I’m so grateful for all of you who are on this bible reading journey being encouraged and strengthened by Paul’s letters. We are, indeed, being fitted together as living stones in the living body of Christ, the glorious church, made by God for His dwelling.
I don’t know about you, but I have not lived with any consistency fully aware that I am God’s dwelling place. It is possible that belonging to Him and “being” are only and always matters of faith, and faith is God’s. He gives it to us as a gift to enable us to “see” the substance and veracity of His love for us. (Hebrews 11:1 “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” NKJV) He gives His Holy Spirit to us to enable and empower us to be born again into the Kingdom of God, to be free from the law of sin and death and to be motivated by His heart of love for the people in the world.
I find that living the abundant life of Christ does not depend on my intellectual understanding or even my cognizant awareness. I do not have to decide every day that I am a child of God, redeemed by the blood of His Christ. I sleep and wake and do everything in-between as just that: a beloved child of God. I am His because I believe Him when He says, “I have loved you with an everlasting love, and I have given you everything you need pertaining to life and godliness.” (Jeremiah 31:3 and 2 Peter 1:3 NKJV)
Therefore, I am free to love and minister reconciliation because my estate is not in question. My adoption being purchased, my destination being sure, and my inheritance being guaranteed by the gift of the Holy Spirit, I am about the Father’s business because He has willed that I should be so. I am not my own; I am His. O, sweet surrender, that makes my heart glad and my soul rejoice.
Week Three Daily Reading: Ephesians 4 through 6.
Journaling Prompts: 1. Write a prayer of gratitude for the reality of forgiveness. 2. Prayerfully consider any area in your heart where there may be resentment or unforgiveness that has resulted in bitterness. (An indicator would be circumstances or relationships in which or for which you have this thought: “it ought not be this way.”) Do business with God about it before speaking to another soul. You may find that all you need is between you and the Lord. 3. Consider what it means to “walk as children of light…finding out what is acceptable to the Lord.” (Ephesians 5:8-10) 4. Consider what it means to “redeem the time.” 5. Prayerfully consider biblical submission as set forth in this letter. (You may want to reference 1 Peter 2:13-25.) 6. Consider why the armor of God is necessary and what role the Holy Spirit must play in our being able to “withstand in the evil day.”
“That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life — the life was manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness, and declare to you that eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested to us — that which we have seen and heard we declare ton you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. And these things we write to you that your joy may be full.” 1 John 1:1-4 NKJV
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