A Prayer from Ephesians 1:3-14 (personalized)
Praise be to You, God and Father of my Lord Jesus Christ, you have blessed me in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For you chose me in Christ before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight.
In love you predestined me for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with your pleasure and will— to the praise of your glorious grace, which you have freely given me in the One you love.
In Christ I have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of your grace that you lavished on me. With all wisdom and understanding, you made known to me the mystery of your will according to your good pleasure, which you purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.
In Christ I was also chosen, having been predestined according to your plan; you who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of your will, in order that I, who put my hope in Christ, might exist (be) for the praise of your glory.
And I was included in Christ when I heard the message of truth, the gospel of my salvation. When I believed, I was marked in Christ with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing my inheritance until the redemption of us who are your possession—to the praise of your glory.
Thank you Almighty God; my Forever Father.
Amen and Amen.
19 Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.
The Word became flesh and He is Jesus. He commands adherence to the Law of God. Greatness in the Kingdom of God belongs to those who do and teach the commandments of God. Our righteousness must begin on the inside and work its way out.
Only Jesus can accomplish this change in us. The religious leaders worked from the outside and their righteousness was empty. All of God’s Word is good and profitable. Christ accomplished what we could not accomplish on our own. We needed Him before we realized we needed Him.
What Jesus did we could never do. Thank Him today for accomplishing your righteousness. He lives and in Him so do you. Blessings follow those who humble themselves under His Rule and His Reign.
I’m praying you will Open His Word and Enjoy it today (and everyday).
“For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished.”
Yesterday we read that Jesus loved the Law and Prophets. He came to fill it up fully. Building on this, today we read that it will all be accomplished. God is in the details. The sacrifices and ceremonial laws of the OT predicted or foreshadowed events in the life of Christ.
We must recognize that all of the Bible points us back to Jesus Christ. He is One, the First and the Last, Beginning and End. The religious leaders were into the details too but the details pointed back to their works of righteousness and not The Work of Righteousness that is Jesus Christ.
This section of Matthew requires us to dig deep, it is weighty, but it is definitely worth it!
Open His Word and Enjoy it today.
“Don’t assume that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill.”
Jesus did not come to destroy the Law and the Prophets. Jesus loved the Old Testament! He loved the Law! He loved the Prophets! Jesus came to fulfill them.
Think about it, he came to full-fill it … that is, he came to fill it up fully. Jesus’ words on the mount were to bring fuller meaning to the Law. Let us never neglect the OT. It always has and always will point us to Jesus Christ, our Great Redeemer, Our Sovereign LORD.
Open His Word and Enjoy.
13 “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.
14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.
How salty and bright are you? Jesus desires that his followers influence the world for the good. We are not to reflect this world but to influence this world. The world is corrupt; it needs salt. The world is degenerating but the Church is still present. It slows this process down.
Just imagine if the Church were not here? The chaos, the lack of True Hope. The world is dark; it needs the light. As Christ followers we are to so shine our light that others see Jesus and praise God. We will have some sort of impact today. It will either be to lift ourselves up or it will be to lift Christ Jesus up and bring God glory.
Ask for help from the Holy Spirit today to serve the LORD faithfully and fully.
Open His Word and Enjoy.
11 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
The Christ Follower is blessed when they are insulted and persecuted because of Jesus. When we follow Christ fully, when we speak truth against lies, when we shine the light of Christ into the darkness, persecution will come. It may be physical persecution but often times its verbal insults. They treated the Prophets the same way.
To know that Jesus Christ calls the persecuted ones blessed is a great encouragement. We can boldly speak truth in love and stand firm with confidence. We are in good company. This comes as no surprise to Jesus Christ. It should not come as any surprise to us. We must know who we are in Christ, who we belong to, and live that way. Let us keep the focus on Him.
Let us, together, not be defined by our fears but instead trust. Trust Jesus. Be glad and rejoice He says!
Open His Word and Enjoy.
“Those who are persecuted for righteousness are blessed, for the kingdom of Heaven is theirs.”
Christian, persecution is as much a part of a walk with Christ as the Lord’s Supper. To fellowship with Him is to recognize that some suffer death for Him. This is real folks. To believe and walk with Him is to suffer the hateful words and stares that accompany a Christ follower fully devoted to His mission.
Jesus says that those who are persecuted are blessed. To run from it is to miss a blessing. To live just enough in this world to slink away from it is to miss that great inheritance, the kingdom of Heaven.
Let us not forsake this blessing for this present world’s comforts. Don’t chase after it for your glory but be ready for it when it comes for His Glory.
Know that you are in Christ and He will take care of you. Abide in Him …
Open His Word and Enjoy.