Saturday, August 12, 2017

the best is yet to be



Rita Moenck’s beautiful photograph of these rocks inspired me as I thought about 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 inheritance. My 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, as Pastor Ray Stedman suggests, 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.


Heavenly Father, thank You that I know that I know that I know that because I have placed my trust in the finished work of Jesus Christ, I am redeemed by His precious blood, He has crowned me, surrounded me, encircled me with His glory and honor This is my inheritance. I ask You to lead me down right paths and to show me which way to turn. Thank You for protecting me from my enemies. You and you alone deliver me from them! Thank You for surrounding me with the shield of your love and favor. Thank You for how Your favor is operating and functioning in my life. It surrounds me and encircles me like a shield. Your favor goes before me and prepares my way. Your favor opens doors of blessing and opportunity in my life. Wherever I go and whatever I do, Your favor is with me, surrounding me, encircling me. Your favor fills my life with overflowing blessing, peace, joy, fulfillment, and abundance. No matter what my circumstances may be . . . the best is yet to be. In Jesus' name I pray, amen.

Look Up—meditate on Ephesians 1:11-12 … pray to see what it reveals about the character of God.

Look In
—as you meditate on
Ephesians 1:11-12… pray to see how you might apply it to your life. Be propelled to ask galvanizing questions about your discoveries: "Because God is_________, I will_____________."

Look Out—as you meditate on
Ephesians 1:11-12 …pray to see how you might apply it to your relationships with others. Let the nature of God impact on every relationship, for your good, and for His glory.


* If you liked this post, you’ll love this book – 
Name Above All Names Devotional: Focusing on 26 Alphabetical Names of Christ


Weekly LinkUps…

Saturday, August 5, 2017

resting in the mystery

artwork by Lena Zieber


This joyous work of art, O Happy Day, by Lena Zieber seems to be the perfect visual as my heart was drawn back to Ephesians Chapter One for a word study of the word, mystery, from Ephesians 1:9-10


Amplified Bible: Making known to us the mystery (secret) of His will (of His plan, of His purpose). [And it is this:] In accordance with His good pleasure (His merciful intention) which He had previously purposed and set forth in Him, [He planned] for the maturity of the times and the climax of the ages to unify all things and head them up and consummate them in Christ, [both] things in heaven and things on the earth.

New Living Translation: God has now revealed to us his mysterious plan regarding Christ, a plan to fulfill his own good pleasure. And this is the plan: At the right time he will bring everything together under the authority of Christ—everything in heaven and on earth.

J.B. Phillips:
For God had allowed us to know the secret of his plan, and it is this: he purposes in his sovereign will that all human history shall be consummated in Christ, that everything that exists in Heaven or earth shall find its perfection and fulfillment in him.

Wuest: having made known to us the mystery of His will according to that which seemed good to Him, which good thing He purposed in himself, with respect to an administration of the completion of the epochs of time to bring back again to their original state all things in the Christ, the things in the heavens and the things on the earth, in Him.

Young's Literal: having made known to us the secret of His will, according to His good pleasure, that He purposed in Himself, in regard to the dispensation of the fullness of the times, to bring into one the whole in the Christ, both the things in the heavens, and the things upon the earth -- in him.

Mystery (musterion) as used in the New Testament is not mysterious or mystical but describes previously hidden truth now revealed by God and in fact describes truth that can be known only through revelation mediated from God. That which was once hidden is now revealed and a secret out in the open…it does not convey the idea of something that we cannot take in or understand even when it is declared to us. Musterion in the Bible means those truths which are part of God's plan and can only be understood as He reveals them by His Spirit through His Word. Stated another way musterion is "a secret purpose of God which when uncovered is understood by the Spirit-taught believer." It refers to a truth which without special revelation would have been unknown and  is commonly used with words denoting revelation or knowledge. Musterion is a divine secret or truth which is unknowable apart from divine revelation and which has now been revealed in Christ.


I recently read this story describing the mysterious ways
in which God moves—how God took two men who were mortal enemies, brought them together, and led them to Himself. He is in control . . .He knows what He is doing. Jacob DeShazer served the US Army Air Corps in World War II as a bombardier in the squadron of General Doolittle. While participating in Doolittle's raid on Japan in 1942, DeShazer and his crew ran out of fuel and bailed out over China. He was taken to a Japanese prison camp where he trusted Jesus as his Savior. After his release, he became a missionary to Japan. One day DeShazer handed a tract with his story in it to a man named Mitsuo Fuchida. He didn't know that Mitsuo was on his way to a trial for his wartime role as the commander of Japanese forces that attacked Pearl Harbor. Fuchida read the pamphlet and got a Bible. He soon became a Christian and an evangelist to his people. Eventually, DeShazer and Fuchida met again and became friends.

My daily relationship with our living Lord Jesus Christ
reinforces my belief in the sovereignty of God, that nothing comes into my life that is not filtered through God's hands of love. I believe there are no “accidents.”  I believe that God sees the end from the beginning. He knows me intimately, He knit me together in my mother's womb, one day I will see Him face-to-face and I will know as I am known. It is His plan that’s important, not my desire. I didn't bring myself into this world, and I can’t take myself into heaven. I really don’t know what is best for me or for those I love. I ask God to make me sensitive to the reality that He is in control, and that He is using this--even this--to conform me to the image of His Son. I want that most of all. I train my mind to acknowledge God’s hand in whatever it is I'm living with. I pray, “Jesus, You know what You are doing,”  “I will trust,” “I release it all,” because God is sovereign. He is the beginning, He will be the ending, and in between, by His grace, He lets us be part of His perfect plan, for His glory and for our good. In the meantime, I am trusting Him, resting in the mystery.

Heavenly Father, I trust You, You know what You are doing, I rest in the mystery of Who You are and Who I am in You because of Your perfect work on the Cross. I ask You to help me to do these things: to lean on You, to meditate on Your character and attributes, and to trust You with all my heart. Thank You for Your promise that Your perfect peace will guard my heart and mind. In Christ, we are relaxed and at peace in the midst of the mysteries, confusions, and perplexities of this life, because we trust in You. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.

Look Up—meditate on
Ephesians 1:9-10 … pray to see what it reveals about the character of God.

Look In
—as you meditate on
Ephesians 1:9-10…pray to see how you might apply it to your life. Be propelled to ask galvanizing questions about your discoveries: "Because God is_________, I will_____________."

Look Out—as you meditate on
Ephesians 1:9-10
 …pray to see how you might apply it to your relationships with others. Let the nature of God impact on every relationship, for your good, and for His glory.

* If you liked this post, you’ll love this book – Name Above All Names Devotional: Focusing on 26 Alphabetical Names of Christ


Weekly LinkUps…

Saturday, July 29, 2017

superabounding Niagara Falls grace


As I pondered this beautiful work of art
by Lisa Plefka Haskin, suddenly, the memory of a devotional from My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers echoes in my mind…Is your source based on your own understanding or is it grounded on the redemption of Jesus Christ? Continually look back to the foundation of your love and affection and remember where your Source of power lies…remember that He is your supply…All my fountains are in You. (Psalm 87:7)

Thinking about my Source,
my Fountain, Jesus Christ, led me back
to Ephesians Chapter One for a word study on His superabounding Niagara Falls grace from Ephesians 1:7-8..

Amplified: In Him we have redemption (deliverance and salvation) through His blood, the remission (forgiveness) of our offenses (shortcomings and trespasses), in accordance with the riches and the generosity of His gracious favor, which He lavished upon us in every kind of wisdom and understanding (practical insight and prudence)

NET Bible: In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace that he lavished on us in all wisdom and insight.

Phillips: It is through the Son, at the cost of his own blood, that we are redeemed, freely forgiven through that full and generous grace which has overflowed into our lives and opened our eyes to the truth.

Wuest: in Whom we are having our redemption through His blood, the putting away of our trespasses according to the wealth of His grace which He caused to superabound to us in the sphere of every wisdom and understanding.

Young’s Literal: in whom we have the redemption through his blood, the remission of the trespasses, according to the riches of His grace, in which He did abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence

A word study of grace (charis) reveals the definition is to rejoice. Grace is God's unmerited favor and supernatural enablement and empowerment for salvation and for daily sanctification. Grace is everything for nothing to those who don't deserve anything. Grace is what everyone needs, what none can earn, and what God alone can and does freely give. John Eadie, in his commentary on Ephesians, writes that grace (charis) is that goodwill on God's part which not only provides and applies salvation, but blesses, cheers, and assists believers…that many-sided favor that comes in the form of hope to saints in despondency, of joy to them in sorrow, of patience to them in suffering, of victory to them under assault, and of final triumph to them in the hour of death.

It has been said that the gravity of grace works like the earth’s water system, which always flows from the highest to the lowest point. Just as the waters of Niagara roll over the fall and plunge down to make a river below, and just as that river flows ever downward to still more low-lying areas where it brings life and growth, so too it is with God’s river of grace. Grace’s gravity carries it to the lowly in heart, where it brings life and blessing. Grace goes to the humble. The unbowed soul standing proudly before God receives no benefit from God’s falling grace. It may descend upon him, but it does not penetrate, and drips away like rain from a statue. But the soul lying humbly before God is immersed—and even swims—in a sea of grace.

A wonderful illustration of God’s grace
in Jesus Christ is experienced by those who have visited Niagara Falls, awed by the sight and sound and overpowering sense of it all. Every minute, about 200,000 tons of water plunge into the Niagara River gorge in a thunderous ovation to the lavish, generous nature of God. The Lord could have used a lot less water, but He didn't. He could have made the falls lower, but He built them 12 stories high. And because they are what they are from the creative hand of God, people come from all over the world to see Niagara Falls. What a picture of God's grace in Jesus Christ...in Whom we are having our redemption through His blood, the putting away of our trespasses according to the wealth of His grace which He caused to superabound to us in the sphere of every wisdom and understanding. The Greek word translated superabound means an exceeding measure, something above the ordinary. God's grace toward us is not squeezed out from an eye-dropper or carefully rationed like water during a drought. His grace is a Niagara of superabundance so lavish that we marvel at its display. Praise His Holy Name!

Take five minutes to marvel at God's superabounding creation, Niagara Falls at this link.

Lord Jesus, thank You that Your grace is greater than all my sin--past, present, and future. Help me to trust in You with all my heart today, because all my fountains are in You. Guard me from depending on my own limited understanding. Instead, help me to rely totally on You. I desire to seek Your will in all I do today. Thank You for the promise that You will direct my paths so that I can walk hand in hand with You, depend on Your higher understanding, and seek Your will in all I do. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.

Look Up—meditate on Ephesians 1:7-8 …pray to see what it reveals about the character of God.

Look In—as you meditate on Ephesians 1:7-8 …pray to see how you might apply it to your life. Be propelled to ask galvanizing questions about your discoveries: "Because God is_________, I will_____________."

Look Out—as you meditate on Ephesians 1:7-8 …pray to see how you might apply it to your relationships with others. Let the nature of God impact on every relationship, for your good, and for His glory.


* If you liked this post, you’ll love this book – 
Name Above All Names Devotional: Focusing on 26 Alphabetical Names of Christ


Weekly LinkUps…

Saturday, July 22, 2017

redeemed by the blood of the Lamb

artwork by Lena Zieber

As I gazed at this beautiful work of art by Lena Zieber, my heart was drawn back to Ephesians Chapter One for a word study on redemption from Ephesians 1:7-8..

Amplified: In Him we have redemption (deliverance and salvation) through His blood, the remission (forgiveness) of our offenses (shortcomings and trespasses), in accordance with the riches and the generosity of His gracious favor, which He lavished upon us in every kind of wisdom and understanding (practical insight and prudence)

TLB: So overflowing is his kindness toward us that he took away all our sins through the blood of his Son, by whom we are saved; and he has showered down upon us the richness of his grace—for how well he understands us and knows what is best for us at all times.

NLT: He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins. He has showered his kindness on us, along with all wisdom and understanding.

NET Bible: In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace that he lavished on us in all wisdom and insight.

Phillips: It is through the Son, at the cost of his own blood, that we are redeemed, freely forgiven through that full and generous grace which has overflowed into our lives and opened our eyes to the truth.

Wuest: in Whom we are having our redemption through His blood, the putting away of our trespasses according to the wealth of His grace which He caused to superabound to us in the sphere of every wisdom and understanding.

Young’s Literal: in whom we have the redemption through his blood, the remission of the trespasses, according to the riches of His grace, in which He did abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence


Our redemption is "in Christ" and we now and forever live in the atmosphere of the light, truth, and power of that same eternal redemption. It's as if the "redemption" Christ has provided is now the air in which we believers live and breathe and have our being. In Christ and through the efficacious work accomplished by His blood shed on the Cross over 2000 years ago, we have truly been set free. The present tense indicates durative action, paraphrased, “in Whom we are continually having redemption” or "we have and are still having it." In Christ, now redemption is our present and our continual possession. Redemption is an abiding fact, past, present, and future.

Redemption (apolutrosis) is the payment of a price to ransom, to release, to buy back or to deliver one from a situation from which one is powerless to liberate themselves from or for which the penalty was so costly that they could never hope to pay the ransom price. In other words, the idea of redemption is deliverance or release by payment of a ransom.

When was this price of blood that effected our redemption paid? On the Cross when Jesus declared, "It is finished," the Greek verb Tetelestai which translated means, Paid in Full! When someone had a debt in ancient times and it was paid off, they would write Tetelestai on that certificate which means Paid in Full, the exact words Jesus declared in His moment of ultimate triumph over satan and sin! Tetelestai was used by various people in everyday life. Receipts for taxes found in the the secular Greek writings have written across them this single Greek word Tetelestai! When a Roman citizen was convicted of a crime, the law of that day slammed him in prison, prepared a "Certificate of Debt" that listed all the crimes he was convicted of on it and nailed the certificate to his cell door for all to see. It remained nailed there so all would be assured that he served his full sentence, and "paid in full" the penalty for his crimes. When Jesus, dying for us on the Cross, announced His great victory cry with the Greek word Tetelestai, it would have resonated with many watching this spectacle for it was a very familiar phrase. Tetelestai was the same word that the authorities stamped across the Certificate of Debt after a criminal had completed his prison term. It literally meant that he had Paid in Full for all his crimes. Then the criminal was given the certificate which he could produce to show that his debts and obligations had been paid in full. He could never be a victim of double jeopardy, or paying for the same crime twice. In a similar way, when an artist completed a picture or a writer finished his manuscript, he might say, It is finished! When the servant completed the task the master had assigned to him, he would declare, It is finished!, when the master returned. The death of Jesus on the Cross completes the picture that God had been painting since before the foundation of the world, the story that He had written from all eternity.

A missionary in West Africa was trying to convey the meaning of the word redeem in the Bambara language. So he asked his African assistant to express it in his native tongue. "We say," the assistant replied, "that God took our heads out." "But how does that explain redemption?" the perplexed missionary asked. The man told him that many years ago some of his ancestors had been captured by slave-traders, chained together, and driven to the seacoast. Each of the prisoners had a heavy iron collar around his neck. As the slaves passed through a village, a chief might notice a friend of his among the captives and offer to pay the slave-traders in gold, ivory, silver, or brass. The prisoner would be redeemed by the payment. His head then would be taken out of his iron collar. What an unusual and graphic illustration of the word redeem! As Ephesians 1:7 states, "In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace." Jesus died on the cross to purchase our freedom from the bondage of sin...I know my Redeemer lives...I spoke with Him this morning...

Lord Jesus, thank You for giving Yourself as an offering so that I could be free! As I receive the Father’s forgiveness through Your offering of Yourself, I will praise You and thank You for the freedom that forgiveness gives! I entrust my spirit, my very life, into Your hands this day. You are mighty beyond my ability to imagine, and You have made the way for me to do so…through the blood of Jesus. How I praise You for prayer, for through it I can let go and give over control of my life to You! With all my heart I thank you, Jesus, for being the perfect sacrifice for my sins and the sins of the whole world. When Your blood was presented on the heavenly mercy seat and You offered up Your Spirit, the veil of the temple was forever rent, providing me access into the very presence of the Father. "It is finished!" How I thank You. Lord...in Your precious name I pray, amen.


Look up – Meditate on Ephesians 1:7-8 . . . Pray to see what it reveals about the character of God.

Look in – Meditate on Ephesians 1:7-8 . . .Pray to see how you might apply it to your life. Be propelled to ask galvanizing questions about your discoveries: “Because God is ______________, I will ______________.”
Look out – Meditate on Ephesians 1:7-8 . . . Pray to see how you might apply it to your relationships with others. Let the nature of God impact on every relationship, for your good, and for His glory.  


* If you liked this post you’ll love this book – Name Above All Names Devotional: Focusing on 26 Alphabetical Names of Christ



Saturday, July 15, 2017

covered in the fleece of the Lamb


My heart was drawn back to Ephesians Chapter One for a word study of the phrase accepted in the Beloved from Ephesians 1:5-6

Amplified: For He foreordained us (destined us, planned in love for us) to be adopted (revealed) as His own children through Jesus Christ, in accordance with the purpose of His will [because it pleased Him and was His kind intent]— [So that we might be] to the praise and the commendation of His glorious grace (favor and mercy), which He so freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.

NLT: God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure. So we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us who belong to his dear Son.

Phillips: He planned, in his purpose of love, that we should be adopted as his own children through Jesus Christ—that we might learn to praise that glorious generosity of his which has made us welcome in the everlasting love he bears towards the Son.

Wuest: having previously marked us out to be placed as adult sons through the intermediate agency of Jesus Christ for Himself according to that which seemed good in His heart’s desire resulting in praise of the glory of His grace which He freely bestowed upon us in the Beloved.

Young’s Literal: having foreordained us to the adoption of sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, in which He did make us accepted in the beloved.

Jubilee Bible: having marked out beforehand the way for us to be adopted as sons by Jesus Christ in himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of the glory of his grace, in which he has made us accepted in the beloved.

NKJV:  having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved.

A word study of beloved (agapao) speaks especially of love as based on evaluation and choice, a matter of will and action. The Beloved is Christ, the one the Father loves. God the Father has always loved God the Son with this love which is permanent.

In this scripture, beloved is in the perfect tense, which is very expressive. It speaks of an action that took place in the past, which was completed in past time, and the existence of its finished results. For instance, you might say, “I have closed the door," which speaks of a past completed action. But the implication is that, as a result, the door is still closed. The entire meaning is, “I have closed the door and it is closed at present."

In this context beloved is in the perfect tense, which conveys the idea of permanence and speaks of the Father having always loved Son. Christ is the One Who is ever in the state of being loved by the Father, and where are saved sinners? Accepted in the Beloved.

I heard a story several years ago which is a beautiful illustration of this Truth. A man was the guest of sheep-raisers. It was lambing time and every morning they went out to see the lambs. One morning, the man was startled to see an old ewe walking across the road, followed by a strange looking lamb. It apparently had six legs, and the skin seemed to be partially torn from its body. One of the herders caught the lamb and explained the mystery—that lamb did not really belong originally to that ewe. She had a lamb which was bitten by a rattlesnake and died. This lamb was an orphan and needed a mother’s care. But at first, the grieving ewe refused to have anything to do with it. She sniffed at it when it was brought to her, then pushed it away, as if to say, “That is not our family odor!” So the herders skinned the lamb that had died and very carefully drew the fleece over the living lamb. This left the hind-leg coverings dragging loose. After it was covered, the lamb was brought again to the ewe. She smelled it once more and this time seemed thoroughly satisfied and adopted it as her own.

What a beautiful picture of the grace of God to sinners. We are all outcasts and have no claim upon His love. But God’s own Son, the "Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the World," has died for us, and now we who believe are covered in the fleece of the Lamb who died. God has accepted us in the Beloved. Praise His Holy Name!

Lord Jesus, Thank You that I am accepted in the Beloved Son of God, and because of that, I can rest in Your finished work on the Cross. Thank You that I can rest as You carry my burdens for me. I give them all to You and I gladly receive Your rest! Teach me Your wisdom that is humble and pure, and help me to walk in the ways You set before me. Thank You for Your mercy and love that invite me to continually experience Your Peace and enjoy Your Presence, living my life resting and trusting in You! In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.



Look Up—meditate on Ephesians 1:5-6 … pray to see what it reveals about the character of God.

Look In
—as you meditate on Ephesians 1:5-6 … pray to see how you might apply it to your life. Be propelled to ask galvanizing questions about your discoveries: "Because God is_________, I will_____________."

Look Out—as you meditate on Ephesians 1:5-6 …pray to see how you might apply it to your relationships with others. Let the nature of God impact on every relationship, for your good, and for His glory.


* If you liked this post, you’ll love this book – 
Name Above All Names Devotional: Focusing on 26 Alphabetical Names of Christ


Weekly LinkUps…

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