Easter Encouragement from Ephesians

Dearest friends in Christ,

I have so been invigorated and encouraged by our wonderful pastor as he is preaching a series on Ephesians. So for Easter, Ephesians is on my mind and below I hope you take a few minutes to soak in the riches of the text! As you remember and celebrate the resurrection of our Savior this Sunday, may these verses bless and encourage you as you reflect on your value to our Redeemer!!

The beautiful photography is by Susan Schmidt, a young mother and friend of Kerin's, who seems to make all my photography dreams come true! She did such a wonderful job capturing our spring tea party with my daughters-in-law and all eight grandchildren! I hope you enjoy a few fun captures of these little souls that bring wonder, joy and light (and at times exhaustion!) to my life, they bless me so! :)  Their parents work so hard and are doing such a wonderful job raising these young ones. (So hard to pick my favorite pictures for this...I might do another post about the tea party so I can use more!)

"And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven."

 - Matthew 18:24 

Spiritual Blessings in Christ

Ephesians 1: 3-23 - "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him.

In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.
In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.

In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory.
In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit,
who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.

Thanksgiving and Prayer

For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers,

that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him,

having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you,

what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe,

according to the working of his great might that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion,

and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. 

And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all."

A few thoughts from me on these verses - some of which are rough quotes from one of our pastor's sermons...

Things I must remember...I am my Beloved's and He is mine. If I am not finding the knowledge of the Revelation of His will in my life, if the eyes of my heart are not enlightened, if I am living in fear, guilt, anxiety and sadness I am not remembering the cross, the evidence of how much He loves me, and am not relying on His power through the Holy Spirit to live in repentance and life. I should not be living as if God doesn't love me. I must remember God's ways are not man's and that He works all things for good to those who love Him. I must live in that love for Him. And if Christ is in me I will be able to withstand the schemes of the devil who prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking to steal, kill and destroy our faith and hope in our Redeemer.

St. Augustine - "Love God and do as you please - the heart turned to love God will want to do nothing to displease Him."
(this can only be true if we truly are living to love and please God, not ourselves, though!)

"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life."-John 3:16

He is risen!  He is risen indeed!!

God bless you immeasurably, richly, and always!

Linda for the Bealls