Tuesday, January 23, 2018

"For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, I have not stopped giving thanks for you remembering you in my prayers."  NIV            {Ephesians 1:15-16}

The Apostle Paul started as a hater of those who followed Jesus. Who would have thought this man would follow obediently behind the one who he condemned? It took an appearance of Jesus, or a bright light, knocking him off his horse, for him to believe. Maybe that wasn't enough because he remained blind from the light.  God spoke to Ananias to go to pray for Paul to receive his sight back. 

Paul did not know that Jesus was the true Messiah when he hunted for Christians to put in jail.What an enormous transformation took place in his life. Some of us need a miracle in our lives before we will believe.Others will not believe even if they receive a miracle.

God knows exactly how to bring each soul to himself, but we still need to engage our will and say yes. In our verse we see that Paul loves these people, and is excited about their faith. His giving of thanks to God for them is a blessing to him, and to the people at Ephesus.

 A flood of relief and joy can overtake us when we realize that someone is plucked out of the fire and into the hands of Jesus. Death is eternal separation from God, and everything that is good, just and right. There is only darkness, fire, and pain. God never intended for anyone to go there. It was only for the devil and his angels of death. Pride, arrogance and sin is what leads to death.  

When we humbly admit to God that we need His grace, mercy and forgiveness to save us, only then will we see God. We were made for God to fill our emptiness and so nothing else will fit. We have temporary pleasures that work for a moment, but fade quickly and we are off to find something else to fill our hole.

Even if we are able to fill the aching need within us, it will not get us to Him. We would be spinning our wheels only to end up in desperation and defeat. He is the Lord God Almighty, and so His rules are what hold the universe. We can be strong willed, obstinate,  and self- absorbed , but in the end we gain nothing.

Give thanks today for those who help you to know God in a deeper way. I'm sure that the Ephesian church prayed for Paul while he was in prison, and God met him there. Meanwhile he taught them through his letters and much good came from it. God can turn even the worst situation and cause some good to come from it. Be blessed today!

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