From Pastor Perry

Ephesians 4:1–6 (ESV)
Unity in the Body of Christ
4 I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, 2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, 3 eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.

I read this and it sounds so much like the readings for yesterday at church (Rom. 12:9-21).  When you have two text from different books saying close to the same thing, The Lord IS calling on you and me to “walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called.”  We are to live in humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.  We are not to give it lip service... but to live it.  

Today’s reading also contains a famous doctrinal statement coming from Paul: “one Lord, one faith, one baptism.”  We believe and confess in one God, with one faith.  We also hold to one baptism.  We do not “re-baptize” people who come from other denominations.  We accept their baptism... unless their baptism was not a baptism based on the Trinitarian God: the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  We do accept baptisms that were baptized in the name of Jesus, but it must be from a Trinitarian based church.  Non Trinitarian churches are the Mormon church, Jehovah Witnesses, and some others.  Once you have been baptized... you’re baptized!  You are not to be baptized again.

I pray: O Lord, help me in my daily walk, to not just give you lip service, but to walk according to your ways.  Amen.

August 30th was my 28th Anniversary- I took it off.  Thanks

Ephesians 3:14–21 (ESV)
Prayer for Spiritual Strength
14 For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, 16 that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
20 Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

Paul gives us this prayer for Spiritual Strength.  Paul began by bowing to his knees before God the Father.  These are the benefits that you receive:
1.    He grants you to be strengthened by the Spirit
2.    Christ dwells in your heart through faith
3.    you are rooted and grounded in love
4.    strength to comprehend
5.    know the love of Christ
6.    You are filled with the fullness of God

We often fail to pray to God.  Especially when things are going good.  God wants us to pray all the time.  Instead... we often pray when we need help.  Is this perhaps because we think we have things under control or that we don’t want to bother God?  Well... God wants to be bothered by us because he loves us.

I pray: O Lord, I pray for strength to pray to you all the time, and not being concerned about bothering you.  You alone are in control of all things.  I bow before you and pray this prayer of strength.  Help me to call on you in good times as well as bad.  You alone are my Lord and Savior.  Amen.

Ephesians 3:1–13 (ESV)
The Mystery of the Gospel Revealed
3 For this reason I, Paul, a prisoner for Christ Jesus on behalf of you Gentiles— 2 assuming that you have heard of the stewardship of God’s grace that was given to me for you, 3 how the mystery was made known to me by revelation, as I have written briefly. 4 When you read this, you can perceive my insight into the mystery of Christ, 5 which was not made known to the sons of men in other generations as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit. 6 This mystery is that the Gentiles are fellow heirs, members of the same body, and partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel.
7 Of this gospel I was made a minister according to the gift of God’s grace, which was given me by the working of his power. 8 To me, though I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, 9 and to bring to light for everyone what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God who created all things, 10 so that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places. 11 This was according to the eternal purpose that he has realized in Christ Jesus our Lord, 12 in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through our faith in him. 13 So I ask you not to lose heart over what I am suffering for you, which is your glory.

There really has been a mystery throughout the Old Testament and part of the way through the New Testament.  There are strong hints from Genesis on... but still a mystery missed by so many.  The children of Israel are God’s chosen people.  The plan of salvation was for his children... the children of Israel.  It is the Jews that Jesus came to save.  Jesus even tells us this throughout the Gospels.  Yet there are hints... even from Jesus regarding today’s mystery.  What is the mystery?  The Jews have been fighting against the Gentiles from Old Testament on through the New Testament.  This is not the mystery.  The mystery revealed is that the Jews and Gentiles are on the same team... God’s team.  The problem is that the Jews got derailed on God’s plan and missed the coming of the Messiah.  They missed Jesus.  The mystery revealed is that all who believe in Jesus are part of God’s plan of Salvation.  Jews and Gentiles.  They are the children of God... those who believe in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.  What also is revealed with this revelation is that it is not so good for Jews, or Gentiles... who do not believe in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.  This part is not brought out in today’s revelation... but it is there.

I pray: O Lord, I confess that you are my Lord and Savior.  You are the Son of God.  You are my hope and salvation.  Amen.

Ephesians 2:11–22 (ESV)
One in Christ
11 Therefore remember that at one time you Gentiles in the flesh, called “the uncircumcision” by what is called the circumcision, which is made in the flesh by hands— 12 remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 14 For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility 15 by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, 16 and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility. 17 And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near. 18 For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. 19 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, 21 in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. 22 In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.

As a Gentile, we were once “separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hoope and without God in the world.”  Wow... for us believers today, the next time this separation happens... it will be heaven and hell.  The believers will be with God and the nonbelievers will be separated from God.  God will be absent in Hell.  Heaven will be peaceful and Hell will be chaotic.  Peace is mentioned three times: 1) For he himself is our peace... 2) making peace, and 3) he preached peace. Jesus is our peace and heaven will be peaceful.  Hell on the other hand will not be peaceful, it will be chaotic.  We build our life on Jesus Christ because he is the corner stone.  We want too be one in Christ, our cornerstone, our peace!

I pray: O Lord, I do not put my trust in man, but in you.  I build my life around you, the corner stone.  You are my peace and you are making peace.  Your message is peace and I will proclaim peace to the nations.  Amen.

Ephesians 2:1–10 (ESV)
By Grace Through Faith
2 And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2 in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— 3 among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. 4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— 6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

This is one of the greatest passages in the Bible.  I get excited just reading it.  I hope you do too!  I’m not sure if there is a clearer passage than this on being saved by grace.  This passage makes it very clear that you do not “earn” your salvation, or even contribute brownie points/or meet God half way.  This passage removes YOU out of the formula.  It is God who saves you and gives you the gift of salvation.  You contribute nothing.  "8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast." As a Lutheran, this is a crown jewel!  But unfortunately... many Lutherans need to read verse 10.  Verse 8 & 9 makes it very clear that works have nothing to do with salvation, but verse 10 says we are to do good works.  “10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”  Works do not save us, but they are a by-product of our salvation.

I pray: O Lord, I give thanks for your love for me.  Your love is not based on my works or merit, but simply your love.  No matter what I do, I know that I come up short.  We all come up short.  It is only by your grace that we are saved.  Amen.

Latest comments

05.03 | 22:15

Pastor. since I did not get to attend church today, I read your blog and found it
to be so informative for Ash Wednesday. Thanks for your comments.

25.12 | 07:53


28.11 | 13:00

Happy Thanksgiving

03.11 | 01:46