In the book of Ephesians, Paul writes to the community of Ephesus, to encourage them to continue in their love and service to the Lord. Paul has been teaching them for years about the gift of salvation and they have partnered with him in the gospel. The people of this community are faithful servants and truly love the Lord. Paul prays that even through their trials, as he with his own imprisonment, the people will be conquerers of the powers of darkness and the Lord will be glorified. He prays that the Ephesians will not succumb to the temptations that are all around them but will be strong in the mighty power of God and imitate Christ in behavior and countenance through humility and love of God, Christ and the Holy Spirit.

from The Message:

“My response is to get down on my knees before the Father, this magnificent Father who parcels out all heaven and earth. I ask him to strengthen you by his Spirit – not a brute strength but a glorious inner strength – that Christ will live in you as you open the door and invite him in. And I ask him that with both feet planted firmly on love, you’ll be able to take in with all followers of Jesus, the extravagant dimensions of Christ’s love. Reach out and experience the breadth! Test its length! Plumb the depths! Rise to the heights! Live full lives, full in the fullness of God.” Ephesians 3: 14- 19 NKJV

Adoption as Sons and Therefore, Heirs of God.

When the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts (the Holy Spirit,) crying out, “Abba, Father.” Therefore, you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.   Galatians 4: 4-7 New King James Version

Before Christ came, God gave promises to Israel and as Gentiles, we were excluded. The following verse, referring to Christ’s death and resurrection, ties it up for us as Paul, the Apostle, speaks in the book of Ephesians: But now in Christ Jesus, you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. Ephesians 2: 13 NKJV

These are wonderful verses from the Bible that beckon us to live our lives with enthusiasm because of the love which our great God has bestowed upon us. To live this life with joy because we know the truth of the Gospel of Christ who died and lives and saves a place for His own in heaven where we will live with Him one day!  To live life not as victims but as survivers because we have been bought with the price of Jesus’ precious blood and cleansed, white as snow to be presented spotless before King Jesus. Praise Him for having decided to adopt and save us, Gentiles -not only the Jewish people of Jerusalem.

We are loved by the Creator of the Universe! What a lovely and marvelous truth!

We are so blessed.

Warmly,

Carol Ann

Post Note: The Message, forwarded by Eugene H. Peterson, as stated by Peterson, is a kind of paraphrasing of the “language of the Bible into the language of Today and the language of Today into the language of the Bible.”  The Message is not a translation of the the Bible. The New International Version of the Message helps to illuminate the meaning and essence of the truth of the Bible. It is often sold as a Side-by-Side Bible Versions, together for study and comparison and published by Zondervan.