The aim of this 14 day devotional is to help you continue to think over, pray about and respond to what God says in the Bible about his church. In the first week, we'll look at the church now. In the second week, we'll look at the church now and into eternity.
These devotionals are designed for you to work through for about 15 minutes at a time. Cover the notes in order (don’t worry if you miss a day, just pick up where you left off). Each time we suggest:
- Start by praying for help.
- Read the short Bible passage
- Engage with the suggestions designed to help ongoing reflection on God’s word. You may want to write some things down here.
- Pray again.
The climax of history—Jesus is head of his body the church
Pray: for God’s help as you look and think on his word now.
Read: Ephesians 1:3–23
3Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, 4even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love 5he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, 6to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. 7In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace,8which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight 9making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ 10as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth. 11In 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, 12so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. 13In 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, 14who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory. 15For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love towards all the saints, 16I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, 17that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him,18having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, 19and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power towards us who believe, according to the working of his great might 20that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, 21far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. 22And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church,23which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.
Think: what did you most enjoy about from thepassage? Jot some of these things down. How does this passage help us understand the place of God’s church (Jesus’ body) in God’s eternal plan? Think about how you previously thought of the church: how should this passage challenge or re-shape your previous understanding? (Really try to spend some time thinking about this.)
Pray: spend some time thanking God for his glorious eternal plan, climaxing in the church. Ask God to help you believe the church (Jesus’ body) as important.
Today: it would be a great day to memorise a verse (this should help you to keep thinking over truth, even when you are away from your Bible). A good place to start would be Ephesians 1:22–23 ‘And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all’.