Theme of the Week: Who You Are – Characteristics of our Identity in Christ
Bible Verse: For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all God’s people, I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. Ephesians 1:15-16
Scripture Reading: Ephesians 1:15-22
It’s always nice when there is a clear connection between things, especially when it comes to Bible passages. When I was in Bible college, a professor once gave a study tip that though simple, is very profound and has stuck with me ever since. “When you read a ‘therefore,’ you have to ask what it’s there for.” Usually it connects what you’re about to read to what you just read.
Verse 15 of Ephesians 1 doesn’t start with “therefore,” but it might as well. “For this reason,” is essentially the same thing. What Paul is about to write is connected to what he has just written. What he wrote was a variety of the wonderous things that we are and have in Jesus. What’s coming? His response. All he can do is say thank you to God for bringing the people of Ephesus into His family.
We’ve spent the week saying thank you to God for all the individual blessings of who we are in Jesus and what He has given us through His blood. And all of this is just from one passage, one train of thought! No wonder Paul can’t do anything but be grateful.
We should be the same. Our true selves are defined by who we are in God’s sight and based on what He has done for us. All the other descriptors (good and bad) are secondary and temporary. We may not always live in place “X” or have career “Y”, but we will always have our identity found in Jesus. Let’s be grateful.
Prayer: Lord, I am grateful for what you have done to make me who I am. Thank you for the sacrifice that it took, thank you for the blessings that it gives. Help me to see myself and others as you see us. Help me to understand who I am in you, and that I am not defined by other things.
Challenge: Spend time in prayer just expressing gratitude to God for the wonderful gifts He has given.
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