Can’t Quarantine the Gospel: “You are Blessed”

This is a special edition of our “Can’t Quarantine the Gospel” series. This particular Devotional is based on an amazing Midweek message done by Florence Schachinger. This is Day 11 of the series. Any of the Devotionals can be read as a stand alone quiet time. You can see more devotionals here

You can check out the next Midweek on April 5th on Facebook live

Ephesians Midweek Series: Ephesians 1 by Florence Schachinger
“You are Blessed”

Ephesians 1:1-2 Amplified Bible (AMP)

Paul, an apostle (special messenger, personally chosen representative) of Christ Jesus (the Messiah, the Anointed), by the will of God [that is, by His purpose and choice],

To the saints (God’s people) who are at Ephesus and are faithful and loyal and steadfast in Christ Jesus: Grace to you and peace [inner calm and spiritual well-being] from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

The disciples in Ephesus were Faithful “Pistos” (πιστός) which means to be trustworthy in their relationship with God and what they have been given in the Gospel.

Paul wanted them to have “Shalom” or peace that brought about “inner calm and spiritual well being” and isn’t that exactly what we all need right now?

Read Ephesians 1:3-14

Blessed and worthy of praise be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms in Christ, (Amp)

Paul is trying to give them perspective and helped them reflect on how much they have been given. Paul is trying to help them see that the unity that they had was built by God. First the Jews received the blessings then the Gentiles both collectively, but also for the individual.

v14 – Paul begins to use the singular “you” to say that you personally have received these blessings in Christ.

Paul was trying to help them appreciate the fact they they had been included in the spiritual blessings of Christ.

Reflect on when you recall being “included” as one of God’s chosen people. What was that like?

List of spiritual blessings (Ephesians 1:3-14): 

  • We were Chosen (v4)
    • Chosen to be Holy – Hagios (Greek) – Identifiable
    • Blameless Amomos (Greek) – Offering our best We have been chosen to be 1. identifiable & 2. to offer our best.
  • Adopted (v5) – We have been adopted into Jesus’s family
    • Roman Adoption process:The ritual of adoption must have been very impressive, it was carried out by a symbolic sale in which copper and scales were used. Twice the real Father sold his son and twice he symbolically bought him back. Finally he sold him a third time and at the third sale, he did not buy him back. After this the adopting Father had to go to the Roman magistrates and had to plead the case of thew adoption only after all this had been gone through was the adoption complete. When the adoption was complete it was complete indeed. The person who had been adopted had all the rights of a legitimate son in his new family and lost all the rights in his old family. In the eyes of the law he was a new person, so new, that all debts and obligation connected with his previous family were abolished as if they had never existed.” This is what Paul says that God has done for us. We were absolutely in the power of sin in the world and God through Jesus took us out of that power into his and that adoption whipes out the past and makes us new!

Meditate on the following passage:

Psalm 40

I waited patiently for the Lord;
    he turned to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
    out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock
    and gave me a firm place to stand.
He put a new song in my mouth,
    a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear the Lord
    and put their trust in him.

Blessed is the one
    who trusts in the Lord,
who does not look to the proud,
    to those who turn aside to false gods.[b]
Many, Lord my God,
    are the wonders you have done,
    the things you planned for us.
None can compare with you;
    were I to speak and tell of your deeds,
    they would be too many to declare.

More blessings:

  • Grace (Ephesians 1:7) – He lavished us with grace!
    • In Him we have redemption [that is, our deliverance and salvation] through His blood, [which paid the penalty for our sin and resulted in] the forgiveness and complete pardon of our sin, in accordance with the riches of His grace” (amplified)
      • We have received a complete pardon! God never holds back his love!

Q: How grateful are we for this Grace? Do we reflect on it enough?
Q: In what ways can you hold back your heart and love from God?
Q: In what ways do you hold back your heart from the people in your life?

  • Inheritance (Ephesians 1:14) –
    • 14 The Spirit is the guarantee [the first installment, the pledge, a foretaste] of our inheritance until the redemption of God’s own [purchased] possession [His believers], to the praise of His glory.
    • God is faithful to us. He is trustworthy and His Spirit is in us to remind us of the promise that we will be with him in eternity.

Read: Ephesians 1:15-23

Paul is fired up about this church. They were loving each other, loving the church, loving their neighbors. However, Paul wanted them to take it deeper. He wants them to have more intimacy, to have the eyes of the heart opened up. Something we all could use right now.

Right now we have an opportunity to take our walk with God deeper. We can take advantage of this time.

Ephesians 1:18-20 (Amplified Bible)

18 And [I pray] that the eyes of your heart [the very center and core of your being] may be enlightened [flooded with light by the Holy Spirit], so that you will know and cherish the hope [the divine guarantee, the confident expectation] to which He has called you, the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints (God’s people), 19 and [so that you will begin to know] what the immeasurable and unlimited and surpassing greatness of His [active, spiritual] power is in us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of His mighty strength 20 which He produced in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His own right hand in the heavenly places,

We have a power. The same power that rose Jesus from the dead is in you and I! The Holy Spirit can help us go deeper with God even through the toughest of times.

Read and meditate on Romans 8: 28-39 

Listen again here:

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