Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Ephesians 6:10-24

Ephesians 6:10-13 – The Battle

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.”(Eph. 6:10).  How do we do that?  We should trust Him in all things and believe in what He says.  Paul tells us to put on the full Armor of God so when evil comes, we will be able to stand our ground and not be deceived.  We should also study His Word, pray, give Him control and be united with fellow sisters and brothers.

The devil is very crafty and a master of deception.  He is the ruler of the world, the father of lies, a deceiver and a murderer.  He is the enemy!  He’s out to get us on his side and away from God.  We need to be aware and be on-guard so we won’t give in to his deceptions.  He is very good at what he does.  In Gen. 3 he caused Eve to doubt and question God.  In 2 Sam. 11 he distracted David by staying home from battle and when he did, Satan caused him to lust.  In Dan. 4 Satan caused the king to be prideful and praised himself instead of God.  In Matt. 4 he tempted Jesus even using God’s own words.  We should not underestimate the devil.   He’s working very hard to snare people, because he knows he’s running out of time and he knows God will win the ultimate battle.

When we first believed, Jesus came to live inside us and now we are a target for the enemy of God, but Satan was defeated at the cross.  He hates us, because we are Christians.  He schemes for believers and is set to destroy.  There is a battle going on for those who belong to Jesus.  He even tempted Jesus.  God allows him to roam the earth with his demons.  God promises to fully equip us with His presence and resources.  The more we know God and recognize Satan’s work the more we understand Satan schemes. 

Satan has many schemes.  He can cause us to doubt God and His trustworthiness.  He brings false teachings.  If the teaching is slightly truthful, then we think it must be OK.  He makes it hard to live as a Christian.  He hinders the work of the ministry of Jesus working against our efforts for God.  He wants you to live the way the world does with its pleasures, hypocrisies and being independent of God.  He discourages us when we are lonely, have free time, facing death, etc.

Do you doubt God’s love?
Has He asked you to serve, but you say you don’t have time?

Ephesians 6:13-17 – The Battle Armor

Should we fear Satan?  No.  God has given us the full Armor of God for our defense as a weapons against him.  If we use these weapons, he cannot harm us.  These weapons are:
Belt of Truth – Know God’s true Word so you won’t be deceived.  The truth holds us up in battle.
Breastplate of Righteousness – When we receive salvation, we receive the righteousness of God.  It protects us.  None of us are righteous on our own.  We should live and reflect His righteousness.  Right living is a protection for your heart.     
Feet fitted with Readiness – By knowing the Word you can be ready when Satan attacks.  Be ready and willing to share the good news with others.
Shield of Faith – Faith is our trust in God.  Our shield is as big as our trust in God.  If we have faith, we are protected from Satan’s flaming arrows.  How big is your shield?  Do you find your faith is protecting you?
Helmet of Salvation – The enemy wants to destroy your salvation.  Salvation is our hope.  He wants to attack our hope and our mind.  The helmet is the security of our mind. 
Sword of the Spirit – This is the an offensive weapon, God’s Word.  Satan cannot win against God's Holy Word.  Stab those threats with the Word of God! 

Why is the Word of God so powerful?  It’s the revelation of God.  It assures us a win.
Why does the enemy work so hard?  He doesn’t want us to know and believe in the power of God.  He knows he only has a short time before his ultimate defeat.

How can you apply God’s Armor?  Believe, put your faith and trust in Jesus, know His Word, stay in His Word, listen and obey the Holy Spirit, stand firm and don’t be deceived, pray for strength and guidance, pray in all circumstances, pray for others and don’t let Satan get a foothold.  “Submit yourselves, then to God.  Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” (James 4:7)

Have you accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior?
If you are a Christian, where is your soft spot?  Is it fear, anger, control, being all things to all people?
How are you going to draw on the protection of His Armor?
Is your Belt unbuckled?
Are you living with peace in God?
Who is robbing you of your peace?

Ephesians 6:18-24 – The Battle of Prayer and Platoon

Prayer is the key.  We are to be good soldiers for God.  He is the Commander-in-Chief.  We need to be in prayer.  He saved us because He wants to fellowship with us.  That’s prayer.

“And pray in the Spirit an all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.  With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.”(Eph. 6:18).  How can you pray for someone, if you don’t know them?  We need to be alert to the needs of others so we will know what to pray for.  We also need to be alert to what’s going on around us in the world to pray more effectively.

Paul asks the Ephesians to pray that God would give him the words to speak the gospel and that he speak with boldness and without fear.  We should pray for the same things.  It is very important that we pray!  We can be a witness and plant the seed.  It is the Holy Spirit who convicts.  We need to let God to do His work.  We should pray this for ourselves and other believers.  When we pray, it also changes us making us closer to God and more compassionate toward others.

How willing are you to ask for prayer from others?
How trust worthy are you as you pray for them?
What hinders your prayer life?
Have you prayed and prayed for something and it seems that God is not answering?  Don’t stop praying.  Eph. 6:18 says to keep on praying.  There is no out.  The enemy says, “Well you tried so move on.”  Pray and trust the will of God.  It’s up to God not you.  Don’t give up on your prayer.

Believers are never alone in the battle of life.
Believers are fully equipped in Christ to stand firm in the battle of life.
Living in a constant dialogue with God gives perspective and power for the battle of life.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Ephesians 4-6:9

Eph. 4:1-16 – Believers called to Unity

How can you live a life worthy of His calling?  Your conduct should show that Christ has been made alive in your life.  In living such a life you should be humble, gentle, patient, loving, forgiving and keep in unity of the Holy Spirit.  You can do this by doing what Jesus did follow His example.  He was forgiving and loving.  You must keep your eyes on Him.

This would also apply to the church.  We should not be so petty about things and always want our way.  It’s all about Jesus, not you!  We should have organic unity.  Organic means being made of interdependent parts with each having its own gifts - like the human body.  Each part of the body is different, but depends on each other for unity to make up the body.  Another example is the Bible.  It was written by several different writers, but altogether they make up the book known as the Bible.  Another is the church.  We each have different gifts, but altogether we are unified together making the church.

There is hostility toward Christians in the world.  Our selfish desires certainly give the world something to talk about.  God wants to give the world something to talk about, but not about our faults and shortcomings.  In order to do that, the world needs to know who we are and see us living in humility, holiness, and submission.  God wants them to see how much He loves us, how Christ died for our sins, and how He’s living in us.

We all want peace in the world.  Peace comes from Jesus.  Jesus is our peace.  A worthy walk begins in the heart.  We need to have inward attitudes.  “Be humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.” (Eph. 4:2).  This all leads to unity.  In John 17 Jesus prayed for unity.  Christian should be different that those who belong to the world.

Humility is the opposite of pride.  Pride is the first sin.  Sin in general is some form of pride.  Humility begins with self awareness.  Knowing who we are in Christ develops humility.  Living in humility will bring meekness.  It’s power under control.

Patience is longsuffering and can endure discomfort without fighting back and never give in to circumstances.  It’s hanging in there and trusting.

What would the world be saying about you or your church?
How would others describe your church?
How committed are you to living humble, loving and patient?  You can’t do it on your own.

These character traits will lead us to His purposes.

There are seven ways Christians are united:
1 Body – We all share in the body of Christ.  All Christians make up the body called the church which Christ is the head.
1 Spirit – We all receive the same Spirit – the Holy Spirit
1 Hope – We all have 1 hope in Christ and the promise of God of eternal life
1 Lord – there is only 1 Lord and He is the head of the Church
1 Faith – We all have faith in Christ who is our foundation
1 Baptism – We all were baptized in the Spirit when we believed.
1 God and Father – There is only 1 true God

Christ gave different kinds of gifts to us and we give them to the church.
Apostles – Apostles are sent by God to do special work.  They lead by example, they teach, they comfort, they endure hardships, they glorify the church.
Prophets – A prophet is someone who speaks for God.  They warn, direct, encourage, teach, counsel, and bring the Word of God to the people.
Evangelists – An evangelist is someone who seeks to convert others to Christ.
Pastors and Teachers – They teach the Word of God, help us to understand the Word, shepherd the flock, oversee the church, and pray for the members and model Christ.

These gifts make us stronger and build us up.  We expect Pastors to do it all, but it’s the responsibility of every believer.  If you could build up other Christians in your home, church or relationships; you would be encouraging, quick to forgive, be humble, be understanding, would keep their secrets, always be positive and not be judgmental.

Christians walk in unity when joined together in humility and love.

Eph. 4:13-14 should be the goal of a Christian.  We would become mature as Christians and no longer be deceived.  We would know the truth and become more like Jesus.  We can avoid being childish by staying in the Word, listen to the Holy Spirit, be thankful in all circumstances, put God in the center of our lives and stay on our knees in prayer.  We can speak the truth allowing the Holy Spirit to guide you.  We can speak the truth in love with humility and not be offensive or judgmental.  We can grow up into Christ in all things by trusting Him in all things, being thankful in all things, praying and staying in His Word.

How would one describe your humility?  We are to be completely humble.
What are you doing to build and maintain unity in your church?

Eph. 4:17-5:20 – Believers called to Holiness

To walk worthy life has to change.  The key is to be different than your old self and it begins with your thinking.  Our old desires have to die.  We need to feed the desire for God and starve any desire outside of Christ.  “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.  Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.”(Rom. 12:2).  God’s plan is we walk in holiness – called sanctification.  We should intentionally engage with the Lord – in His Word, in prayer, in listening to Him, in worship and in service to Him and others.

Eph. 4:17-5:21 tells us what we as Christians should put off and put on:
Verse              Put Off                      
4:23                old self
4:24                falsehoods
4:26-27          in anger do not sin and while in anger do not give the devil a foothold.   Anger is not a sin.  It’s what you do with it.
4:28                stealing
4:29                unwholesome talk
4:30                grieving the Holy Spirit – He will never leave you, but He grieves when you sin.          
4:31                 bitterness, anger, rage, brawling, slander, every form of malice
5:3      `          any hint of sexual immorality or any kind of impurity or greed
5:4                  obscenity, foolish talk, course joking
5:6                  let no one deceive you with empty words
5:11                 have nothing to do with fruitless deeds of darkness
5:15                 living unwise
5:17                 being foolish
5:18                getting drunk with wine

Verse              Put On
4:23                new thinking
4:24                new self
4:25                speaking truthfully
4:28                working and doing something useful so you can share with those in need
4:29                building up others
4:32                kindness, compassion, forgiveness
5:1-2               being imitators of God and live a life of love – As we imitate Him we honor Him.  We say to the world what Jesus did matters.  It says I don’t want you to see me, but Him.
5:4                  thanksgiving
5:9-10             living as children of light and please God
5:11                 exposing deeds of darkness
5:15                 living wisely
5:17                 understanding the Lord’s will
5:18                being filled with the Spirit
5:19-20          speaking in hymns, psalms, make music in your heart and always give thanks
5:21                 submitting to one another out of reverence to Christ

How will you put into practice these things?

If we used these principles in our homes and businesses, we would be setting the right examples for our children and others.  There would be no disrespect and the pride that is so prevalent today.

Believers will imitate God’s character to the extent we surrender our minds and hearts to His Spirit and truth.

What do you need to surrender?  Is it bitterness, your tongue, anger, a hint of sexual immorality in your mind or you heart?  Playing out sexual immorality has to go.
How visible is He in you?

Eph. 5:20-6:9 – Believers called to Submission

“Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord.  For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior.  Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.  Husbands, love you wives, just as Christ love the church and gave himself up for to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word.”(Eph 5:22-24).  By human nature we want to promote ourselves, but the Holy Spirit enables us to submit.  We are to develop an attitude of submission.  We need to yield to one another out of love.   After all, aren’t we to be followers of Jesus?  He submitted to God to die on the cross.  We are to be humble and not self-seeking.  Paul gives us the order of God to man and man to woman in 1 Cor. 11:3“Now I want you to understand that Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of a woman, and God is the head of Christ.”  This doesn’t mean that a wife should obey her husband as a child would obey his parents or be like a slave to his master.  This is God’s order of authority and submission and is only possible in those who are filled and controlled by the Holy Spirit.  We are trusting God to direct our lives.  Submission does not cancel out equality.  We are all equal in the sight of God.  We as Christians are to submit to other Christians. “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.”Eph. 5:21.

Submission is God’s goal.  We honor and respect Him through our submission.  Submission in marriage is easier when we submit to Christ.  Submission to your husband is honoring the Lord.  Submission to you wife is a form of sacrifice to Christ.  A Christian marriage is a description of the church.

Will you entrust your husband to God?  If you have a Christian husband, thank God for him. 

To teach your children to obey God isn’t easy.  They have little sinful hearts and must be trained to obey.  You should teach that this is a command of the Lord.  Obedience enriches our character. 

Are you a parent that is easy to respect and love?
Do you make this a command hard for them to obey?
How intentional are you in training your child?
How are you as a wife or husband?

Our reverence to God displayed in relationships honor God and others.

How is your life giving impressions to others about Jesus?  As we live by the Spirit of God we reflect Him.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Ephesians 2-3

Ephesians 2:1-10 – New Life in God’s Grace

If you are not a Christian you are spiritually dead.  A person who is not born again follows the ways of the world and the ruler of the kingdom of the air, Satan.  Satan works in the disobedient.  They have a sinful nature gratifying their own desires and thoughts – (Eph 2:1-3).  If you are a Christian, these verses describe your past.

Transgression means to slip or stumble.  Sin means you missed the mark or target.  God’s holiness is the mark.  We start sinning from the beginning of life.  We are this way as babies and cannot overcome influences of the world, Satan or our sin nature.  We may be able to do some good, but we are still spiritually dead.  We can’t meet God’s standard and the penalty is death.  We are the “walking dead”, but God says “I love you so much”.

Why has God gone to so much trouble for you?  Because He loved us even while we were sinners – (Rom. 5:8).  He didn’t wait.  Sin is way more than breaking the rules.  It’s working against His love.  Grace and mercy is God’s love in action.  When we became a Christian, we became alive and responsive to spiritual truth.  His Word became real to us and then He placed us in the heavenly realm with Jesus. 

Why did He do this?  He has a plan (see verse 6) so He can show Himself to the world and show that He is kind and merciful.  You can’t say “I am a nice person”, “My parents are Christians”, or “I have several Bibles in my home”.  We are wretched!  Now What?  Once we believe we are alive and are royalty and children of the King.  We are a new creation in Christ.

What does it mean to be born again?  It means you have confessed your sins and repented (turned from your sinful desires) and now follow Jesus.  You believe the gospel – that He died for your sins and was raised on the 3rd day and now sits in heaven on the right hand of God.

How do you know you have been born again?  You believe the gospel, have faith and trust in Jesus as Savior, don’t habitually sin, don’t conform to the world’s standards.  You have the Holy Spirit’s seal promising you eternal life and you let Him guide and direct you.  “I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life.” – (John 5:24).  Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” (Rom.10:13

Eph. 2:4-9 tells us what God has done for believers.  “But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions – it is by grace you have been saved.  And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.  For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast.”

How does one get faith?  “Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ.” (Romans 10:17)

What is the good work, Paul talks about in verse 9-10?  We are God’s workmanship (masterpiece) so we are His good works.  We are saved by grace and there is no more work to be done.  We are “created in Christ Jesus to do good works” is that not by our own strength we are not able to lead a Holy life, but in Jesus we can.  He made us righteous and holy.  He prepared a path of good works for us to do.  This is His purpose for us.  As we do the work it reveals the heart of God as it pertains to Christ.

Believers saved by grace through faith are God’s masterpiece of love and mercy.

Are you trying to be good enough?  No one is good enough.
Is your name written in the family tree of God?
Have you discovered His plan for you?  If you are in His plan, you will encounter Him and you will grow in your faith.
Are your plans already underway and don’t need any interference from God?
Do you know all you need to know about the Bible?
Does He have authority over you?

Ephesians 2:11-3:13 – New Life in God’s Family

Paul tells the Ephesians to remember how they once were as Gentiles, without hope and excluded from citizenship in Israel and considered foreigners. What do you remember before you had a relationship with Christ?  How does remembering make you love God more?  Jesus brought peace to the world by His blood on the cross.  He did away with the law and its regulations.  The world methods of peace are threats, alliances, treaties, force, power, tolerance and a live and let live attitude.  By following Jesus’ example we can practice love and unity to maintain peace with others.  We can pray.  He became our peace by His love and His blood.

If you belong to Christ, you are reconciled to God through the cross.  You have access to the Father.  You are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household. – (Eph. 2:14-20)

The Jews and Gentiles hated one another.  The Jews were prideful and hated the Gentile for their idol worship.  The Gentiles thought the Jews were religious snobs.  Rom. 1 says all know the true God and many refuse to honor Him.  Christ came to destroy barriers and dividing walls of hostility.  He came to make peace and to reconcile both Jew and Gentile to God through the cross.

A Christian should view social and racial barriers by seeing everyone as brothers and sisters.  Social barriers are man-made and not from God.  God does not show favoritism.  You don’t always have to be right.  We are no better than anyone else.  There is hostility all around, but you can’t control the actions of others.  How willing are you to do your part?  Are you willing to repent of your resentments and forgive?  All Christians have the same unlimited access to God.  We are all one in Christ Jesus.  When the church lives like the world, it does little for the world. 

How does your attitude toward church need to change?

The mystery that God revealed to Paul is in Eph. 3:6.  Through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel and members together of one body and share together in the promise of Christ Jesus.   God’s purpose for humanity is to bring unity in heaven and on earth under one head, Jesus.  We are encouraged that God is in control and we don’t have to fix anything.  He can handle anything. 

God intends the church to make known the purpose and power of salvation in Christ to the world.

Ephesians 3:14-21 – New Life in God’s Power

Paul’s prayer is one we should all pray.  The word “Father” in the Bible means acceptance.  Grace through faith comes and dwells in a Christian’s heart.  His Spirit is at home.  When you hear the word “rooted”, you think of plants.  When they have deep roots, they have resilience and better growth.  To be powerful in Christian life, you must have power in the roots.  He wants to fill us with all His attributes.

Are you “filled to the measure of all the fullness of God”?  A person who is filled to the measure of all the fullness of God always wants to please Him, always seeks His will for their lives, puts others first, and exhibits the traits of the gifts of the spirit.  It is a process and we should constantly move toward the full completeness that God intends.

In faith believers access God’s immeasurable knowledge and power through His Spirit.

Believers never need to live without love and suffer without strength.  How open is your heart to His Spirit?  God’s love is immeasurable.  So live it!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Ephesians 1

Ephesians 1:1-14 – God’s Plan for Believers

Do you ever have pity parties?  Life is hard.  Like this week we saw all the destruction from the storms and tornados.  The study of Ephesians 1 shows the love of God through Christ Jesus and that should cancel out all your pity parties.  All the blessings mentioned in Ephesians bring hope to unity of the world. 

What kind of impact is the church making to the world today?  What have we substituted tolerance for the truth?  When the Bible is applied, it changes the world.

Paul had God’s authority to write this letter to the Ephesians (Eph. 1:1).  He wrote it when he was chained to a Roman guard and he writes the things that were on his mind.  He refers to the saints.  Saints are believers.  Paul wanted them to have grace and peace from God and the Lord Jesus (Eph. 1:2). 

Paul experience God’s grace and peace many times throughout his life.  Especially on the road to Damascus when he was confronted by Jesus.  Even though he persecuted Christians for a living, he was forgiven and was allowed to preach the gospel.  What an amazing example of grace!  Two other examples are:  God raised him after he was stoned in Acts 14:20.  He freed him when he was in prison in Acts 16:25.

God planned salvation (Eph. 1:3-4).  The phrase “in Christ” is referred to 27 times in the book of Ephesians showing our position as believers.

God blesses his people with “every spiritual blessing” in Christ from the “heavenly realms”.  This means we have all of God’s blessings through Jesus and it all came down from God in Heaven.  No spiritual blessing is withheld from believers.  The blessings He mentions here are:  He chose us before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight, in love He predestined us to be adopted sons through Jesus, He freely gave us grace, we have redemption through Jesus’ blood, He forgave us our sins, and He gave us wisdom and understanding. (Eph. 1:4-8)  To the believer He has made know to us the mystery of His will through Jesus.

The word chosen and predestined stirs us up and so does election vs. freewill.  Our understanding is limited this side of heaven.  He doesn’t elect anyone to go the “hell”.  When someone says, “I want to believe and trust in Jesus”, God doesn’t say, ”No”.  It’s our choice to believe or not.  We are predestined, but God doesn’t remove man from the responsibility to choose.  Why did He choose us?  He chose us for His pleasure and His will (Eph. 1:5).

God chose and called us for the purpose of adopting us as His sons and to be like Jesus, holy and blameless.  If you don’t go to church, some of these words are scary and foreign to you.  Hang in there.  God will enlighten you the more you study His word.

Redemption means rescue, deliverance, pay-off, the act of delivery from sin or saving from evil.  He paid the price to free us from our sins and delivered us to God.
Sealed means to fasten or close securely.  The Holy Spirit works on us then, when we believe He moves in and seals us and NEVER leaves us.
Forgiveness means to carry away our sins because of His grace.
Wisdom and understanding is to have insight of the mystery of God (our salvation).

Sins are tearing the world apart, but through God’s plan one day He bring all things in heaven and on earth together under 1 head, Jesus. (Eph. 1:10)  This has only been partly accomplished today.  There are many people in the world who do not believe and are still under the rule of Satan.  God is still waiting  and giving these people time to repent, because He loves us so much.

The phrase “to the praise of His glory” (Eph. 1:6, 12, 14) means – glory is to give honor and praise.  Our lives should be a reflection of Him.  We are to be a worthy example so other will see His glory in us.

Do you set a good example for others?
Would Jesus be please with your actions?

You could always improve your example of how to be “to the praise of His glory” in your home, school, business or church.  You could give Him more honor, more praises, more thanks.  You could not argue so much, not be so self-centered.  You could be kinder, exercise more patience, be more forgiving, be more loving and more compassionate toward others.  We need to be Jesus to others.  Give Jesus the credit in front of others.

There are 3 stages involved in a person being included in Christ.  “…when you heard the words of truth, the gospel of your salvation.  Having believed, you were marked in Him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession – to the praise of His glory.” (Eph. 1:13-14).  When you are sealed, He sets His seal of ownership on you.  He’s in your heart and you are guaranteed what is to come which is your inheritance.  This should give you comfort just knowing that nothing can be done to take you away from God.  You are His FOREVER!

Believers are rich in Christ’s spiritual resources.

What has occurred in your life that impacts you? 
Have you been mistreated and wanted to know why did God not stop it? 
Do you think you are not good enough? 
How will you respond when your feelings conflict with His Word?
Are you living as a rich woman or man?

Nothing separates us from God’s love.  We are set apart.  We are loved unconditionally as a child of the King.  You have all the riches you need.  How will you allow these riches to influence your hope or persecution you are facing today? 

Ephesians 1:15-23 – God’s Purpose for Believers

Live like you are rich with confidence.  Paul knows the best is yet to come.  What kind of rich person are you?  Are you generous, kind, patience or rude, judgmental, and whinny?  Our faith impacts others.  God gives us wisdom and revelation.  Do you only know Him as Savior or more as Lord and teacher?

Revelation is the unveiling of God – to know Him better.  The heart is the inner man, the thinking process, our understanding, our minds – not our emotions.  When you put feelings in front of God’s truth, it short circuits God.  Truth should come before emotions.  Hope is assurance of the believer.  We have living hope to face anything.  Does the way you live display your hope?

We inherit all His blessings.  He inherits us.  We are His love gift to Jesus.  We have His power.  We have the power to endure suffering.  We are surrounded by His power and have the same power He has.  2 Cor. 4:8-9 –We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed, perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; stuck down, but not destroyed.”

Paul gives us an example of specific items to pray for yourself and for others:  to give us the Spirit of wisdom and revelation so we will know Him better, that our eyes and hearts will be enlightened so we will know the hope which He has called us and the riches of our inheritance and His great power for us who believe. (Eph. 1:17-19).  We receive these things through Jesus. 

Why pray?  Praying makes a difference in our lives.  When we pray, we get to know Him better, we trust Him more, we understand His sovereignty, we love others more by understanding His love.  It also encourages us, strengthens us and gives us confidence in Him and in our salvation.
It makes us trust Him more.  It draws us closer to Him in every way.

Where is Jesus today?  He’s been raised to life and is sitting on the right hand of God in heaven and is above all rule and authority, power and dominion.   All things are under His feet (Eph. 1:20-22). 

This should be a great comfort in your life.  He’s in control and you don’t have to worry about doing or fixing anything.  You mean everything to Christ.  You know you are very important to Him; after all He did die for you.

Hearts prayerfully open to truth become lives that glorify God.

How often does glorifying God come to your mind?
What do you pray for often?
How often do you ask Him to teach you?
Not totally convinced?  You can trust God.

He is at work for you to know Him.  It’s up to you to live out these blessings in Christ.  Will you surrender to God’s spirit?