I believe that Ephesians is a good book to study for new Christians. I always recommend for those people who ask to start with the four Gospels they are wanting to begin to seek a closer relationship with God. I think that the four Gospels (no specific order) serve as great introductory writings for people to know Jesus. I know there are some people who try to start from Genesis and go all the way through, but a Spirit-guided study will produce better results every time.
Ephesians was a letter that was written to the church in Ephesus, but it doesn’t address site specific issues in the book. Instead, it offers great insights that apply to every Christian wherever they may be. Paul offers so solid advice on how we need to deal with different aspects of our lives. Don’t misunderstand me, all the Bible is important for us to study. Ephesians is just another book that is written in a way that all of us can understand what Paul is trying to teach.
I was working on my homework tonight and the devotional came from 1 Timothy 5:8. If you are not familiar with the Chapter 5 it deals with the roles of members of the church. This particular verse is about the need to provide for one’s own family. When I read it I found myself thinking about the number of people in my local community that doesn’t work even though they are able. I believe this is the type of people that Paul was referring to. I can remember when I was a young man and working jobs like pizza delivery driver or a bag boy at the local supermarket. Jobs that many feel like are beneath them. Why? You perform a service and you get paid for your labor. Isn’t that the way that we should do?
It’s like my current job, a janitor at a local elementary school, a lot of people ask how I said to do it. Simple, I like my family to be able to eat, have electricity, and other things I feel like they deserve. Most nights during the school year I come home from work with body parts aching and pretty tired. Would I like an easy job? Yeah, but until I finish my education, I am thankful for the job that God provided me with.
I have taken part in more than one discussion about people marking and writing in their Bibles when they study. Personally, I see nothing wrong with doing this, but there are some people who do. I would suggest this to anyone who is on the line, who reads your Bible? The person that reads your Bible is you. God wants is to seek a closer relationship with Him. The better we understand His word, the closer our relationship becomes. So I say highlight, underline, circle, or notes in the margin, whatever it takes to give you a better understanding.
I wanted to take a moment and acknowledge the greatness of God. When I am by myself and have a few minutes to ponder the things that He has done for mankind. When you consider the complexity of the human body and the entire universe. There are things that we, as humans, just cannot understand when it comes to God’s way. This is when we need to depend on our faith that we can trust that God is handling things.
Have faith and believe in the greatness of God. I know that you won’t be disappointed.
Last night at church the scheduled preacher had to cancel. This led to me being asked to prepare a lesson to give during the service. I do not consider myself to be a preacher, but I believe I have been called to be a teacher. So as we went to prayer I asked God to provide me a lesson that someone could use. I believe I was being guided to James Chapter 1. I must admit that I have studied some in James, but not as much as I should. However, while reading God guided me to say just the right things.
There is a lot of great information that can be found in the this chapter. One example is right at the beginning of the chapter in verse 5, James tells us that if we lack wisdom we need to ask God to give us this wisdom. This something that some people (myself included) forget to ask for. Personally, there are times when I should have asked God for the wisdom to make the right decision and I failed to do so. Whose fault is it when things went wrong because of the decision? Mine and mine alone. God had the right answer and I just didn’t ask.
Another thing that stuck out to me was when the chapter is talking about temptation. James tells us that we are not to say that temptation comes from God. How true! Temptation comes from man making decision without seeking Godly wisdom and then ends up in bad situations. This is not a product of God, but a product of man putting too much faith in his own wisdom.
When we are little, we live in our own world. As we get older we start the process of trying to figure the world out. By the time we get to our teen years we know it all, at least I thought I did. By the time we figure out we are wrong we have hit our mid-twenties. As I glided through my thirties I knew that there was so much I didn’t know, but so much about God that I wanted to learn. Here I am 40 and I am amazed at the times in my life that God blessed and protected me, even from myself.
I wanted to share this because regardless of anyone’s age, the greatest knowledge you will ever gain is heavenly knowledge. The love God has for man is a love that can never be fully understood on this earth. However, this doesn’t mean we should not try.
Melchizedek was the king of Salem and a priest of God. He was present when Abram returned from the valley of Shaveh after defeating Chedorlaomer and the kings that followed him. Abram became involved in this war because they had kidnapped Lot from Sodom. Melchizedek blessed Abram who paid tithes to the priest. For Abram to pay tithes to the priest it serves as a testament to the validity of his priesthood. This meant that Melchizedek was a priest of God from a different order of the Levites because Levi has not even born yet.
Hebrews Chapters 5-7 address the importance of the order of Melchizedek because the writer states that Jesus comes from the same order. To get a better understanding of the importance of this king/ priest I recommend reading about him in Genesis and then reading the 3 chapters in Hebrews to be able to see the comparison that is made with Jesus.