Ephesians 1: 3-14,

Today I’m doing my post on Ephesians 1:3-14 which says,

“3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. 4 For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love 5 he[b] predestined us for adoption to sonship[c] through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— 6 to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. 7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace 8 that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding, 9 he[d] made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, 10 to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.

11 In him we were also chosen,[e] having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, 12 in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. 13 And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.”

Paul is starting off the next part of his letter by praising God, and he continues the letter by reminding the Ephesians of the Gospel. Paul has such a wonderful greeting: Praising God, and then reminding the people he is writing to about the main message of the Bible which is the Gospel. Before addressing any of their wrongs, he tells them that Jesus paid for them. Then Paul continues to elaborate on the Cross, reveling in what God has done. Because this is still the introductory part of Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, he has not moved on to gentle correction of their issues.

Let us do as Paul has done in his letter, and just revel in the Gospel. God has forgiven our sins by offering His very own son as a sacrifice for us. He loved us that much. Will you love others that much? Will you die to yourself to help others? My challenge for you this week is to die to yourself more. Sacrifice yourself for others, just as Christ has done for us!

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” (John 14:27)

Next week I will be posting on Ephesians 1:15-23. Until then, think of Christ, and how much He loves you. Let your love overflow into others.

Ephesians 1, Encouraging

Today I’m going to start Ephesians 1, and go through each section in a different post. The first section is Ephesians 1:1-2 which say:

“Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God,
To God’s holy people in Ephesus,[a] the faithful in Christ Jesus:
2 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.”

In verse one Paul is greeting the church at Ephesus by saying that he is an apostle of Christ. He us basically telling them that he is writing this letter in Jesus’ name and by His Gospel. We can see by the very start of his letter, that he is giving all the glory to God, while at the same time, he gives a  reminder of the Gospel by calling himself an apostle, which therefore points us back to Jesus’ death, Resurrection, and His appearance to many after He had risen.

He starts his letter by encouraging them to continue being faithful in Christ. One thing we can learn from Paul’s letter introductions is to encourage the person you are writing to. Imagine if you opened a letter from your boss that started out by saying: “Dear ____, you are doing a horrible job at your work. Do better or you’re fired.” How would you feel? Now imagine if your boss sent you a letter saying, “Dear ____, congratulations on your perseverance at your job. I’m proud of your dedication. However there are a few issues with your work…” now how would you feel? Encouraging is an important thing to keep in mind when you are writing to a struggling believer.

One of the main ways, as believers, that we can encourage one another is through the Gospel. I have a challenge for you this week: Pick someone you know who may be struggling with something, and send them a little note reminding them of what Jesus has done. Be the encouragement someone needs this week. Even if it’s a small prayer, or a verse that would lift their spirits. In the meantime, here is a little encouragement for you to dwell on this week:

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10)

God really does love you. He sent His very own son to die for you. He took all of your shame and your guilt. That’s how much He loves you.

Next week I will be posting on Ephesians 1:3-14. Until then, Encourage one another in Christ!

I’m Back

Hey guys, if any of you are still around, I want to apologize for not keeping up with my posting. I’ve been busy with moving, my new school, and some games and things. At any rate, I just want to let you guys know that I am still serious about sharing the Word of God in a Gospel manner. I will be  posting once a week, or more, mainly on Sundays and Saturdays. I will be starting the book of Ephesians and working through each chapter.

Thanks for your patience!

– Joy Cleveland

Guilty made Innocent

Hello, today my sister and I are doing our post together on Proverbs 24:23 which says:

“Whoever says to the guilty, “You are innocent,”
will be cursed by peoples and denounced by nations.”

This is more from Solomon’s wise sayings; and it seems inevitable that whoever judges wrongly would be denounced and shunned. This is because a judge decides the fate of someone; possibly even for life, and it is definitely not a laughing matter. But God’s own son, who loves us very much, came down and said that we were innocent. He made us innocent by taking on our sin. He was cursed by God, and the people hated Him, and killed Him.

Jesus Himself was wrongly judged; however this was something that God intended to happen. Jesus, who was innocent and who never sinned,took our sins upon Himself and was killed upon a cross as though He was the worst of sinners. And the reason that He did this, was to save us; He died for us so that we could live.

Now we can say to the guilty, you can be innocent. You can be innocent because of Jesus. Jesus has taken all the sin of the world, so that we may be innocent. He made us Children of God, and freed us from our sin. Praise the Lord!

Grace and truth, Charity Cleveland and,
Peace and love, Joy Cleveland

 

Rich and Poor, Sermon

Hello, today the Pastor preached on Lazarus and the rich man; and this is our summary of what he said.

Basically the pastor said that we shouldn’t wait until it is too late to believe in Jesus. He said that, for the rich man, it was too late to change his mind and go to heaven.

He also talked about what the rich man said in hell. He asked Abraham to send Lazarus back to Earth to warn his brothers. Abraham said that Moses and the prophets were enough of a reason for his brothers to go to heaven. The pastor said that the rich man was saying that it was God’s fault that he went to hell. The rich man was saying, in essence, that God did not give enough of a reason for the rich man to repent; and so he thought that his brothers should at least be given enough information.

But; that is not true at all! Just look at Jesus; Jesus is our “information”! God sent His very own son to die for us; that is enough of a reason to believe that God loves us and that we do need and have a savior!

Jesus is our savior; He is the way out of Hell. And the Pastor showed us the Gospel very clearly; which I am very thankful for.

Grace and truth, Charity Cleveland and,
Peace and love, Joy Cleveland

Hope

Hello, today my sister and I are doing our post together on Proverbs 24:20 which says:

“24 for the evildoer has no future hope,
and the lamp of the wicked will be snuffed out.”

Solomon is saying that for those who sin, there is no hope. He is saying that if anyone is evil or wicked, there “lamp” will be snuffed out. In other words, Solomon is saying that God puts His wrath on anyone who disobeys Him and does wickedly.

Unfortunately, we all sin. So according to Solomon, we should all have God’s wrath upon us. We should all perish in hell. So what saved us from that wrath? Jesus did. Jesus took upon Him all the sins of the whole world, and then He took God’s wrath upon Him.

Even though it seemed as though all was lost; because everyone sins no matter how hard we try not to, and we deserved the wrath of God. But there is hope; there is someone who loved us so much that He took all of that punishment and wrath upon Himself. That someone is Jesus; God’s very own son.

Even though we could not obey God’s law, He still loved and loves us! He did not make the law just so that He could destroy us; He made it because He is a just God and He cannot stand anything that is not right. It might seem to human brains that God was “stuck” but of course God cannot be stuck; instead He planned this to happen all along so that He might show His love for us.

And it is the greatest example of love that ever could be seen; God sent His holy, perfect son to die in our place. Because God loves us so much we are saved, and now we are His sons and daughters; all because of Jesus sacrifice for us!

Peace and love, Joy Cleveland and,
Grace and truth, Charity Cleveland