Scripture: Ephesians 1:3-14
We are all sealed with a holy seal when we confess our faith. God placed that Holy Seal upon us by the sacrificed blood of Jesus Christ, his only begotten Son.
Paul begins the letter of Ephesians claiming 2 things:
1.) He is an apostle of Christ.
2.) His approval came only through the will of God.
Paul’s apostleship means that his action is through his commissioning as a gift from God. He likewise is amazed that God could use him, with such a dark and sinful background. As Christians, we must never be filled with pride. We must only be filled with wonderment and amazement that the Lord sees our worth in spreading the Gospel.
When we confess our faith and love for Jesus in our hearts, we are sealed with the Holy Spirit for the tasks that lay ahead of us. That seal is for God’s grace and peace.
The grace and peace from God is always a precious gift. It is impossible for us to obtain by our own efforts. We can never earn it. It is always a gift from the Loving Lord. God’s peace is something that is independent of our own outward circumstances.
One might live a life of ease and luxury in the world. One might have the finest things in life...
- a huge fine mansion
- a large bank account
- a host of friends
…while having no real sense of peace within their heart and life.
Take some of the 3rd world nations. They might make a couple dollars for a whole day’s work, yet they can have a smile on their face and a real sense of peace in their heart.
The explanation of that peace can be seen in the one set of footprints in the sand, the awareness that God is carrying them through this ordeal.
I sense that Paul thought a person who has the love of God in his heart and nothing more could have the peace of God. He reminds us that many of the choices we make can rob us of God’s peace. For we were created to be God’s chosen ones, but by our own default we reject the will of God!
The choices we make in our own lives may draw us away from God’s love or draw us closer to His love because he created us with free will.
There is a story of a rich man and beggar (the 16th chapter of Luke). The rich man never saw the beggar at his doorstep, but the beggar asked the rich man to send Lazerus to warn his 5 brothers that they should not follow in his footsteps.
19 “There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day.
20 At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores
21 and longing to eat what fell from the rich man’s table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores.
22 “The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried.
23 In Hades, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side.
24 So he called to him, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.’
25 “But Abraham replied, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony.
26 And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been set in place,
so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.’
27 “He answered, ‘Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my family,
28 for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.’”
The choices we make now, may seem inconsequential and yet if the rich man would have given the beggar a drink of water, the Lord would have seen it and blessed him.
We always have 2 choices in life.
- We can go the way of the world
- We can go above and beyond the world…
laying treasures in heaven, laying great treasures in Heaven.
Who are we going to follow? The way of the world or the way of God?
Rejoice in His holy seal that God seeks to put upon our lives. Amen!