Acts 28:1-31; Ephesians 1:1-2:22
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Acts - Today we finish the book of Acts! Interesting segment in today's readings when Paul encounters the snake on the island of Malta. Everyone first believes that justice is being done, and that Paul will die by the snake. When he doesn't die, they then decide he is a god. Interesting... They were first cursing him, then suddenly worshiping him. I wonder if we do this in our lives too? Do we sometimes curse things one minute and then worship them the next? Do we sometimes even do this with God? Let us pray for consistency in our lives and actions, in particular in the area of Who we worship.
We then read in today's readings about Paul arriving in Rome and beginning to preach the Gospel just 3 days after he arrives! Paul wastes no time. He is so focused on preaching the Gospel that he makes it happen no matter what. I think we would do well to pay attention to Paul's zeal for the Gospel. Why do you suppose Paul was so zealous for the Gospel? Should we be zealous for the Gospel today like Paul was back then? Are you zealous for the Gospel today like Paul was back then?
Okay, in Acts chapter 28 we have a very important verse for all of us to pay attention to. Verse 28. These are Paul's last words recorded in Acts. Commentaries suggest that this verse is actually the main point of the book of Acts. So if you remember nothing else from the book of Acts, remember the book was about this: "So I want you to realize that this salvation from God is also available to the Gentiles, and they will accept it." Seems like such a simple verse... But do you see the weight of it? Do you believe that salvation from God is available to all? Have you accepted this salvation? Perhaps now is a good time for us to remember Paul's acceptance of this salvation on the Road to Damascus earlier in our Acts readings, as painted by the artist Michelangelo below in the year 1544 -
Bible.org's commentary on today's Acts readings titled "Paul in Rome" is at this link.
Ephesians - Today we begin Paul's letter to the church in Ephesus! The map below shows where Ephesus is located, as well as other churches Paul wrote epistles to:
~ Ephesians ~
Author: Paul the apostle
Date: A.D. 60 or 61
Content: Paul wrote this letter while a prisoner in Rome, his purpose being to comfort and encourage the believers in Asia Minor. He presents them with an overview of history, beginning in eternity past where God worked out his plans for the world, moving to the present where God is saving those who believe in Christ, and then to the future where all evil will be overcome. He points out that in the present there will be great conflict because our battle is with the forces of evil (Ephesians 6:12), but because we are members of Christ’s body, we have the power to withstand. Paul then deals with practical matters relating to living the Christian life: marriage, behavior, parents and children, and servants.
Theme: The basic idea in Ephesians is that God’s eternal plan is being worked out through Christ and his body, the church. When a man believes, he is in Christ and finds salvation and safety. God had planned for this from all eternity and has given to the believer everything that he needs for his Christian life, but it is for him to avail himself of the resources at his command. Paul closes the book by describing the provision that God has made for the believer so that he may withstand the worst of Satan’s attacks and when the battle is over, to be victorious. (Above commentary is from Tyndale Publishers “The One Year Bible Companion” p. 26) More great commentary on Ephesians is at this link.
There are so many amazing verses in Ephesians chapter 1 today! I love verse 18: "I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the wonderful future he has promised to those he called. I want you to realize what a rich and glorious inheritance he has given to his people." How does this verse speak to you? Is your heart flooded with light today? Do you believe that your heart can indeed be flooded with light so that you can understand your wonderful future in Christ? I love this imagery of our hearts being flooded with light! Let Jesus' light flood us today!
Bible.org's commentary on today's readings in Ephesians titled "The Hope of Glory" is at this link.
Today in Ephesians chapter 2 verses 8 through 10 we read: “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. For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (NIV) Have you been saved by grace through faith? Do you believe that salvation is a gift that cannot be earned? Have you ever felt that you had to work for your salvation? What does Paul say about works related to salvation in these verses? Do you believe that you are God’s very workmanship created in Christ Jesus to do good works? Do you believe that God has prepared good works for you to do in advance? Are you participating in God’s plan for you life?
Bible.org's commentary on today's readings in Ephesians titled "The Guilt of Men and the Grace of God" is at this link. Below is a great image from Ephesians 2:10 from today's readings:
Worship Video: Today's readings in Acts reminds me of the song by Third Day titled "Call My Name:"
Have you called God's Name? Click here to make the call!
Please join us in memorizing and meditating on two verses of Scripture today: "In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will - to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves." Ephesians 1:5-6 TNIV
Prayer Point: Pray that you have been adopted into God's family through a saving faith in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. Pray that your predestined life in Christ brings pleasure, praise and glory to God.
Comments from You: What verses or insights stand out to you in today's readings? Please post up by clicking on the "Comments" link below!
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