What is the point of the Christian faith? Why should we bother to submit ourselves to Jesus and His teachings? Why should we surrender our lives to the authority of God and His Word? To be more personal, if you are a Christian, why? What persuaded you to commit your life to Christ? Was it just to avoid hell and judgment? Or did you want something more? Can living the Christian life as Paul has described in the book of Ephesians give us more than just eternal fire insurance?
The answer, of course, is a big “YES!” Jesus came to give us the joys of heaven now, not just when we die. Finding a relationship with Jesus, becoming “in Christ,” and then learning how to live out that awesome spiritual reality is the secret to true happiness. As Paul closes this important New Testament letter, he gives his Christian readers a blessing of great encouragement. He prays for both the first century church and us today to enjoy God’s comfort, peace, love, faith, and grace. Aren’t those the very things that we long for? When you are hurting and beat up by life, don’t you want to feel the Lord’s presence? When you are exhausted from chasing the passing pleasures of this world, don’t you want to find rest in the God who alone can satisfy the deepest desires of your heart? When you have been stung once again by the bitter consequences of your sin, don’t want to be set free from its horrible grasp? When you have been let down countless times by friends and family, don’t you want to trust and receive the unchanging love and grace of your Heavenly Father? These are the spiritual blessings that God wants His people to enjoy! If we will humble ourselves before Him, soak our minds in His Word, spend time with Him in prayer, and fight the daily battle of putting off our sinful desires and letting Jesus give us His desires, we will enjoy the abundant spiritual life.
The gain is worth the pain. Learning spiritual discipline and sacrifice is work, but the payoff is absolutely worth the investment. Jesus, though a man like us, showed us that enjoying eternal life on earth was possible. Paul experienced it, as did his fellow ministers like Tychicus, and we can bet that many of his Christian readers did, too. And if you are saved, you have tasted God’s goodness, too. You know that life can be better than the muck of sin and the world that tries to drag you down. You are a new creation in Christ. Now if you can learn how to abide in Him and live like the new person whom God has already declared you to be, you can walk in God’s comfort, love, faith, peace, and grace every day. That is His desire for us. May we all experience more of the Christ-centered life this year.
The Text (Ephesians 6:21-24)
21 But that you also may know my affairs and how I am doing, Tychicus, a beloved brother and faithful minister in the Lord, will make all things known to you; 22 whom I have sent to you for this very purpose, that you may know our affairs, and that he may comfort your hearts.
23 Peace to the brethren, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 24 Grace be with all those who love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. Amen.
Questions to Think About
- Why did you first want to become a Christian? Since you were saved, what other benefits of following Christ have you enjoyed?
- If you have really tried to learn from chapel and these devotions this spring, what has God taught you from Ephesians? How has this study changed your life?
- Have you been enjoying God’s comfort this spring? How about His peace? Are there any changes that you could make in your life that might help you to enjoy more of God’s presence and joy?