Showing posts from June, 2020

Bless the Lord

“Blessed is the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ.”—Eph 1:3.      I have read over that word blessed a few times in a couple different books now. It always struck me as odd to say that God was blessed. Who blessed Him? Did He bless Himself? Has it ever struck you as odd? I mean, we even sing it in at least one Matt Redman song, Bless the Lord O My Soul. On some level, I just accepted it on face-value and moved on. But I finally looked up that word, blessed. I love it when something I think I know is revealed to be wrong and God corrects me. This is especially true when the correction is an “ ah-ha ” moment.            Blessed is the transliterated word eulogÄ“tos and it means: praised, blessed, worthy of commendation. Some dictionaries define it as praiseworthy. When I understood it as praiseworthy, it made so much more sense to me. Of course, God is worthy of our praise!! Look at what Pa

Peace of God? Wait...What?

“Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” —Ephesians 1:2 LEB       When we greet people today, it is usually with a simple “hi”. I may get fancy and say “Hey, ya’ll.” But imagine being greeted how Paul greeted the Ephesians! This was a greeting of continual blessing from God. The word grace alone means  kindness,   favor,   esteem, gratitude , and  goodwill ; but  peace from God ?! Wow. The Dictionary of Biblical Languages tells us that while we can understand this as harmony and tranquility, peace should be understood as freedom from worry. How many of us would love to have freedom from worry?      The more I have thought about that, the more it’s taken me back to what Paul said in Philippians 4:6-7, that we should  worry  about  nothing  but instead  pray  about  everything . Of, course anytime worry comes up, I can’t help but think about Matthew 6:25-34 That’s where Jesus tells us not to worry or be anxious about tomorrow because today’s

To Whom It May Concern...

“Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, To the saints who are in Ephesus, and are faithful in Christ Jesus:”–Ephesians 1:1      Some manuscripts do not have “ in Ephesus,” instead, they just say: “ to the saints who are also faithful in Christ. ” Whether this was written to Ephesus or to the saints also faithful in Christ in the surrounding area, we know Paul was writing to believers who were faithful to Jesus. I do not know about you, but for me, this makes me wonder what an epistle to the also faithful in Augusta would say. Or the also faithful in any one of the cities throughout our nation or the rest of the world today. It got me to thinking about how in Paul’s day the Church consisted mostly of gatherings that were held in people’s homes. In many ways, they were akin to Francis Chan’s house church concept, or even some churches idea of home-groups or community groups. I believe Life Church calls them Life Groups , New Passion calls them Community Groups ,