In times of extreme stress and hardship, we have one key weapon that will allow us to defeat all opposition: worship! Join me to discuss how we can use this weapon effectively! Worship is our weapon!
OUR WORSHIP INVITES GOD INTO THE SCENARIO!
When we worship God, it will build our spirits and will lift our focus from the daily trials we face.
When we are spiraling in anxiety, and the circumstances surrounding us are seemingly insurmountable, we have a choice to shift our minds back to God trusting in His good and sovereign purposes. We do this through worship, and when we begin to worship Him the Holy Spirit helps us refocus . . .
On His word.
On His promises.
On His plan for our lives.
This is how I fight my battles.
Worship is my weapon of choice. When we worship, we stop looking at the fight in front of us and start looking at the God in us!
Worship through your worry.
Worship through your fear.
Worship through your stress.
Worship through your exhaustion.
OUR WORSHIP BRINGS BREAKTHROUGH!
The enemy does not want you to get this! He does not want you MOVING INTO WHAT GOD HAS FOR YOU!
The fuel for your breakthrough is the air in your lungs—worship Jesus!
Worship breaks down walls.
Worships draws us near to the Father.
Worship reminds us of our reason for living.
Worship brings down heaven.
OUR WORSHIP CHANGES THE ATMOSPHERE!
God has already given you the key to change the atmosphere around you. There is a sound in your spirit, that when released, will shake the foundations, and bring forth peace and joy. As you discover this you will begin worshiping Him in the midst of any circumstance or situation.
The Lord inhabits the praises of His people. Where real worship is, there God is.
It is impossible to overestimate the power, victory, blessing, healing, encouragement, and inspiration embodied in this wonderful secret of worshiping the Lord.
Psalm 46:10 says, “Be still and know that I am God.”
What does “be still” mean? The Hebrew for “be still” translates to let go of your grip, to make oneself weak. What a freeing idea! In our complete dependence on a God who will not ever fail us, we find freedom.
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Come with me to Ephesians 1: 3–Spiritual Blessings in Christ – 3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places…
You are blessed by God in a major way. It doesn’t matter what you see, or what you feel, the Bible tells you that you’re blessed, so you need to begin to believe it and see yourself that way.
Whenever you start to feel like you don’t have enough, or that you just aren’t enough, remember that you’re blessed in a big way. So start to see yourself as having all you need – all that God has put on your heart to do. Remind yourself that you are blessed!
The blessing belongs to God
Paul opens with “Blessed be” in order to establish a clear emphasis on God. In the next few verses he will address predestination, adoption, God’s will, grace, redemption, and God’s glory, all themes connected to God Himself and worthy of blessing.
After blessing the Father and Son, Paul notes God has “blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places.” This all-encompassing statement indicates that every blessing we could possibly need has been given in Christ. Christ came from heaven to earth from the Father to bring us every blessing we need. Paul will go on to describe these blessings in detail. Here, he emphasizes the fact that “every” spiritual blessing has been given.
4 even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love 5 he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, 6 to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. 7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, 8 which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight 9 making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ 10 as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.
11 In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, 12 so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. 13 In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.
Paul was so amazed at the sheer magnitude of these blessings from God that he kept on writing and writing, and did not stop until he reached the end of verse 14 – this makes it the longest sentence in the Bible. And if we really take time to consider what these blessings are, we will be absolutely amazed as well. They will make us realise what an immense privilege we have to be God’s people.
The spiritual blessings that Paul wrote about in these verses include being chosen before the foundation of the world (v.4), predestined unto the adoption of children (v.5), accepted in the Beloved (v.6), redeemed and all our sins forgiven (v.7), initiated into the Divine Mystery (vv.8-10), obtaining an inheritance (v.11) and being sealed with the Holy Spirit (vv.13,14).
Added to them are many other significant blessings that Paul mentioned in the rest of his epistle to the Ephesians: They are blessings of hope (1:18), power (1:19), peace (2:14), boldness of access to God (3:12), strength (3:16), spiritual gifts for service (4:7), and the whole armour of God (6:11).
And here is the best part: They are all ours – every one of them! What a great treasure trove of precious spiritual blessings we have!
I don’t know about you, but I would never trade these spiritual blessings for all the riches in the world, because they are absolutely priceless. To put it another way, these spiritual blessings are ‘out of this world’. That is probably the reason why Paul used the phrase ‘in heavenly places’ to describe them. The spiritual blessings that God has blessed us with are truly ‘out of this world’. They give us a wonderful foretaste of heaven, so that we will choose to set our affection on things above rather than on things on the earth (Colossians 3:2).
Why settle for earthly blessings?
This is totally opposite to the Health-wealth-prosperity Gospel that is being preached so widely today and makes everyone set their affection on things of the earth. This false gospel teaches that God wants all believers to be physically healthy, materially wealthy, and personally happy. It has gained a very large following by endorsing materialism and promoting greed. Prosperity Gospel Preachers encourage their followers to pray for and even demand miracles and material prosperity from God. The books they write have titles like ‘Its Your Time’, ‘This is Your Day for a Miracle’ and ‘8 Steps to Create the Life You Want’.
The truth is that the Health-wealth-prosperity Gospel actually short-changes people drastically. It distracts us from our true eternal riches by turning our attention instead to the transient material riches of the world. But what are all these worldly treasures? They are reduced to nothing at all when compared to the vast spiritual riches that God has bestowed on us freely.
So, what relevance does all this have to you? It will give you the right perspective you need to have as you live in this world. Whenever you feel weary or disheartened, take time to review all the spiritual blessings that God has blessed you with. Whenever you suffer any loss or feel unjustly deprived of anything, just focus your thoughts on the spiritual blessings you have from God.
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In the last post in this series, I demonstrated how scripture reveals you are CHOSEN and PREDESTINED in Christ. Now, let’s look at how you are made a SAINT in Christ Jesus. Now lets find out how we are made faithful in Christ Jesus and can have peace and His grace.
Sing with me!
For this post, we need to travel back to the beginning of Ephesians 1:1-2, which reads: Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, To God’s holy people in Ephesus, the faithful in Christ Jesus: 2 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Ephesians 1:1–2 introduces Paul’s letter to the believers of the church at Ephesus. This includes Paul’s claim to the title of apostle. The greeting features many of Paul’s common expressions, including ”Christ Jesus,” and ”grace to you.” While the letter is clearly directed to the Ephesian Christians, Paul intended it to be read among the other churches in the area and believers of the future – us.
They knew him well and required little introduction. Instead, he simply noted himself as an apostle “of Christ Jesus by the will of God.” Both the specific name “Christ Jesus” and God’s will are important themes throughout the letter. “Christ Jesus” is used eleven times in this book. Paul heavily favored this title for Jesus, with the title being used only once outside of Paul’s writings, by Luke (Acts 24:24), a close associate of Paul.
This makes those believers and believers of today “faithful in Christ Jesus.” Paul starts his letter with an affirming, positive note.
Not only does Paul call those who belong to Christ saints, but says that those who belong to Christ are also faithful.
What the Apostle has in mind here in this verse by the term faithful are those who are currently exercising faith. These believers are full of faith and their faith is being exercised. They were Christians because they were currently believing. If you want to know how you can have assurance of your salvation, ask yourself, Am I currently exercising faith in the work or Christ alone on my behalf? In other words, are you currently believing? Assurance doesn’t come from an event that you were a part of. It doesn’t come from walking an aisle or being baptized or from praying a certain prayer. Assurance can be real if you are believing and exercising belief through obedience to the Word of God. If that’s you then you can have assurance.
Another meaning Paul had in mind when using this word was that these believers were consistent in their Christian walk. They were not here today and gone tomorrow. As believers must persist and be reliable for the long haul.
With these two ideas in mind, where do you think you stand? Are you currently exercising faith and is your faith consistent? If trouble came to one of our church members, can people count on you to help? Is your faith a working faith and are you trustworthy to exercise that faith?
Then Paul uses another very important phrase to describe the Christians in Ephesus, in Christ Jesus.
Simply put, a Christian is not just someone who believes in Jesus Christ, but he is one who is in a real sense, in Christ. Paul means as true Christians, we are forever as with Jesus, he belongs to us and is joined to Him.
Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ,  from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.
Jesus is the head of the Church and we are the body. To be in Christ means that we are a part within the body called the Church. If that’s true of you, then being in Christ also means that when God looks at you He sees Jesus’ righteousness. So, to be in Christ means that whatever benefits God has for Jesus, he has for you as well. That’s why we can also call God…Father. Our eternal union with Jesus we will be forever love by God and treated as His adopted children.
Because of all this, the Church truly has Reason to Rejoice…but that’s not all!
Grace to you and peace
 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
In the ancient world of the early church when two people met they would greet each other with the word chairein, which meant greetings. Paul took the normal greeting of the day and placed a Christian twist on it. His greeting wasn’t chairein but charis, which means grace.
Remember, Paul’s purpose for writing is to show how Jewish and Gentile people can be brought together to form a new people called the Church. So, he Christianizes the common Gentile greeting and then couples it with the common Jewish greeting of the day which was shalom or peace to you. The Church is make up is Gentiles and Jews, Paul greets both together in his opening words. What a privilege we have as believers, the greatest apostle of all time wishing us grace and peace as fellow heirs with Christ. The reality is even more amazing. Paul is not really speaking for Paul here in this text. Who is he speaking for as an apostle? He is speaking for God. From God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
God desires to extend to His children grace and peace.
By grace the Lord means unmerited favor, favor you do not deserve, favor you receive but to which you have no right to in any way. By grace the Lord means that He desires the Church to receive favor to which they are completely unworthy to receive.
I love the Doctrines of Grace. Most folks want to try to somehow earn God’s love. The bottom line is you cannot earn it. In understanding how desperate out situation is and understanding that there is no way we can ever do anything that will make God like us, we place ourselves at His mercy. Grace is not grace if you try to add works to it.
God also desires to give His Church peace. God’s peace is not simply an ending of hostility but a showing of love toward His former enemies in Christ.
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