42

Over the years I have seen many wonderful things in my walk as a believer.

I have seen many people healed, delivered and set free

While in India recently I saw two blind people see and one deaf lady hear; it was wonderful to see the miraculous happening in front of my eyes.

Thankfully I am now at the stage of my walk when I expect to see the miraculous, although I really would like to see a lot more.

At the end of Mark chapter 5 we see people being astonished at the miraculous when Jesus raises a girl from the dead (Mark 5 v 35 to 42).

I love the way the write of the Gospel showed their degree of surprises saying they were “astonished with a great astonishment”.

So, they were really astonished then!

This is not surprising as the people had never seen anything like this.

We however are very different.

We have the Word of God that tells us that “supernatural” miracles should be part of our walk with the Lord.

We have been given the power an authority to perform miracles in His name.

I once heard a preacher saying this, “If our life is not supernatural then it is superficial”.

The Word is full of the miracles of Jesus.

The Word also tells us to do the same and more!

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord for the power and authority you have given us to live a supernatural life full of ‘astonishing’ miracles”.

Mark 5 v 42…..And straightaway the damsel arose, and walked; for she was of the age of twelve years. And they were astonished with a great astonishment

DIG for Thursday the 19th of January…..forgiveness only comes through His blood…..Ephesians 1 v 7

This little verse in Ephesians tells us much about forgiveness, yet it seems to be a verse that a lot of the church does not understand.

 
If we are asking for forgiveness from God we do not understand this verse.

 
If we are looking at our sin during communion we do not understand this verse.

 
If we think we have to do something (like forgiving others for example) to be forgiven by God we do not understand this verse.
Forgiveness from God only comes one way, and that is through the blood of Jesus; this verse is clear on that.
It does not come via religious performance, begging, pleading or “examining ourselves” for sin.
It is a gift from God through His grace.
And the gift was the life of His precious Son Jesus.
The Bible tells us that remission, or forgiveness of sin, only comes through the shedding of blood (Hebrews 9 v 22).
The fortunate truth for us, living under grace and under the New Covenant, is that Jesus has already shed all the blood required.
Forgiveness is a “done deal”, occurring just about two thousand years ago.
We have already been forgiven and do not need to ask God to forgive us ever again.
This is the wonderful truth of the New Covenant!
Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that I live under grace and under the New Covenant and thank you that I have already been forgiven for all my sins”.
Ephesians 1 v 7…..In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace

 

DIG for Wednesday the 18th of January….. so what do you have against Jesus…..John 3 v 16

In a Bible teaching today I heard the preacher talking about people having an issue with religion but not an issue with Jesus, and this made me ponder on that statement.

Many people have a problem with the church and Christians; they speak of hypocrisy, they speak of evil deeds done in the name of the church.

And I have a degree of sympathy with this view, having seen much hypocrisy in my time in the church.

However when you look at the life and teachings of Jesus there is not a lot to get annoyed about.

He was a man of compassion, mercy and love; He was a man who was for the “little” person saving His biting comments for the religious establishment.

Jesus did not have an ounce of hypocrisy or evil in His body.

There is nothing in His teachings to merit the evil deeds that we see throughout the history of the church.

Men, down through the ages and even today, have taken the words and deeds of Jesus and used them for their own ends; this is unfortunately the effect of religion.

I am not surprised many men have serious issues with “false” Christianity and the church.

But there is nothing to hold against Jesus.

Jesus is what we need to tell proclaim, what He did and who He was.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord for the finished work of Jesus Christ and thank you for all that I receive as a gift of grace through faith in Him”.

John 3 v 16…..For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life

DIG for Tuesday the 17th of January…..I am so glad to be a whosoever…..John 3 v 16

Yesterday we looked at John 3 v 16 together and there is one word that has always jumped out at me from this verse.

I love the word “whosoever”.

This is a word that speaks to me of the inclusivity of the Kingdom.

Jesus is for everyone and anyone; Jesus is for whosoever will choose to accept Him and His finished work.

Men have been created with free will, with the will to choose what they believe and trust upon.

God the Father sent His Son to be the propitiation for the sin of all men.

Through His finished work all men have been reconciled and forgiven.

However men need to choose to trust in Jesus and His finished work.

When they choose they become a “whosoever”.

Once we trust in Jesus we are saved for an eternity with God the Father; we become a “whosoever” with regards to John 3 v 16.

Every man can be saved as the provision has been made through Jesus but every man needs to decide for himself to become a “whosoever”.

I hope you are glad to be a whosoever.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord for the finished work of Jesus Christ and thank you that have been saved as a gift of grace through faith in this work”

John 3 v 16…..For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life

 

 

DIG for Sunday the 15th of January…..we have complete and unconditional acceptance from God…..Ephesians 1 v 6

We all know that in order to be accepted by others we have to conform and perform, this is the way of the world.

We conform to be accepted by our circle of friends.

We perform in order to be accepted by our schoolteachers or managers at work.

In this world we have to do things to be accepted by others.

This is not the case in the Kingdom of God.

We have to be made accepted in order to have acceptance from God.

There is nothing we can do to be accepted and there is then nothing we can do to be rejected once living in this acceptance.

This is exactly what we read at the start of the epistle to the Ephesians.

Paul writes and says that, ”he hath made us accepted in the beloved” (Ephesians 1 v 6)

God accepts us after being made something.

Once we are saved, as a gift of grace through faith in Jesus we are made righteous and holy (2 Corinthians 5 v 21 and Ephesians 4 v 24), and this is why we are then acceptable to God.

We are not accepted because of our goodness or our religious performance; we are accepted because of our trust in the performance of Jesus.

In the sae way we cannot “sin away” this acceptance.

We are now always acceptable to God, unconditionally and completely.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that as a gift of grace through faith in Jesus I have complete and unconditional acceptance from you”.

Ephesians 1 v 6…..To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved

DIG for Saturday the 14th of January…..the key is being content, not rich or poor but content…..1 Timothy 6 v 8

You’ll not be surprised to know that I am still meditating over the many experiences I had in India recently.

One of the main things that have impacted on me is the contentment of the believers that we met.

Paul writes to Timothy (and us) telling him to be content with what he has (1 Timothy 6 v 8).

This is not saying that Timothy (or us) has to live in poverty and need.

What Paul is saying is that whatever state you find your self in be content.

If you are rich be content and if you are poor you are also to be content.

If you live in plenty or live in need be content.

The Word never says we should live in poverty or need, contrary to what religion may teach you.

Jesus came so that we could live in abundance John (10 v 10).

Above all things God wants us to live in health and prosperity (3 John 2).

Jesus came and was made poor so that we might be rich (2 Corinthians 8 v9).

We are not meant to live in poverty or need however if we are ever in that state, and as we endeavour to come out from that, we are even then to be content.

In India I saw many people wanting to receive a better education, get a better job and make a better life for themselves and their families however at the same time they were content.

They were living out 1 Timothy 6 v 8 as they moved into living out John 10 v10, 2 Corinthians 8 v 9 and 3 John 2.

There is a lot we in the West can learn from these contented brothers and sisters.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that you do indeed want us all to live in abundance and prosperity, and thank you for tat provision you made through the finished work of Jesus”.

1 Timothy 6 v 8…..And having food and raiment let us be therewith content