Sunday, July 26, 2015

Abba Father...simply say "Daddy"

artwork by Kimberly Simmons
This beautiful work of art by Kimberly Simmons on our Artful Story Journaling Facebook page was inspiring to me, as I listened to the anointed new Planetshakers' hymn, Abba FatherHow great is your love for me, that you gave up Your son for me, Now I am alive and free, Father I love you, Your love made a way for me, into me You see, You love every part of me, Father You love me, Oh, the love of my Father is deeper than any love I know. Oh, the grace that He shows me, His love overwhelming. This I know, the love of my Father, Abba Father, Your love is never-ending, there's no other love like Yours. In Your presence my heart is overflowing, Father I am Yours.
Because I was so loved by my own sweet Daddy, Eston Willis, who led me to a saving faith in Jesus Christ, and introduced me to an in-depth study of Romans Chapter Eight, I felt compelled to do a word study of Abba, Father from Romans 8:14-15…

Amplified: For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For [the Spirit which] you have now received [is] not a spirit of slavery to put you once more in bondage to fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption [the Spirit producing sonship] in [the bliss of] which we cry, Abba (Father)! Father!

NLT: For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father.”

Phillips: All who follow the leading of God’s Spirit are God’s own sons. Nor are you meant to relapse into the old slavish attitude of fear—you have been adopted into the very family circle of God and you can say with a full heart, “Father, my Father.”

Wuest: For as many as are being constantly led by God’s Spirit, these are sons of God. For you did not receive a spirit of slavery again with resulting fear, but you received the Spirit who places you as adult sons, by whom we cry out with deep emotion, Abba, [namely] Father.

Young's Literal: for as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are the sons of God; for ye did not receive a spirit of bondage again for fear, but ye did receive a spirit of adoption in which we cry, `Abba—Father.'

Abba is transliterated as Abba into English from the corresponding Aramaic word which was used in the everyday language of families as a term addressing one's father. Children, as well as adult sons and daughters, used Abba when speaking to their fathers. And so Abba conveys a warm, intimate sense. Abba emphasizes the warm, intimate, and very personal relationship which exists between the believer and God. In Abba, filial tenderness, trust, and love find their combined expression.

Pastor Wayne Barber explains, “Abba is Aramaic and comes from the first word that a little child ever says…like our English "Da Da". The disposition of fear of punishment is gone and replaced by a reverential awe. And now our spirit can cry out Abba…Father…"I need help. Daddy…I'm going through a difficult time." This is a beautiful picture for every son (and daughter) of God. This truth ought to affect your attitude (and acceptance) regarding whatever the Lord is allowing to transpire in your life. You are a child of God and He is control of everything that you are experiencing…and you can cry out to Him and run to Him and He is always there

Pastor Ray Pritchard writes, “This (that we can cry out "Abba! Father!") is truly good news. You don’t have to scream at God to get his attention. You simply say, “Daddy,” and He hears your voice. You whisper His name in the darkness and He comes to your aid. When we come to Christ, God sends the Holy Spirit into our hearts to give us new life and the assurance that we are God’s children. This is the “still, small voice” of God that speaks to the soul and whispers, “You are now a child of God.” That same Holy Spirit within us cries out “Abba, Father.” The word “Abba” comes from an Aramaic word that little children would use to speak to their fathers. It is an intimate, personal word of endearing affection. In English you might say “Dad” or “Daddy” or “Papa” or “Dear Father.” It’s a very tender way of talking to our Heavenly Father. No longer is He some distant God up in the sky. Now he is our “Heavenly Daddy.”

Pastor Charles Haddon Spurgeon has said: “Oh, blessed, blessed state of heart to feel that now we are born into the family of God, and that the choice word which no slave might ever pronounce may now be pronounced by us, “Abba”! It is a child’s word, such as a little child utters when first he opens his mouth to speak, and it runs the same both backwards and forwards,—AB-BA. Oh to have a childlike spirit that, in whatever state of heart I am, I may still be able to say, in the accents even of spiritual infancy,” Abba, Father!"

Spurgeon continues, “Indwelling the believer, the Holy Spirit bears witness "with our spirit, that we are the children of God." The witness of the Spirit is in the Word of God, and because the believer has accepted His witness as to redemption, he knows therefore that God is His Father, and, being born again, that he is in the family of God. He produces in the believer the consciousness of being a child of God, as well as the affections of a child. "We have this testimony in our hearts in our relationship with God; but the Holy Spirit Himself, as distinct from us, bears this testimony to those in whom He dwells. The true believer knows that he recognizes in his heart God as his Father, but He also knows that the Holy Spirit bears the same testimony to him. That which is founded on the Word is realized and verified in the heart."

Spurgeon concludes, "The witness of the Spirit is more than "a good feeling," it is the deep consciousness produced by believing the Word, in the power of the Spirit of God, that we are the children of God. The Spirit brings about a response in our hearts to the love of God that cries out, "Abba! Father!" The witness of the Holy Spirit that you are a child of God is not a testimony to a neutral heart with no affection for God's fatherly love; so that your neutral heart can draw the logical conclusion that it is a child of God and then try to muster up some appropriate affections. That is not the picture. No. The witness of the Holy Spirit that you are a child of God IS the creation in you of affections for God. The testimony of the Holy Spirit IS the cry, "Abba! Father!"

Thank you, Lord, that we can simply say, "Daddy," and You hear our voice, and You meet us right at the point of our need...Praise Your Holy Name!

Previous word studies from Romans Chapter Eight…

Romans 8:1-3

Romans 8:10-11

12 word studies from Ephesians Chapter One…

Weekly LinkUps…

Sunday, July 19, 2015

righteousness...Jesus paid it all...

artwork by Liz Lassa, creator of Spiritual Circle Journal

Liz Lassa, creator of Spiritual Circle Journal, described the meaning behind this beautiful work of art…Did you know this was the original cover to the Spiritual Circle Journal? The one I created and shared with 27 ladies in a friend's home right before I realized God was up to something bigger than I had imagined. It hangs in my quiet time spot/creative space. There is so much significance in the art. We are to be like the tree, staying rooted by the flowing river of Living Water. The rough edges around the picture of the tree represent our rough edges that the Lord wants to smooth off like the pebbles below. The three glass circles in the sky represent the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The sparkles in the river represent the nuggets that God wants to teach us when we get still and spend time with Him. The whole point of the Spiritual Circle Journal is to help people love their time with God and crave it more often. To grow closer to God, to know Him, to love Him, and to do His will.

As I pondered this beautiful artwork, while worshipping along with Conrad Johnson, I suddenly realized I was singing my confession of faith... Jesus Paid It All
I hear the Savior say, thy strength indeed is small; child of weakness, watch and pray, find in Me thine all in all. Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe; sin had left a crimson stain, He washed it white as snow. And when before the Throne, I stand in Him complete, Jesus died my soul to save, my lips shall still repeat...O Praise the One who paid my debt and raised this life up from the dead…Jesus…

I was inspired to dig a little deeper for some of those nuggets through a word study of the word, righteousness, from Romans 8:10-11…

Amplified Bible: But if Christ lives in you, [then although] your [natural] body is dead by reason of sin and guilt, the spirit is alive because of [the] righteousness [that He imputes to you]. And if the Spirit of Him Who raised up Jesus from the dead dwells in you, [then] He Who raised up Christ Jesus from the dead will also restore to life your mortal (short-lived, perishable) bodies through His Spirit Who dwells in you.

NLT: And Christ lives within you, so even though your body will die because of sin, the Spirit gives you life because you have been made right with God. The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, He will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you.

Phillips: Now if Christ does live within you His presence means that your sinful nature is dead, but your spirit becomes alive because of the righteousness he brings with him. I said that our nature is “dead” in the presence of Christ, and so it is, because of its sin. Nevertheless once the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead lives within you he will, by that same Spirit, bring to your whole being new strength and vitality.

Wuest: But, assuming that Christ is in you, on the one hand the body is dead on account of sin, but on the other hand the [human] spirit is alive on account of righteousness and assuming that the Spirit of the One who raised up Jesus out from among the dead is in residence in you, He who raised from among the dead Christ Jesus, will also make alive your mortal bodies through the agency of the Spirit who is resident in you.

Young's Literal: and if Christ [is] in you, the body, indeed, [is] dead because of sin, and the Spirit [is] life because of righteousness, and if the Spirit of Him who did raise up Jesus out of the dead doth dwell in you, He who did raise up the Christ out of the dead shall quicken also your dying bodies, through His Spirit dwelling in you.

Righteousness in Greek is dikaiosune (from dikaios) which means being proper or right in the sense of being fully justified (being or in accordance with what God requires); it is the quality of being upright. In its simplest sense, dikaiosune conveys the idea of conformity to a standard or norm.

Dikaiosune is rightness of character before God and rightness of actions before men.  Righteousness of God could be succinctly stated as, all that God is, all that He commands, all that He demands, all that He approves, all that He provides through Christ.

Righteousness comes from a root word that means straightness. It refers to a state that conforms to an authoritative standard. Righteousness is a moral concept. God’s character is the definition and source of all righteousness and this is exactly what Paul is referring to in the context of the present verse. God is totally righteous because He is totally as He should be. The righteousness of God could be succinctly stated as that which is all that God is, all that He commands, all that He demands, all that He approves, and all that He provides (through Christ).

Dikaiosune here refers to the divine action by which God puts a person right with Himself (in the act of justification which here equates with imputed righteousness). The original use of this word group (dikaiosune, dikaios) was in the law courts where a judge declared an accused person "not guilty" and henceforth "right" before the law (righteousness was thus the opposite of a declaration of "guilty" with subsequent condemnation).

Pastor Ray Pritchard describes dikaiosune in this application: “If you want righteousness, you can have it. Let me go out on a limb and make a bold statement. Whatever you want in the spiritual realm, you can have if you want it badly enough. I don’t think we appreciate the importance of that truth. Most of us are about as close to God now as we want to be. We have about as much joy as we want, about as much peace as we want. For the most part, you are where you are right now because that’s where you want to be. If you were hungry for something better from God, you could have it.

If you want it, you can have a close walk with God.
If you want it, you can have a better marriage.
If you want to, you can do God’s will.
If you want to, you can grow spiritually.
If you want to, you can become a man of God or a woman of God.
If you want to, you can change deeply-ingrained habits.
If you want to, you can break destructive patterns of behavior....

When Jesus says, “You will be filled,” he means “You will be filled with Jesus Himself!”

If you are hungry, come and eat of the Bread of Life.
If you are thirsty, come and drink of the Water of Life.
If you are weary, heavy laden, come and find rest.
If you are guilty, come and be forgiven.
If you are far from God, come back home again.

The French philosopher Pascal said that there is a “God-shaped vacuum” inside every human heart. Since nature abhors a vacuum, if we don’t fill it with God, we will fill it with something else. So many of us have filled our hearts with the junk food of the world, it is no wonder we are so unhappy.

Augustine explained both the problem and the solution: “O God, You have made us for Yourself, and our hearts are restless until they find rest in You.” You will never be happy until you put God first in your life. And you can never do that until you surrender your life to Jesus Christ once and for all.

In the kingdom of God, everything begins with a seeking heart! Salvation begins with a hungry heart. If you are tired of the life you’ve been living, you can make a new start. Whatever you want in the spiritual realm, you can have if you want it badly enough. Jesus said, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. “Are you hungry? Are you thirsty? If you are, you can be filled. This is the promise of God to hungry hearts and thirsty souls."

Previous word study from Romans Chapter Eight…

12 word studies from Ephesians Chapter One…

Weekly LinkUps…

Saturday, July 11, 2015

our standing in Christ Jesus...

artwork by Lena Zieber

This beautiful work of art by Lena Zieber inspired me as I listened repeatedly to Bethel Music’s new hymn, Fall Afresh…Spirit of the living God come fall afresh on me, come wake me from my sleep, blow through the caverns of my soul, pour in me to overflow…this hymn changes the atmosphere, reminding me of the Truth contained in Romans Chapter Eight...scripture passages I wrap around my heart, like the Loving Arms of my Savior Jesus Christ...I remember a Bible study my Daddy taught once on Romans 8, where he had us repeat several times at the beginning of each session these opening words...There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus...

Romans Chapter Eight is uniquely the chapter of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is mentioned in Romans 8 no less than 19 different times. No other chapter in the New Testament contains as many direct references to the Holy Spirit. Romans 8 is also the chapter of Christian assurance. As theologian Frédéric Louis Godet said, Romans 8 begins with "no condemnation" and ends with "no separation”…which draws me to a word study of the word, condemnation

Romans 8:1-3...

Amplified Bible:
Therefore, [there is] now no condemnation (no adjudging guilty of wrong) for those who are in Christ Jesus, who live [and] walk not after the dictates of the flesh, but after the dictates of the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life [which is] in Christ Jesus [the law of our new being] has freed me from the law of sin and of death. For God has done what the Law could not do, [its power] being weakened by the flesh [the entire nature of man without the Holy Spirit]. Sending His own Son in the guise of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, [God] condemned sin in the flesh [subdued, overcame, deprived it of its power over all who accept that sacrifice].

NLT: So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death. The law of Moses was unable to save us because of the weakness of our sinful nature. So God did what the law could not do. He sent his own Son in a body like the bodies we sinners have. And in that body God declared an end to sin’s control over us by giving his Son as a sacrifice for our sins.

Phillips: No condemnation now hangs over the head of those who are “in” Jesus Christ. For the new spiritual principle of life “in” Christ lifts me out of the old vicious circle of sin and death. The Law never succeeded in producing righteousness—the failure was always the weakness of human nature. But God has met this by sending his own Son Jesus Christ to live in that human nature which causes the trouble. And, while Christ was actually taking upon himself the sins of men, God condemned that sinful nature. So that we are able to meet the Law’s requirements, so long as we are living no longer by the dictates of our sinful nature, but in obedience to the promptings of the Spirit.

  Therefore, now, there is not even one bit of condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit, that of the life in Christ Jesus, freed you once for all from the law of the sinful nature and of death. For that which is an impossibility for the law, because it was weak through the sinful nature, God having sent His Son in likeness of flesh of sin, and concerning sin, condemned sin in the sinful nature, in order that the righteous requirement of the law may be brought to completion in us who, not as dominated by the sinful nature are ordering our behavior but as dominated by the Spirit.

Young’s Literal:
There is, then, now no condemnation to those in Christ Jesus, who walk not according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit; for the law of the Spirit of the life in Christ Jesus did set me free from the law of the sin and of the death; for what the law was not able to do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God, His own Son having sent in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, did condemn the sin in the flesh.

Condemnation from the Greek word katakrima. It comes from katá which means against or down, and krino, which means to separate from which the idea of discriminate, distinguish, and then to judge or pronounce sentence against. This word appears only in the book of Romans. The idea literally is of judgment coming down on someone. The Apostle Paul says God’s judgment is not going to come down upon us as believers, not now, not ever! Those in Christ are not condemned, because Christ was condemned in our stead. There is no punishment for us, because Christ bore our punishment. The word condemnation may also be translated judgment. There is no judgment for those who are in Christ because sin has already been judged in the substitutionary atonement of Jesus.

means to judge someone as definitely guilty and thus subject to punishment, which accounts for the literal translation of "adverse judgment and resultant punishment." It is a legal technical term for the result of judging, including both the sentence and the execution or the sentence followed by a suggested punishment (The suffix -ma makes it the result of judgment). Katakrima is always an adverse verdict. Stated another way, katakrima (condemnation) relates to the sentencing for a crime, but its primary focus is not so much on the verdict as on the penalty that the verdict demands.

Pastor F. B. Meyer
explains katakrima this way, “Our standing in Christ is present: "Now." If we are in Christ, we need not wait in doubts and fears for the verdict of the Great White Throne. Its decisions cannot make our standing more clear, or our acceptance more sure. We can never be more free from the condemnation of God's righteous law than we are at this present. There are some who live on a sliding scale between condemnation and acceptance. If health is buoyant and the heart is full of song, they are sure of their acceptance with God; but if the sun is darkened and the clouds return; when the heart is dull and sad, they imagine that they are under the ban of God's displeasure. They forget that our standing in Christ Jesus is one thing; our appreciation and enjoyment of it quite another. Your own heart may condemn you; memory, the recorder of the soul, may summon from the past evidence against you; the great Accuser of souls may lay against you grievous and well-founded charges; your tides of feeling may ebb far down the beach; your faith may become weak and lose its power and grip; your sense of unworthiness may become increasingly oppressive--none of these things can touch your acceptance with God if you are in Christ Jesus.”

During a recent hurricane
in the Gulf of Mexico, a news report highlighted a rescue device used on the oil rigs. In case of fire or hurricane, rig workers scramble into the bullet-shaped “bus” and strap themselves into their seats. When the entry port is shut, the vehicle is released down a chute and projected away from the rig. The seat belts protect the occupants from the impact with the water. The capsule then bobs in the sea until rescuers come to pick it up. The device parallels the theological truth of Romans 8:l—”Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Justification does not mean our world always stops falling apart. The rig still may topple in the hurricane. The storm will take its course. The welfare of the workers depends on whether they are in the rescue device….those in the right place, whether a rescue module, or spiritually, believers in Christ, will weather the storm and be carried safely to the shore. Praise His Holy Name!

Weekly LinkUps…

Sunday, July 5, 2015

our inheritance in Christ...

photograph by Rita Moenck
Rita Moenck’s photograph of these rocks inspired me as I was listening to Bethel Music’s new hymn, One Thing Remains… higher than the mountains that I face, stronger than the power of the grave, constant in the trial and the change, this one thing remains…in death, in life, I'm confident and covered by, the power of Your great love, my debt is paid, there's nothing that can separate my heart from Your great love… Your love never fails, it never gives up, it never runs out on me…

How grateful we are for the Cross, the finished work of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and our daily relationship with Him, the guarantee of our heart is drawn back to Ephesians Chapter One for a word study of the word, “inheritance,” from Ephesians 1:11-12. Jesus Christ is the ground or source of our divine inheritance. These truths are life changing…

Ephesians 1:11-12...

Amplified: In Him we also were made [God’s] heritage (portion) and we obtained an inheritance; for we had been foreordained (chosen and appointed beforehand) in accordance with His purpose, Who works out everything in agreement with the counsel and design of His [own] will, so that we who first hoped in Christ [who first put our confidence in Him have been destined and appointed to] live for the praise of His glory!

NET: In Christ we too have been claimed as God’s own possession, since we were predestined according to the one purpose of Him who accomplishes all things according to the counsel of His will so that we, who were the first to set our hope on Christ, would be to the praise of His glory.

Phillips: And here is the staggering thing—that in all which will one day belong to Him we have been promised a share (since we were long ago destined for this by the One Who achieves His purposes by His sovereign will), so that we, as the first to put our confidence in Christ, may bring praise to his glory! And you too trusted Him, when you heard the message of truth, the Gospel of your salvation. And after you gave your confidence to Him you were, so to speak, stamped with the promised Holy Spirit as a guarantee of purchase, until the day when God completes the redemption of what He has paid for as His own; and that will again be to the praise of His glory.

Wuest: In Whom also we were made an inheritance, having been previously marked out according to the purpose of the One Who operates all things according to the counsel of His will with a view to our being to the praise of His glory who had previously placed our hope in the Christ.

Young’s Literal: In Whom also we did obtain an inheritance, being foreordained according to the purpose of Him who the all things is working according to the counsel of His will, for our being to the praise of His glory, [even] those who did first hope in the Christ.

Inheritance (kleroo) means to choose or determine by lot. In the passive sense (as in this use—passive voice) it means to obtain an inheritance or be appointed an heir. Believers became heirs of God because He predestined us according to His purpose. The “lot” in a sense then fell to believers, not by chance, but solely because of His gracious, sovereign choice. The Apostle Paul uses the aorist tense to refer to a definite action in the past. When something in the future was so certain that it could not possibly fail to happen, the Greek language often spoke as if it had already occurred. To be sure, to an extent all believers have already received an inheritance, but there is a certain future inheritance awaiting every believer.

Pastor Ray Stedman clarifies the meaning of kleroo, “The question is, are you enjoying your inheritance? Do you wake in the morning and remind yourself at the beginning of the day... I'm a child of the Father. I've been chosen by Him to be a member of His family. He imparts to me all the richness of His life. His peace, His joy, His love are my legacy, my inheritance, from which I can draw every moment of life, and have them no matter what my circumstances may be. Do you reckon on these unseen things which are real and true? -- because, if you do, when you trust in God's grace to be your present experience, you can know of yourself what the Father said three times about His Son Jesus. God the Father, looking down at you can say, This fellow here, this girl there, this man, this woman -- this is my beloved child in whom I am well pleased. That is our inheritance."

Commentator John MacArthur explains the passive form of the verb kleroo as “the believers who receive the inheritance. Throughout Scripture believers are spoken of as belonging to God, and He is spoken of as belonging to them. The New Testament speaks of our being in Christ and of His being in us, of our being in the Spirit and of His being in us. The practical side of that truth is that, because we are identified with Christ, our lives should be identified with His life. We are to love as He loved, help as He helped, care as He cared, share as He shared, and sacrifice our own interests and welfare for the sake of others just as He did. Like our Lord, we are in the world to lose our lives for others.”

Theologian Henry A. Ironside describes klero this way…”On the entrance into the narrow way that leads to life eternal is plainly depicted the text, "Whosoever will, let him come." Every man is invited, no one need hesitate. God's invitation is absolutely sincere; it is addressed to every man, "Whosoever will, let him take of the water of life freely.” The door could be entered by all, but many refused to come and perished in their sins. Such men can never blame God for their eternal destruction. The door was open, the invitation was given, they refused, and He says to them sorrowfully, "Ye will not come unto Me, that ye might have life." [But some will say], "I am going inside: I will accept the invitation; I will enter that door," and he presses his way in and it shuts behind him. As he turns about he finds written on the inside of the door the words, "Chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world.”

Evangelist and teacher Oswald Chambers loved the poetry of Robert Browning and often quoted a phrase from the poem Rabbi Ben Ezra: The best is yet to be, the last of life for which the first was made. Our times are in His hand. As the principal of the Bible Training College in London from 1911 to 1915, Chambers often said that the school's initials, B.T.C., also stood for "Better To Come." He believed that the future was always bright with possibility because of Christ. In a letter to former students written during the dark days of World War I, Chambers said, "Whatever transpires, it is ever 'the best is yet to be.'" 

No matter what our circumstances are in this life, in Christ, we know and believe that we can wake in the morning and remind ourselves at the beginning of our day...I'm a child of the Father. I've been chosen by Him to be a member of His family. He imparts to me all the richness of His life. His peace, His joy, His love are my legacy, my inheritance, from which I can draw every moment of life, and have them no matter what my circumstances may be...and the best is yet to be. That is our inheritance.

Previous posts from Ephesians Chapter One…

Ephesians 1:1-2

Ephesians 1:3-4

Ephesians 1:5-6

Ephesians 1:7

Ephesians 1:8


Ephesians 1:13-14


Ephesians 1:18-19

Ephesians 1:20-21

Ephesians 1:22-23

Weekly LinkUps…

Sunday, June 28, 2015

supernatural is well...

artwork by Amy Scott

When I saw Amy Scott’s delightful work of art on our Artful Story Journaling Facebook page, I was drawn to its color and charm, and even more so when I read this description that Amy included with her artwork, I started this in one of my favorite spots on our university campus in Korea. I finished it in bits and pieces in various places. I'm giving a copy to a friend today who's moving to a new location and situation. Please pray for her.

As I prayed peace for Amy’s friend, I was reminded of the wonderful new hymn, It Is Well, by Bethel Music… Through it all, through it all, my eyes are on You; through it all, through it all it is well…So let go my soul and trust in Him…the waves and wind still know His name. It is well with my soul, it is well, it is well with my soul. Through it all, through it all, my eyes are on You, Lord. Through it all, through it all, it is well with me.

Singing that hymn led me to a word study of the word peace from Ephesians 1:1-2

Amplified: Paul, an apostle (special messenger) of Christ Jesus (the Messiah), by the divine will (the purpose and the choice of God) to the saints (the consecrated, set-apart ones) at Ephesus who are also faithful and loyal and steadfast in Christ Jesus: May grace (God’s unmerited favor) and spiritual peace [which means peace with God and harmony, unity, and undisturbedness] be yours from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ.

NLT: This letter is from Paul, chosen by the will of God to be an apostle of Christ Jesus. I am writing to God’s holy people in Ephesus, who are faithful followers of Christ Jesus. May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you grace and peace.

Phillips: Paul, messenger of Jesus Christ by God’s choice, to all faithful Christians at Ephesus (and other places where this letter is read): grace and peace be to you from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ.

Wuest: Paul, an ambassador of Christ Jesus through the will of God, to the saints, the ones who are [in Ephesus], namely, believing ones in Christ Jesus. Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Young’s Literal: Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God, to the saints who are in Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus: Grace to you, and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ!

Peace (eirene from the verb eiro) literally pictures the binding or joining together again of that which had been separated or divided; it conveys the idea of setting at one again. Eirene is the tranquility which results in the joining together again those who were separated, such as a sinner and a holy God through the blood of Christ..

Eirene also conveys the sense of an inner rest, well-being, and harmony. The ultimate peace is the state of reconciliation with God, effected by placing one's faith in the gospel.

Eirene is a condition of freedom from disturbance, whether outwardly, as of a nation from war or enemies or inwardly, as in the current context, within the soul. Eirene implies health, well-being, and prosperity. Christ Jesus through the blood of His Cross binds together that which was separated by human sin when the sinner puts his or her faith in Christ Jesus the Lord.

Eirene is the root word for our English word "serene" (serenity) which means clear and free of storms or unpleasant change, stresses an unclouded and lofty tranquility. In secular Greek, eirene referred to cessation or absence of war. Eirene is also the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew shalom, a word which speaks of spiritual prosperity.

Greek scholar Kenneth S. Wuest states, "B
y His (Messiah's) death, (Jesus) satisfied the just demands of the law which we broke, thus making it possible for a righteous and holy God to bestow mercy upon a believing sinner and do so without violating His justice. Our Lord thus bound together again the believing sinner and God (in an indissoluble, living union), thus making peace. There is therefore a state of untroubled, undisturbed wellbeing for the sinner who places his faith in the Savior. The law of God has nothing against him, and he can look up into the Father’s face unafraid and unashamed. This is justifying peace."

Theologian Charles Spurgeon said, "
I find myself frequently depressed—perhaps more so than any other person here. And I find no better cure for that depression than to trust in the Lord with all my heart, and seek to realize afresh the power of the peace-speaking blood of Jesus, and His infinite love in dying upon the cross to put away all my transgressions."

Horatio Spafford had just been ruined financially by the great Chicago Fire of October, 1871. Shortly thereafter, while crossing the Atlantic, all four of Spafford’s daughters died in a collision with another ship. Spafford’s wife Anna survived and sent him the now famous telegram, “Saved alone.” Several weeks later, as Spafford’s own ship passed near the spot where his daughters died, the Holy Spirit suddenly overwhelmed him with what can only be described as an inrush of  supernatural peace, the peace of God. With tears streaming down his face, he picked up a pen to record his feelings and from his heart, filled with the peace of God, flowed the timeless words that speak of that peace God provides even though our world is falling apart...
When peace, like a river, attendeth my way, When sorrows like sea billows roll; Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say, It is well, it is well, with my soul.

Through it all, through it all, my eyes are on You; through it all, through it all, it is well with me.

Previous posts from Ephesians Chapter One…

Ephesians 1:3-4

Ephesians 1:5-6

Ephesians 1:7

Ephesians 1:8


Ephesians 1:13-14


Ephesians 1:18-19

Ephesians 1:20-21

Ephesians 1:22-23

Weekly LinkUps…


(in)courager community group 21 Stories of Generosity 31 days of encouragement A Feathered Nest A New Song Abba able absolutely certain abundance mentality acceptance accepted accepted in the Beloved adopted adoptee adoptees adoption adore all is grace All-Adoptee Growth Group Almighty Alone Yet Not Alone alpha waves Amazon Best Seller Ranked #1 anthology approval Armageddon Ash Wednesday ask atmosphere attitude attune senses author authority baptism Be Still My Soul beautiful beauty Because He Lives Bedouin Dinner beginnings ended beholding believing Believing God Beloved Beth Moore Beth Moore Bible study Bethany Hamilton Bethlehem birth blessed blessed assurance blessing blood of Christ blue Schwinn bicycle book launch Boot Camp Broken Vessels butterfly effect Caesarea called Capernaum care cared cares Central Park centurion Challenger change chosen Chris Tomlin Christ Christ Jesus Christ-centered coffee for your heart Colton Michael Duncan comfort connect-the-dots count it all joy creating change creative creative problem-solving creative thinking creativity critical thinking crown of thorns crowned Dan Brawley Dancing With The Stars darkness dawning deeply loved delight desire determined purpose divergent thinking do the next thing Easter eastern hills education El Shaddai elaboration Elijah Ellis Island Emmanuel emotions empty nest empty tomb encouragement encourager encouragment Ephesians epiphany essay eternity everlasting love Experiencing God extravagant extravagant grace face-to-face faith fasting Father favor fill finding patterns fixing our eyes on Jesus flexibility fluency Forever forgiven forgiveness future Garden of Gethsemane Garden Tomb generosity giveaway goal-setting God God is sovereign God with us God's love God's presence God's sovereignty God's will God's Word Good News gospel grace greatly blessed grief guarantee Harold Edgerton He lives heal healer healing heart heaven held hemisphericity highly favored His glory His Presence holy ground Holy Spirit hoop skirt of light hope I AM identity imagination imagine in Christ inheritance innermost Inspire Intensive Tutorial intimacy Israel January 28 Jerusalem Jesus Jesus at the center Jesus Christ job interviews John 3:16 Jordan River joy Judean Desert knock know Him known Lamb of God lavish learning life Living Bible location Lord Lord Jesus Christ lose loss love love of God loved Matthew 7:7 Mediterranean Sea Memorial Day memories memory mercies mercy Metropolitan Museum of Art milk drop coronet miscarriage modalities moment in time mother mother and daughter Mount Carmel Mount of Megiddo Mount of Olives Mount Tabor multisensory mysteries mystery Nathaniel National Prayer Breakfast new song New York City Niagara Falls no condemnation nonfiction One Thousand Gifts originality overcome overwhelming obstacles panorama panorama. sovereignty panpharmacon past peace perception periwinkles positive relinquishment power praise prayer present preserve Press On proactive problem solving problem-solving prodigal prodigal son providence Psalm 23 Psalm 37:4 purpose questions redeemed Redeemer redemption reflecting Rembrandt remembered remembering resting resurrection righteousness Rock of Ages Roman Amphitheater Romans Chapter 8 ropes of grace sandwich generation Savior Scripture Sea of Galilee searching secure seek self Sermon on the Mount servant leadership seven habits Shepherd's Fields small thing that makes a big difference snow patterns social media Solomon's Temple soul sovereign sovereignty speak speaker Spirit of Christ STAR format stewardship story Strawberry Fields strength Sulphur Springs sunrise sunset to sunrise superabounding grace supernatural synagogue synergistic synergize Tampa targeted selection testimony thankfulness the blood of Christ the empty tomb thief on the cross think forward to the future thinking thoughts Throne of Grace time timeline timeline template timelines transformation trust trusting Truth Truth of God's Word Twenty-third Psalm unconditional love Under His Wings unforced rhythms of grace Valley of Jezreel vision visualization wait walking waterfalls weakness Western Wall when God ran wife win a free book win/win without Christ I am nothing Word word study wound writer writing Yardenit You Already Have An A you are free indeed You're Going To Be Okay you're loved Young Life

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