Together, we serve
to know Christ
and to make Christ known
for the glory of God

21 December 2020

Proverbs 15:26

The Lord detests the thoughts of the wicked,
    but gracious words are pure in his sight.

The thoughts, the words, and the deeds of the wicked are detestable to God. However witty they may consider themselves, however clever and fashionable they may seem to themselves, even how right they believe they may be, their behavior is odorous to God who will not be mocked. The great illusion of the wicked is that they believe they are getting away with their schemes. “There is no god,” they say to themselves as fools. Pray now that they will learn the reality and power of God while there is time to be saved. Pray for your neighbors, family, and colleagues who reject Christ.

And pray for your own words to be gracious to them and to your spiritual family. Colossians 4:5-6 says, “Conduct yourselves wisely toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.” For your words to be gracious, you must be a person who lives under the grace of God, whose heart is transformed by grace. Your words and thoughts only reveal your heart. That is why the wicked, no matter what they think or say, cannot please God. Study God’s grace; study what it is to live under grace and to be a person of grace; pray for God’s grace to be manifested in your life.

 

Ephesians 1

 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God,

To God’s holy people in Ephesus,[a] the faithful in Christ Jesus:

Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Praise for Spiritual Blessings in Christ

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he[b] predestined us for adoption to sonship[c] through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding, he[d] made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, 10 to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.

11 In him we were also chosen,[e] having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, 12 in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. 13 And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.

Thanksgiving and Prayer

15 For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all God’s people, 16 I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. 17 I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit[f] of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. 18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, 19 and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength 20 he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, 21 far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. 22 And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.