Every book of the Bible is important and special; however, sometimes a particular book of the Bible becomes notably special to us. Ephesians is that book for me. Though I have several favorite books of the Bible, Ephesians is like an old friend that I repeatedly go to for encouragement. As well, the book of Ephesians has a special place in our family.
For nearly 20 years, my wife Shelly has been praying Eph. 1:16-23 for me. Before we got married, Shelly gave me a map of the United States with the verses from Eph. 1:16-23 written out around the map. When I asked her why she gave me the map, she said, “Life is an adventure, and I’m ready to go on this adventure with you so long as we follow Jesus together.” Today I’m saying the same thing to you. Life is an adventure; let’s go on this adventure together and follow Jesus.
After spending years studying Ephesians, I’ve realized the anchor verse for the entire book is Eph. 1:3, which says, "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places…” It is my belief that throughout the entire letter Paul is expounding on the various ways in which we are blessed in Jesus. These various blessings are our spiritual reality in Jesus. In Jesus we are: adopted (Eph. 1:3-14), graced (Eph. 2:1-10), reconciled (Eph. 2:11-22), unified (Eph. 4:1-10), gifted (Eph. 4:11-16), renewed (Eph. 4:17-24), forgiven (Eph. 4:25-32), beloved (Eph. 5:1-21), cherished (Eph. 5:22-6:9), and strengthened (Eph. 6:10-24).
As you spend time in Ephesians, my prayer is “that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe...” (Eph. 1:17-19). If this prayer is answered, you will know you are blessed in Jesus, and that reality will change your life.
We have designed this devotional book to act as a kind of journal, and we invite you to use it that way. Write in it and fill up all the pages. Afterward, you can keep this devotional as a kind of dairy that can function as a snapshot of what you learned and how God has worked in your life. Keep it on the bookshelf and then re-read it a year or two from now. Also, feel free to share this devotional with others. We envision it being shared around the dinner table, during discipleship groups, and during conversations with friends. May we all grow in grace and love Jesus with love incorruptible.
Lead Pastor, Resurrection Church