Key Verse: Ephesians 1:17
“I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know Him better.”
Thirteen times in today’s reading we find, “in Christ,” “in Him,” in Himself,” “in Whom,” “in the Lord Jesus,” repeated again and again. It’s plain to see that Paul has an absolutely clear message he fervently desires to communicate! In fact, the phrase “in Christ” or its equivalent appears 35 times throughout this letter to the believers in Ephesus, and the Holy Spirit intended these words for the whole Church in every place and throughout all time. Therefore, we should pay close attention to every word.
What do we have “IN CHRIST?” “Heavenly places,” “He chose us,” “Redemption and forgiveness,” “purpose,” “all things,” “an inheritance,” “the praise of His glory,” “trust,” “the Holy Spirit of promise,” “the guarantee,” “wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him,” and “His mighty power”…and that’s just in the first chapter! This is mind boggling! We need to spend time meditating on these facts. If we are not overwhelmed, we need to check our pulses to make sure we are still alive!
PRAYER FOR TODAY:
Lord Jesus, I want to personalize the prayer found in the key verse: Dear God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, I ask for the Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Your Person. Amen! Amen!
100 PERSONAL WORDS:
I have had the privilege of visiting the spectacular ruins of Ephesus several times. I’m so impressed with the evidence of stately public buildings which once served the people. Of course, the houses in which the people lived around the centre and in the suburbs are not to be found. I have just read the story of Paul’s ministry in Ephesus again from the book of Acts. When I have stood in the great Ephesian amphitheatre, I can almost imagine the loud declaration of the crowd inside who were shouting in defence of their goddess, “Great is Diana of the Ephesians.” Paul and his team of witnessing Christians caused a riot (read Acts 18:24-28 and Acts 19:1-41 and check out the picture below for the theatre where the uproar happened).
I didn’t cause a riot back in 1964, but most certainly consternation, when one Sunday evening I refused to preach my Salvation message in the pulpit of the church in Sudbury, Ontario, where I was the new Pastor. I checked the congregation out by upraised hands, and everyone present had the assurance of their eternal salvation. I then asked one of the deacons to take over the service and I proceeded out the door, down the alley for one block, to the sidewalk outside the Mine Mill Union Hall, where a dance was in progress. People were milling around outside the hall. I raised my voice and began to preach on how to have assurance of Heaven. I even noticed the Union President, Weir Reid, open his window across the street in order to listen. He was called “Canada’s last angry socialist” by the Toronto Star. Mr. Reid called me following this and offered, at no cost to the church, the use of their camp facilities for a week each Summer for a Christian camp. This was the initial seed for the Circle Square ranches, which continue to this day. I would not have been surprised if the congregation had convened a business meeting and dismissed their Pastor, me. I’d been there about three weeks. As it happened, I continued to serve there for almost five more years, and I don’t believe we ever had another Sunday evening service where someone in the congregation did not bring out a friend who did not yet know Jesus as Saviour and Lord. Every service found one, two or more at the altar giving their lives to Christ. The congregation, since that time on the street, has planted new congregations and built two new church buildings in order to hold the people and to serve the community.
Forgive me for going on far beyond my goal of 100 words.
Yours for the knowledge of the truth that we are “IN CHRIST,”