I love to read. I love a good suspenseful mystery filled with lots of twists and turns. I never, repeat – never, flip to the back of the book to see how it ends. I love trying to figure out what’s really going on, who did it, and where the characters will end up. I love when I get to the end of a book and can proudly declare that I figured it out before I got to the end. I love it even more when the book is so well written that I’m blindsided by one last twist at the end!
Fifty-three weeks ago today I started a journey through the book of Ephesians with you. Thirty-eight blog posts later we finally arrive at the last verse of the last chapter. Our journey started with these words from the Apostle Paul: “Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ (Ephesians 1:2, ESV).”
The book ends with Paul telling the people of Ephesus that he’s sending his dear friend Tychicus to them. Paul is sending his friend to tell them in person how he is doing and to encourage their hearts. You know, I feel a bit like Tychicus. Yes I know, last week I felt like the imprisoned Paul! That’s one of the things I love about the Word of God – it is full of real people living real lives. We can relate to them, learn from their mistakes and their victories, be encouraged by their lives, and be challenged to live our own life well.
So today I feel like Tychicus. God has sent me to encourage you, the people of Broken but Priceless Ministries. I am blessed and honored to be able to do this with the words God gives me. Each blog post I write sitting in my big comfy brown leather chair that’s beginning to tilt because it’s wide and I always sit on the same side. It is my prayer that as you read the words Erin and I write, you are encouraged and blessed. Not only that, but I also pray that you will feel called by God to encourage others with the hope you have found in Christ. You can even do it from your most comfortable chair!
These words are almost identical to the words Paul used at the beginning of this book. If you’re not like me and you read the end of the book of Ephesians first, you may have already noticed the difference. Ephesians one and six both include grace and peace, but as Paul wraps up the book in chapter six, he adds something very important – love. Peace and love with faith from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Grace to all who love our Lord Jesus Christ with love incorruptible.
I think Paul adds love at the end because he expected his readers to be filled with love for each other and for God by the time they got to the end of his letter. The first three chapters in Ephesians tell us who we are in Christ Jesus. We’re filled with a sense of awe and wonder at God’s love for us and our love for Him grows. The last three chapters are full of practical instructions and tell us how to love others out of our identity in Christ Jesus. Paul writes about relationships between husbands and wives, parents and children, employers and employees. He also gives us spiritual weapons we can use to fight the evil one, alongside of our brothers and sisters in Christ who are fighting with us and for us.
Throughout the book of Ephesians Paul is showing us how much God loves us and how much we mean to Him. He’s showing us how to love others well, fight for our relationships, and fight for God’s Kingdom on this earth. I encourage you to read through these six chapters one more time and then love others and love your Maker.
Love Jesus with an incorruptible love. The word incorruptible is the Greek word aphtharsia, which means immortality. The word is also translated into English as sincere, eternal and undying. The prayer of my heart for you is that you passionately love God with a sincere, incorruptible, eternal, and undying love and that you share that love with others.
So what say you, my new friends? Will you abide in the knowledge of who you are in Christ? Will you love Him passionately? Will you encourage others as God has encouraged you?
“Since God chose you to be the holy people He loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. … Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony.” -Colossians 3:12, 14 (NLT)
© October 1, 2013