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Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Colossians 3:15

 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.

For further study - Colossians 3:15-25

As we approach our extended reading for today reflect with me on our devotional in Colossians the last time we were in the book, which was the first fifteen verses of Colossians 3 .

Verses 2, 3 and 4 exhort us to set our focus and affections on the heavens where Jesus awaits the command from His Father to call the body of Christ, the Church, up to be with Him. Verse 4 says we will appear at that time with Him in the heavenlies. What a glorious hope that is for each of us as believers.

Now to our reading for today, in verse 16 we see Paul exhorts us to "let the Word of Christ dwell in us richly". That means to first read God's Word and then meditate upon what we have read. Finally we internalize the Word of God, as we apply every bit of it to our daily lifestyle.

In verses 15-22 Paul tells us what will happen when the Word does dwell in us richly. Our music will be God-honoring music. Music, by the way, is not for evangelism. In the 500 references to music in the Bible they all deal with worshiping the Lord and not for evangelizing lost people. Therefore, we don't need to mimic the world's music.

If the Word fills us, we will use psalms, hymns and spiritual songs to teach each other and admonish each other in our worship of the Lord. What we do, we do in the name of the Lord, verse 17.

Wives will submit to husbands, verse 18. Husbands will love their wives and be not bitter to them, verse 19. Children will obey parents because it pleases the Lord, verse 20. Fathers will raise their children but won't provoke them to anger, verse 21. Servants will obey masters, verse 22. Again Paul tells us that whatever we do, do it "heartily as unto the Lord and not to men," verse 23.

What we have just thought through is the lifestyle of the person that has the Word of God dwelling in them richly. Verse 24 refers us to the time of reward when the Lord will give us a special reward at the "Judgment Seat of Christ". That "reward" He will give us is for living the Word-rich life on earth, before the Judgment Seat and before we appear in His presence.

He tells us of our reward and at the same time tells us how to live so that we will indeed receive that reward. The provision He gives is His Word, which we must allow to dwell in us, richly. Thank you Lord for your Word.

PRAYER THOUGHT: Thank you Lord for your Word, help me to let it dwell in me richly.
Monday, August 30, 2021

Colossians 3:1

 If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.

For further study - Colossians 3:1-15

In our devotional passage for today, we are told to "put off" some items and "put on" others. This exhortation is because we have "risen with Christ", Colossians 3:1. Paul tells the Colossians that when they, and thus when we put off the "old man" we also put off his "deeds" - deeds like anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communications in addition to fornication, inordinate affection, and idolatry.

These are the deeds of the "old man", which we once were, but in Christ, we are told we are the "new man" and therefore have items to "put on". We are to put on holiness, mercy, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, long suffering, forbearing one another, forgiving one another, and above all, put on love.

I know you have already read in your devotional reading for today all that I have just mentioned. However, it is good to rehearse what we "put off" and "put on" as the followers of Christ. The passage also reveals to us that the "peace of God" is to rule in our hearts and we are to be thankful.

You know, thankfulness is foreign to most of us. Have you noticed how people seem to forget to say "thank you" when you serve them? It is as if we are supposed to serve and those that we serve take it for granted.

Paul exhorts us to serve others anyway. Each day we spend time in God's word we see the instructions there for us to live by in the life He has for us to live today.

I think it is great to know exactly how the Lord wants us to live. Just this reminder, we do not live this way to get saved but because we are saved. The truth is that we could not live this way unless we were saved and empowered by Him to do so.

Before I conclude the devotional for today, a "prophetic prospective" on the passage is needed. Notice the first four verses of our extended reading. The "if" in verse 1 is a conditional "if" and thus could read "since we have been risen with Christ" at salvation then we should seek those things above, in the heavenlies.

In fact, verse 2 says to set our affection, or our focus, our ambitions on these things above. We do this so that when Christ shall appear in His glory we also shall appear with Him in glory.

A close study of current events in light of Bible prophecy will help us to focus on His return and how close it might be. We need to daily study the prophetic word of God to better understand the times in which we are living. This will help us to better seek those things above and set our affections on the future with Him in the heavens.

PRAYER THOUGHT: Dear Lord, help me to look with great anticipation for Your soon return and our future existence, with You, throughout eternity, in heaven.
Sunday, August 29, 2021

Colossians 1:17

 And He is before all things, and by Him all things consist.

For further study - Colossians 1:15-29

As we come to our devotional time today we will look at the letter that Paul wrote the people in Colosse, the new church that he had established there, a letter that elaborates our sufficiency in Christ Jesus.

The entire letter is another of the letters that Paul penned during his ministry that would be such a help to the early Christians, as well as to all of us today.

I've been to Colosse, in what is today modern-day Turkey. What remains of the community there is nestled in the mountains high above the area of the church that was located in Laodicea, the area known in Biblical times as Asia Minor.

The area of Colosse today is like the Alps in Europe, breathtaking by it's beauty. Paul reveals to those Christians at Colosse that the beautiful area where they lived had been created by Jesus Christ, verse 16. Jesus created everything and it was created for Him.

We'll take a look at verse 17 in a moment, but first notice what the Lord has done for us by Jesus, through His blood, verse 20. We have been "reconciled" by what Jesus did for us on His cross, verse 21. We who were not in harmony with Jesus, because of our sin, had been alienated from the Lord but by His shedding of blood on the cross we have been "reconciled", brought back into "perfect harmony" with Christ Jesus.

Paul reveals the "mystery" which hath been hid from ages and generations, verse 23, the "church". The "church" is made up of both Gentiles and Jews who have been "born again". That would be all who have trusted in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus, that which is the "power of God unto salvation".

Paul told those at the Church in Colosse that because we're born again we have Christ, who "is our hope of glory", verse 27.

Now let me take you back to verse 17. Remember, verse 16 says Jesus Christ created all things in heaven and in earth, visible and invisible, even the angelic creatures, everything was created by Him and for Him.

Verse 17 reveals that all things that Jesus created are being "held together" by Jesus as well, "by Him all things consist", verse 17. That means He holds together every aspect of me as the product of a created being.

The rocks, the mountains, the animals, humankind, by Him all of these things were created. But what holds all of creation together so that today they do not "blow apart"? Jesus is the one who holds all things together. The truth is, one day everything will "blow apart". That's when everything on this earth will "burn up" as foretold in Bible prophecy, II Peter 3:10.

All that Jesus will have to do is release the power that holds everything together and it all burns up, just as Bible prophecy tells us. Then we'll have new heavens and a new earth, the former heavens and earth will burn up. This seems to indicate that Bible prophecy will be fulfilled, seemingly in the near future.

PRAYER THOUGHT: Thank you Lord for reconciling me back to You and for holding all of Your creation together until the time of the end.
Saturday, August 28, 2021

Colossians 1:16

 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: All things were created by him, and for him.

For further study - Colossians 1:9-19

As I read the extended portion of our devotional today I can hardly contain myself. His glorious power, Colossians 1:11, has given us all longsuffering and patience, with joyfulness. Verse 12 says we are "partakers of the inheritance of the saints".

We've been delivered from the power of darkness. We have been redeemed through His shed blood, which means we have the forgiveness of our sins. Then He reveals to us how He can grant all these things to us, He is the Creator of all things, verse 16.

Our key verse for today tells us that by Him, by Jesus Christ, "all things" were created. That's "all things" in the heavens and on the earth. All things in creation that are visible to us, and those things we cannot see, the invisible things of this world, He created.

Look at the last words of verse 16, "all things were created by Him, and for Him". I have a note beside this verse in my Bible, "a created one cannot be the Creator". I don't remember where I got that thought from, but it is true.

It seems like the world today is made up of a bunch of "creators", not the "created ones". For sure the "created" are not living in light of the fact that the verse says, "all things were created for Him".

The basis for all prophetic truth in the Bible is the reality that the Creator, Jesus Christ, knows the beginning from the end. He is the only One who can tell us what will happen in the future.

Notice verse 17, "and by Him all things consist". He not only brought everything into existence, but He keeps everything together today. He is in charge and has a plan for the world and for each of us in this world.

The last verse in our reading, verse 18 tells it all. The final events in history happen so that He might have the pre-eminence over, and with His creation.

We started these thoughts with what we have in Him and conclude with each of us as the creation giving Him the pre-eminence. We can do that because of what we have in Him.

It is great that the Creator loves us enough to tell us in the prophetic passages of scripture what will happen as we prepare for His return to be the pre-eminent One.

Remember, the creation brought forth by the Creator is the basis for all of prophetic truth. He has a plan for His creation and He lets us know what it is in His Word. What a wonderful Creator.

PRAYER THOUGHT: Help me to remember, that You, Jesus, created man, ultimately me, for Your own purpose and Your glory.
Friday, August 27, 2021

Philippians 4:5

 Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.

For further study - Philippians 4:1-23

What a practical book Paul's letter to the Church at Philippi is for the Christian today. What a powerful passage Philippians 4 is for each of us in these days before the coming of the Lord. And what an encouraging word is contained in our key verse for today's devotional reading.

In fact, in five words Paul reminds us of what we must constantly keep before us on a daily basis, "the Lord is at hand", verse 5. Contained within these five words is what drives us to appropriate all of the great Biblical principles that are in Philippians 4 and in fact, all of the practical passages of Philippians.

"The Lord is at hand" is telling us that His shout for us to join Him in the air, the Rapture, is an "any moment" event that is "imminent", an event that could happen before you finish reading this devotional thought for today.

That makes me want to offer up the Apostle John's prayer of 2,000 years ago, Revelation 22:20, "Even so come Lord Jesus." But should He tarry, because "He is not willing that any should perish but all should come to repentance", II Peter 3:9, we can look to all of God's provisions for us in Philippians and in particular chapter four.

Philippians 4 is a very practical pattern for our own personal relationship with Jesus and a productive relationship with our fellow Christians. As I often say, I can't get to every "precious nugget" in this passage, but only some of the highlights.

Verse 4 reflects the theme of the entire book of Philippians, "a joyful mind". I didn't say a "happy mind" but a "joyful mind". There is a difference. Happiness is based on happenings. Joy is based on our relationship with Jesus Christ.

"Rejoicing in the Lord always"verse 4, means to have that "Godly joy" that Jesus gives, all the time. In verses 6-9 we see how that can happen. We don't need to worry but "pray," verse 6. Sometimes we get that backwards, we don't need to "pray", but worry. Verse 8 tells us to "think", we need to "think" right, we must think on things and about things that contain "virtue" within them.

Verse 9 is the action verse, Paul says, "You've read about my ministry and my example, now go out and "do" what you have seen, heard and learned from me. To be able to rejoice, we must “pray, think and do”. By the way, remember, we can "do" all things through Christ who strengthens us, verse 13.

There is one more nugget before I close, verse 19, "My God shall supply all our needs according to His riches in glory, by Christ Jesus." That promise includes not only financial, but physical and spiritual needs as well.

What practical provision Paul gives us in Philippians for our personal journey through life as we await His "any moment" shout for us to join Him in the heavenlies.

PRAYER THOUGHT: Help me to keep the reality of Your "any moment" return in mind as I appropriate Your provision for these days, awaiting Your shout to call me to be with You forever.
Thursday, August 26, 2021

Philippians 3:20

 For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:

For further study - Philippians 3:10-21

Our key verse and the extended reading for today are the same verses we used last time we were in Philippians. However, this time I have a different focus.

The first verse of our extended reading, verse 10, is a great verse to use as the model for being able to press toward the mark of the high calling of God.

Knowing Jesus, the power of His resurrection, the fellowship of His suffering, and being willing to give our lives for Him is the "mode of operation" for the Christ-like life.

Verse 13
 reveals how Paul was not hung up on himself and his knowledge and position in life. Paul realized he had not "arrived", he was forgetting the things of the past and reaching into the future.

Paul's energy was focused on "pressing toward" the mark and it was the mark set by the Lord's calling of this servant to be used in His service.

Our key verse contains the secret of how Paul was able to better know the Lord, forgetting the things of the past and pressing toward the mark. Paul's "citizenship" was not here on earth, it is in heaven.

Verse 20 says, "our conversation is in heaven". An alternative interpretation of the Greek word for "conversation" is "citizenship". Notice a second step here, Paul was constantly looking for the Lord Jesus Christ to come from heaven to get us and take us to be with Him forevermore, into eternity future.

Verse 21
 shows us that when Jesus Christ comes He will change this old "worn-out body" of ours, and fashion it like His "glorious body". What a relief that will be, our old bodies for eternity fashioned in the likeness of the Lord's glorious body.

By the way, this process will be almost instantaneous, as described in I Corinthians 15:52. It will be done, "in a moment in the twinkling of an eye". The "twinkling of an eye" is much faster than a "blink of the eye", and that's fast.

These are blessed verses and I wanted to use them again to glean another, different blessing from them. I pray you got that same blessing.

PRAYER THOUGHT: Thank you Lord, for the promise of our new citizenship and the fact that You will make our old bodies like Your glorious body, even so come Lord Jesus, quickly.
Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Philippians 3:20

 For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:

For further study - Philippians 3:10-21

The book of Philippians is one of the richest New Testament books you can read. I have a Bible study series that I teach which I have entitled, "Personal Power for Practical People from Philippians". As you may notice, I love alliteration. However, my series title does describe this great little book. I recommend it to you for your own personal Bible study.

To prove my point, just read our extended reading for today and you will see that Paul is looking for the Rapture to happen. This is found in verses 11, 20, and 21Verse 11 is the statement of his desire to be called out of the grave if he should die before the Rapture, to then be caught up into the heavens.

The preceding verse reveals how Paul wants to live until the Rapture does happen. Paul's focus is to "know Him" which means to really come to a deep knowledge of Jesus Christ.

Paul also repeats a principle that is available to each of us which he wrote about in his letter to the Ephesians, Ephesians 1:19-20. He wrote the Ephesians that we can know the "power of the Resurrection", this is the power to live today, which we can receive from the Lord, by faith.

Paul knows that there has been much suffering in his life and ministry by the time he writes Philippians and he acknowledges that he wants to be able to understand the "fellowship with Christ" in that suffering.

The bottom line in verse 10 is that he, and we, must be ready to conform to the will of the Lord even as Jesus conformed to His Father's will and died for us on the cross.

Now that is only the first verse of our extended reading. I told you this book was rich. Look at verses 13-14. Paul states that he is focused on the future and what it might hold for us. He says, "I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus." In this verse, he refers to the "prize" that he hopes to get at the Judgment Seat of Christ.

Therefore, in verse 13, he has "one thing" he does. He forgets the past failures and looks to the future and how he can live so that he does get that "prize" at the judgment seat.

Again, I must remind you this is all in the context of Paul's awareness of what he considers, at the time of the writing of Philippians, to be the nearness of the Rapture. Paul reminds us all that our "conversation", our citizenship is not here on earth but is in heaven from where we look for Jesus to call us to be with Him.

It is when the Rapture happens and we go to be with Jesus that these old bodies of ours are changed to be like "His glorious body". What a day that will be, and it could be today that the Rapture happens. Keep looking up!

PRAYER THOUGHT: Thank you, Lord, for such a rich passage of Scripture that You have given us through your dear servant Paul. Help me to appropriate all the truths of this passage for my own daily living.
Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Philippians 2:16

 Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.

For further study - Philippians 2:1-16

For a number of years, I was in a ministry that used our key verse as its theme verse, "holding forth the word of life", Philippians 2:16. I will get back to that great Biblical directive in a moment.

Our extended reading for today is packed with "practical principles" for Christians in a world like ours for today. Remember, Paul is in jail in the household of the Roman Emperor Caesar, Philippians 4:22, and the apostle writes to those he led to the Lord in Philippi how to live this new life.

Let's look at the list of directives Paul passed along to the Philippian Christians and to us for today. Philippians 2:3 reveals to us how to do the work not for our own glory, vainglory, but in lowliness of mind as we look to lift up others.

In fact, Philippians 2:4 tells us not to look out for ourselves but to look to help others. The truth of the matter is that this type of lifestyle can be accomplished only by having a Christ-like mind for thinking right, Philippians 2:5.

Often we have opportunity to learn how to be a leader and fail to look at the one true leader, Jesus Christ, who thought himself of no reputation, and became a servant. Serving others is the true path to leadership. This insight is in Philippians 2:7 which also talks about the "God-man" who came to leadership that way. Obedience, even in the hard task, is the best way to accomplish the ultimate plan.

Philippians 2:8, a passage that shows us that Jesus followed that pattern, is an exhortation for each of us. Philippians 2:14 is one of the hardest verses to appropriate for our daily lives, or at least it is for me.

Paul tells us to do all things, which means "all" things without murmuring and disputing. To follow this profound principle will make us blameless, harmless, and a shining light in our very dark world, Philippians 2:15.

Now we come back to our key verse, Philippians 2:16, which tells us how we must be at the return of our Lord, the day of Christ. We can rejoice in that day and know that we did not run the race of life in vain.

We are prepared for His return as we "hold forth the word of life". It is His word on how to get saved, live our daily lives, and anticipate His return.

Philippians is a great book with personal power for practical people.

PRAYER THOUGHT: Help me to learn practical principles from Your word, dear Lord, and then let Your word produce Your life within me.
Monday, August 23, 2021


 For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better.

For further study - Philippians 1:8-23

I have a study that I teach on the book of Philippians, "Personal Power for Practical People from Philippians," a study that helped me to develop Biblical principles in my own personal life. As you read through this book it becomes very apparent that the author of the book, Paul, had a great love for these people living in Philippi.

Notice verse 8 of our extended reading how Paul longed for these people. Paul wanted them to be sincere and without offense until the day that Jesus Christ comes back to earth, verse 9.

When Paul wrote this book, he was a prisoner in jail in Rome, actually in Caesar's house, Philippians 4:22Verses 15-17 reveals to us that Christ was being preached in "contention and conflict". Christ was also being preached out of "envy and strife". Paul's attitude was, praise the Lord, Christ is, in fact, being preached, verse 18.

Am I not correct, this message written by Paul is for "practical people", with the promise of power to face all of our problems. However, at the same time, Paul was facing a conflict. The conflict that Paul faced was His desire to go and be with the Lord, which would be to his gain, verse 21. At the same time, Paul knew that if he stayed on earth he would continue to minister to the people.

Paul's words are evidence of his love for the people. He was willing to give up going to be with Christ in order to minister to the people in Philippi.

Remember, in this passage, Paul's housing was provided for by the Roman government. Paul was a prisoner in Caesar's household, most likely chained to a Roman guard on a daily basis. But just think, that would have given Paul a "captive" audience to hear the gospel every day, therefore, for Paul to live was Christ, verse 20.

Paul wrote the people of Philippi about ten years after he wrote the Thessalonians about the "Rapture of the Church", I Thessalonians 4:13-18. Paul was not only conscious that in preaching he could face death soon, but he was expecting the Rapture to happen at any time.

You can notice the "we" statements when referring to the time of the Rapture, I Thessalonians 4:14, 15, and 17Paul thought the Rapture would happen in His day. These truths had to be in his mind, as well, when he wrote the people at Philippi.

Stop and think for a moment. If Paul believed the Rapture would happen in his day, how much more should we look for the Rapture in our day, 2000 years after Paul.

PRAYER THOUGHT: Help me to be as Paul and live as if the Rapture will happen in my day.
Sunday, August 22, 2021

Ephesians 6:11

 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

For further study - Ephesians 6:10-18

Our devotional reading for today is an exhortation for us on how to dress in these the last days.

Our key verse sets the pattern for what a "well-dressed" believer in Christ wears as he or she prepares to face the "wiles of the devil" in these last days before Jesus returns to the heavenlies above us and shouts for us to join Him in the air, to ever be in His presence.

Paul reveals to us, actually warns us, of the real battle we will have to fight as the end times draw closer and closer. The battle will not be against "flesh and blood", verse 12, but against "satanically" directed creatures.

Verse 12 gives us the list of enemies in the last days, "principalities, against powers, against rulers of darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in the heavenlies".

Every creature mentioned on the list is energized by Satan and involved in an unseen battle going on in our world to take control of world leaders, religious leaders, and even those of us who know the Lord Jesus Christ as our Saviour.

Satan realizes the time he has left, Revelation 12:12, and from this point on will intensify his efforts to stop the plan of God from being played out in these last days. Daniel 10:13 and 20 reveals that Satan takes control of "world leaders" for his own purposes.

II Corinthians 11:13-15 tells us that the devil is an "angel of light", verse 14, and he even dispatches his "evil angels" to take control, possess men and women who use the pulpits of our world to divert God's people from doing God's plan for today and the future.

This is why Paul tells us to "put on the whole armour of God" so that we will be able to withstand the "wiles of the devil".

Verses 14-17 speaks of the pieces of the "armour" we are to "put on". We will not take the time today to go through each item we're to put on for the battle; however, let me draw your attention to two verses, verses 13 and 18.

When we have adorned ourself with the whole "armour of God" we will be able to "stand" in the evil days ahead, before the Rapture. Then in verse 18 Paul tells us after we have dressed for the battle we are to "pray" and "watch".

Prayer "changes us" so that we can conform to his image. "Watching" is that act of being aware of the enemy, the Devil and also "watching" for the Lord's return.

We dress properly for the end times, recognizing who the real enemy is, Satan, and we pray as we watch for our Lord to call us up to be with Him.

PRAYER THOUGHTThank you Lord, for my battle armour, help me to stand as I pray and watch for Your soon return.
Saturday, August 21, 2021

Ephesians 2:14

 For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us.

For further study - Ephesians 2:11-18

This is a very important passage of scripture that we have selected for our devotional reading for today. It will reveal how "two peoples", Jews and Gentiles, became "one". Verses 11-12 explain that in times past these two peoples were apart, "at enmity with each other". But today when both are in Christ, both are believers in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, they are now close, in fact, they are "one".

This happens because of the "blood of Jesus". In fact, Jesus is the One who brought peace between Jews and Gentiles, verse 14, by taking out the "wall of partition" that was between the Jew and the Gentile.

The phrase, "wall of partition" is speaking of a "wall" around the Jewish Temple when it stood in Jerusalem to keep the Gentile from entering the sacred area of the Jewish Temple.

The Lord, with His death, burial and resurrection took out the "wall of partition" between Jew and Gentile and when the Temple was destroyed, as Jesus said it would be, the wall of partition was also destroyed at the Temple.

In the Messiah's Temple, the one described in Ezekiel 40-46, there is no "wall of partition", indicating that both Jew and Gentile have access to the Lord Jesus Christ when He sits upon His throne in the Holy of Holies in the Temple. This Temple will be erected at the end of the Tribulation and the beginning of the one-thousand-year Millennial Kingdom yet to come.

With the wall of partition gone between Jew and Gentile, now we both have access to Jesus. We have become "one in Christ", verse 15. There is not a "Jewish church" and a "Gentile church". There is one Church made up of Gentile and Jewish believers.

There are those who today endeavor to try to put the wall back up between Jews and Gentiles. We must not allow that to happen. There can be no division between the members of the body of Christ, the Church.

The "Church Age", after the Day of Pentecost and until the day of the Rapture, is a time when Jews and Gentiles who trust Christ become one. They are called Christians. Jews and Gentiles, when they are saved, are not Jewish Christians or Gentile Christians, we are Christians.

Before Pentecost and after the Rapture, Jews and Gentiles who believed in Jesus were, or will be "believing Jews" or "believing Gentiles". This is a key principle in understanding Bible prophecy.

It is also important that we understand this principle so that we do not divide the Body of Christ. Jesus took the wall out, we must not try to put it back and divide the Church.

The Lord has a special program for Old Testament Jewish and Gentile saints and those who are Tribulation saints made up of Jews and Gentiles. He also has a special program for Christians and this program and where it is carried out are totally different.

The Lord has given the Jews and Gentiles who come to Christ a peaceful relationship, verse 15, having slain the enmity between the two, verse 16.

PRAYER THOUGHT: Thank You Lord for Your plan that brings Jews and Gentiles together as one.
Friday, August 20, 2021

Ephesians 2:8

 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

For further study - Ephesians 2:1-10

What a truth - the message of our key verse in our reading today, verse 8. It is the "grace" of our wonderful Lord and Savior Jesus Christ - it is the "grace" by which we are saved. There was no work that I could do to be made pure, only the "blood" of Jesus Christ could cleanse me, and you, and make us whole.

It was God who has made us alive in Jesus Christ and given us the "grace" needed to walk, not after the course of this world according to the "prince of the power of the air", but in His power. God's "grace" is that which delivers us from the Satanic power in this world.

By the way, before we leave that thought, notice that the "evil one" is the "prince of the power of the air". Since the fall of man and the end of the original "theocracy", Satan, the devil, has been the "prince of the air", the ruling entity of this world.

Notice also that even though we are saved by "grace" through "faith" and "not of works" lest any of us could boast, there is another side to the story. After our salvation by "grace" and through "faith", we must "work". Verse 10 tells us that we have been created in Christ to do "good works" – not "works" to get saved, but "works" because we are saved.

I have said all of this to bring you to the verse that is such a blessing for each of us - verse 6Because of His grace made manifest in my salvation and yours, the Lord has in His mind raised us up to Heaven and there to sit with Him in the heavenlies. Now, we recognize that we are on the earth, not in the heavenly places yet. However, God sees us with His Son Jesus in the heavens.

This is such a precious promise to those of us who have been saved by His "grace". For a period of time yet, we are still in this evil world under the "prince of the power of the air," Satan. But our "blessed hope" is that because of what we have in Christ there is the "blessed hope" of the future abiding place for each of us who know Him as Lord and Savior.

You remember, do you not, that at the wedding, spoken of by John in Revelation, we as the "bride of Christ" are married to Jesus Christ. Our wedding gowns will be made up of our "righteousness", Revelation 19:8, which is basically the "righteous acts" or deeds that we do.

Jesus is the one who created us to do these "good works" until He comes. He is also the one who empowers each of us to do His work. All of this is a result of His grace bestowed upon each of us.

PRAYER THOUGHT: Lord because of Your grace, I am saved, but help me to fulfill that which You created me to do as a new creature, to work for you.
Thursday, August 19, 2021

Ephesians 1:22

 And hath put all things under his feet and gave him to be the head over all things to the church.

For further study - Ephesians 1:15-23

As we come to this New Testament book of Ephesians, we come to the realization of who and what we are in Jesus Christ, and what He has given to each of us who know Him as Lord and Saviour.

The entire book will be a blessing to you as you read through it's pages. Let me suggest that you do that reading at another time, other than your devotional time. Ephesians will be a blessing to you.

Our key verse today, verse 22, sets the stage for our Lord to come to power in His kingdom to come, especially as you combine verse 21 and 22. Please notice however, that presently our Lord is seated at the right hand of the Father in heavenly places, verse 20. Jesus Christ is not now on His throne, where He will rule and reign from in the future.

We are not now in the Kingdom. This is a very important truth that must be enforced at this time in history. The Kingdom, when Jesus Christ will rule and reign, is during the future 1000-year kingdom, Revelation 20:4-6. This kingdom comes into place after the return of Jesus to Jerusalem, Zechariah 14:4.

The reason that this is so important today, is that there is a belief in some Christian circles that we are in the Kingdom. It is referred to as the "Kingdom now" doctrine.

The Old Testament prophets did speak of a "kingdom" for the Jewish people one day. Daniel 7:13-14 reveals the truth of that coming Kingdom, which will be a physical Kingdom headquartered in Jerusalem. Jesus Christ will build His temple on the Temple Mount, Zechariah 6:12, and rule and reign from that temple for 1000 years, Zechariah 6:13.

If we say we are in the Kingdom right now, we contradict God's prophetic program for the Jews in the future. In fact, in order to be in the Kingdom right now, we must negate all Biblical promises to the Jewish people for the future.

That is what happened in Nazi Germany in World War II. Hitler was setting up the 3rd Kingdom and he had to remove the Jews in order for that to happen. Wrong doctrine is very dangerous.

Our text today says God has set His Son in position to have dominion over all of creation in a Kingdom to come.

In closing let me say that all we see going on in our world today seems to be setting the stage for God's end-time plan for an earthly Kingdom to be set up in Jerusalem. Though it is not now in operation, our Lord's Kingdom is close at hand. We must live in light of that truth.

PRAYER THOUGHT: Thank you Lord for who and what we are in You and for Your Kingdom to come!