December 4 Ephesians 1,2,3,4

These are a few of our SOAP notes from today’s reading. We encourage you to read and journal on your own first, then join us in conversation about what God revealed to YOU today. Click HERE to go directly to the daily reading if you wish.

Printable reading plan: Life Journal Reading Plan

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How God Can Use A Broken Past | Joni Tyner

S~ God has now revealed to us His mysterious plan regarding Christ, a plan to fulfill his own good pleasure.

And this is the plan: At the right time he will bring everything together under the authority of Christ-everything in heaven and on earth.

(Eph:1:11)… for He chose us in advance, and He makes everything work out according to His plan.  Ephesians 1:9-11 (NLT)

O~ Paul is reminding the Ephesian church that they were chosen by God and God has a plan for their life. The purpose of the plan to for God to receive glory and praise.

A~ I had a 3 hour coffee date with a friend yesterday. She is a mature believer in Christ and I really didn’t know much about her family background and life before she was a believer.  On the glance, she is a sweet lover of Jesus and others and lives in a nice house with a nice “Mary Poppins” family. (wink, her words!)  As our conversation progressed, she started sharing that for many years she struggled with forgiving her parents.  She shared there were decades of emotional abuse and misplaced blame on her for her parents marital struggles.  They frequently would get mad at her and even ceased all communication to her for 3 years.  There as obviously lots of pain in this relationship.  She told me that over the past 4 years she has been able to forgive in a more complete way and now has a good relationship with her parents.  She explained that it wasn’t because they ever said “sorry” or had remorse for the misplaced blame, but it was because she realized their salvation and her letting go was more important than her being right.  It continues to be more important to her to build on what they do have instead of grief and resent all what isn’t.  I’m not even really touching on the words of how she forgave them, but it was really impactful to me.

So, this verse made me think of her life.  God chose her in advance, He allowed painful circumstances in her life as a child and teenager that didn’t make sense. He pursued her and grew her spiritually over the next 30 years into the woman she is today.  She has taken a story of ashes and brokenness and used it to be extremely compassionate for others.  She sees hope and beauty in society’s throwaways.  She was telling me about a new ministry she is becoming involved in with women in jail/prisons.  She sees how God can use someone’s weakness for His glory.  She brings hope with solid scripture knowledge to others to give God glory and praise.

P~ Dear Lord, thank you for this Divine Appointment that I had yesterday.  I thought I was all up on scripture and forgiveness and doing things right, and You so gently pointed out to me that I need to embrace a new level of forgiveness for some of my family members.  I need to do more than just say the words, I need to move forward with a new mindset of what You want these relationships to be.  The past is the past and Your blood washes all their sin as well as mine.  We are part of Your Great Plan, thank you for revealing this truth to me.  I know as Christmas approaches, I am going to take on a new perspective of family and embrace the future and stop regretting all that I don’t have or what is not perfect.  I need to love people for where they are today and see them through Your eyes.

Gifts | Luisa Penaherrera

S~  Furthermore because of Christ, we have received an inheritance from God, for he chose us from the beginning, and all things happen just as he decided long ago.  And now you have also heard the truth, the Good News that God saves you. And when you believed in Christ, he identified you as his own by giving you the Holy Spirit, whom he promised long ago.  The Spirit is God’s guarantee that he will give us everything he promised and that he has purchased us to be his own people. This is just one more reason to praise our glorious God.
Ephesians 1:11, 13-14 (NLT)

O~  God has done so much for me through Christ: 1. He saved me 2. I have an inheritance 3. He chose me 4. He gives me the Holy Spirit 5. I have promises waiting to be fulfilled

A~ I have so much to be thankful for because of Jesus.

P~ Dear Father, thank you.  I love you.

Thomas | Kelley Deases

S~  I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers.  Ephesians 1:16 (NIV)

O~  In a conversation I recently had with Nikki (on our blog team) she was sharing her heart about wanting to live a healthier lifestyle.  To that end, she plans to read through the Bible from the perspective of good health and respecting our bodies as temples, inviting God to speak to her on these issues and then be transparent in her journey as she posts her journal notes.  For me, over the past few weeks, a theme seems to have emerged as I sit with Jesus and read His Word — an overwhelming sense of gratitude for the people He has given me in my life. (I marvel at how personal the Holy Spirit is to tailor His messages to each, individual heart!)  I have written what amounts to a tribute of sorts to my husband, to my parents, and to one of my dear friends.  A while back, I reflected on the godly influence both of my grandmothers left on me. Today, as I read Paul words to the Ephesian church, my heart is brimming with the same affection and thankfulness he expressed in his letter. And at the top of that list of people who have blessed my life is my firstborn son, Thomas.

A~  Now, I get that all children are a gift from the Lord. True statement. But beyond that I feel like Thomas was uniquely given by God to be my son and has blessed my life in a unique way.  See, he was very young when his dad left me and our home to pursue another relationship.  During that season when I was a single mom, it was almost as if we took care of each other.  He helped me have a reason to get up in the mornings.  Also, out of concern for the environment he would be exposed to at his father’s house and the instability he might feel from not only his parents’ divorce but a series of relationships his dad would introduce over the years, I was very intentional in trying to teach him and instill in him a solid faith in Jesus Christ.  I am now seeing the fruits of those efforts (and many a tearful prayer).  I could not be happier to know he is walking with the Lord and has a heart to share his faith with others. A friend mentioned the other day how, as is natural for any mom, she worries about her high school and college-age kids and the choices they will make. I may share her sentiment to a small degree, but for the most part I have peace in the knowledge that my son’s faith is secure (and his God is faithful).  That is all I could ask for either of my boys.  God has indeed poured out His favor to give me Thomas for a son.

P~ Father, Thank You for the nearly two decades I have gotten to share with this extraordinary young man.  Thank You for orchestrating even the painful stuff to draw him into a true and meaningful relationship with You.

God’s masterpiece | Nikki Metzger

S~ For we are God’s masterpiece.  He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things He planned for us long ago. Ephesians 2:10 (NLT)

O/A~ I’m just rushing.  Trying to get things done.  Trying to be present with my family, trying to love my husband when it’s not a fairy tale for us, trying to make a memorable Christmas for my people.  Ahhhh!  I’m just feeling overwhelmed and unqualified.
I am God’s masterpiece.
I am God’s masterpiece.
I am God’s masterpiece!

A masterpiece is the best piece of work or craftsmanship.  I am God’s masterpiece.  He created me anew in Jesus.  He did this before the world began, setting my life and plans in motion at the beginning of time.  All the other stuff of parenting, being a wife, making memories during this time….important stuff, but my heart needs to know how precious I am to the Lord.

P~ Thank You Lord for making me Your masterpiece!

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Posted on December 4, 2015, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. True forgiveness, forgiveness that heals, requires great personal sacrifice. Thanks, Joni. 🙂

  2. Good stuff today ladies! Every single one of you made me cry. 🙂

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