We finished Paul's letter to the Ephesians. Pretty great stuff in there. Next in Ephesians is the Armor of God (link). I've already written about it in another area so I'm just linking (sorry!). Honestly, I don't have a real plan with this... Just reading the Bible and I get into it. I'll try and be more organized in the future.
We've read about Paul in the book of Acts. His testimony on coming to know Christ is amazing! We read the letter he sent to the Ephesians. There's one more piece to the puzzle. The apostle John was tasked by Jesus, to write down His Words to the seven Churches in the book of Revelation, including Ephesus. I thought it would be good to read it so we can get the whole picture.
Seven, "7" is known to be God's number. He created the world in 7 days. We should rest on the 7th day.
1 “ To the angel of the church of Ephesus write, ‘ These things says He who holds the seven stars in His right hand, who walks in the midst of the seven golden lampstands:
2 “I know your works, your labor, your patience, and that you cannot bear those who are evil. And you have tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars; 3 and you have persevered and have patience, and have labored for My name's sake and have not become weary. 4 Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love. 5 Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place—unless you repent. 6 But this you have, that you hate the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.
(The Nicolaitans were people who encouraged new believers to eat meat offered as sacrifices and also were promiscuous.)
7 “ He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God.” ’
(Revelation 2:1-7 NKJV)
This is cool. In the Garden of Eden, God put both the tree of life (everlasting life) and knowledge (good and evil, intelligence and reason). satan took the form of a snake and talked Eve into eating of the tree of knowledge. After God got angry with them He removed the tree of life. Verse 7 says that it is in Paradise with God. We will not die again.
22 Then the Lord God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of Us, to know good and evil. And now, lest he put out his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever”— 23 therefore the Lord God sent him out of the garden of Eden to till the ground from which he was taken.
(Genesis 3:22-23 NKJV)
We sometimes think of God as being alone in a giant throne room. But He isn't. Jesus is there, and the angels. Talk about an awesome choir! That would explain His words, "the man has become like one of Us..."
I'm not sure when but I will read through Revelation eventually. It's very challenging to understand.
Here's my prayer- lots of stuff going on in the nations.
Dear Heavenly Father I lift up Israel to You. It is a miracle that they have endured so much, a testimony to Your amazing grace and power. I lift up Turkey to You. There are many Christians in this region that are being taunted by terrorists. I pray You will bring peace and hope, comfort those who are living in fear. I pray the Holy cities will be preserved. I also lift up Ukraine to You. The battles seem to surge in and out. Please comfort these people and bless the children. It must be so awful for them. I also lift up Japan. They have recently experienced another earthquake. We know the weather changes to manage the needs of the earth. I pray for Your mercy, hope and strength on all these people. In all these things I pray the right will win, and the wrong will fail.
Thank You Father for the gift of prayer and that we can help in even a small way.
Our Father in heaven,
Reveal who you are.
10 Set the world right;
Do what's best––
as above, so below.
11 Keep us alive with three square meals.
12 Keep us forgiven with you and forgiving others.
13 Keep us safe from ourselves and the Devil.
You're in charge!
You can do anything you want!
You're ablaze in beauty!
Yes. Yes. Yes .
(Matthew 6:9-13 Message)
In Jesus Name, Amen.
Here's a song from Rush of Fools, Held in Your hands (link)