October 24 – Prison Letters – Your Identity and Responsibility

Read Ephesians 1:1-23

Ephesus was a key city in the first-century Roman Empire.  It was the capital of the province of Asia.  Its location near the eastern shore of the province (modern day Turkey) made it an important center of trade.

Within this bustling city pulsing with importance, were what was probably a few dozen Jesus followers.  Without their own permanent facilities, it seemed that they met in the “Hall of Tyrranus” (Acts 19:9) and in the homes of their parishioners.  They lacked a web presence.  They were not listed in the phone book.  It may have seemed as if these believers were concealed in insignificance.

Do you ever feel like that?  Like an unimportant and insignificant part of something where you are just a blur?  As Paul wrote from a prison cell to these believers he had grown to love, he reminded them, and he reminds us that we are of great value to the One who matters most.  Did you catch what he said?

  • We are blessed with every spiritual blessing (v. 3)
  • He has chosen us from eternity past (v. 4a, 11a)
  • He predestined us in love (v. 4b, 11b)
  • He found pleasure in adopting us as sons (and daughters) (v. 5)
  • He has redeemed and forgiven us (v. 7)
  • He has lavished grace on us (v. 8)
  • We exist for the praise of His glory (v. 12)
  • We are sealed with the Holy Spirit (vv. 13, 14)
  • We have been raised and seated with Christ (vv. 19, 20)
  • We are no longer subject to Satan’s power (vv. 20-23)

Each of those represents a statement of value and affirmation that empowers us to maintain an appropriate identity…even if the human recognition never comes.

And all of that incredible grace should prompt us to heed our responsibility in Paul’s prayer.  We should strive to know God better.  Specifically, we should yearn to know:

  1. The hope of His calling
  2. The riches of His inheritance
  3. His incomparably great power

“Oh, Father, I thank You that I have infinite value, having been richly blessed by you!  There is still so much about your work in my life that I long to understand.  Would you allow me another glimpse of that today?”

Steve Kern

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