Tuesday, June 18, 2019 -
What a marvelous book Ephesians is! One of the wonderful things about being in prison is that I rarely need to be or feel rushed when reading God’s Word. I can stop and think about what I just read, search for similar passages, or go back and reread and meditate upon the meaning. If I don’t understand something, I have the time to pray over it, and ask God to reveal the mystery of what He is telling me. Often He does, sometimes it remains a mystery. But the point is, I can allow time for the Holy Spirit to speak to me and to reveal to me what He is saying and how I can apply that. I wonder how different life would have been for me if I had taken this much time in His Word throughout my youth and adult life on a daily basis.
Today I was contemplating about whether there was one theme that dominated the book of Ephesians. Yesterday I wrote about the POWER of God within us, but that is not the central theme. I have come to the conclusion that there is not really one overriding thematic element. It is merely a letter to the church, to Paul’s spiritual children, whom he truly loves. In addition to embracing God’s POWER in our lives, he truly emphasizes the importance of faith in the grace of God, becoming new creatures in Christ through the renewing of our minds and setting aside “every kind of impurity with greediness” (4:19). Christ in us should completely change our personalities, causing us to serve and build up one another in love and humility, creating unity. He warns against things like modifying speech, filthy and silly talk, and covetousness (Eph. 4:29; 5:4-5), and that we battle against the unseen forces of evil and darkness, yet God gives us the weapons we need to counter these attacks if only we would arm ourselves! And of course, there are the practical admonitions for husbands, wives, parents, children, slaves and masters in chapters 5 and 6.
Ephesians is a book one could read every day, or for that matter, memorize! It is so very full of pertinent, practical advice for our daily living – for each one of us who have embraced the “redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace, which He lavished upon us” (Eph 1:7-8). You know what, I think I will just start over and read it again tomorrow, or maybe later today. After all, I’ve got the time!
I just got back from lunch after writing the above, and I got to sit next to “C” today. He’s been moved to another unit, so I don’t get to see him much. “C” used to be a real gangster sort of fellow – selling drugs and being the tough guy. In fact, his nickname is “BAM.” Jesus Christ met him in solitary confinement and he’s a new and different man now. I told him at lunch that I had such a blessed time reading Ephesians this morning and I was thinking about going back and reading it again. He said, “I know, I read it every day for a month.” I’d forgotten the “C” had told me that before. He read it every day upon encouragement from a chaplain, pastor, or someone like that who felt it would help “C” mature in the Lord. And you know what? It did!