My neighbors

Ephesians 1:13–14 (NASB 95)

13 In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation—having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, 14 who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory.

Examine / Explain

Consider the journey of salvation, which was extended to the Gentiles just as it was to the Jews. Those who hear the message and believe in Jesus as the Christ are sealed in that very moment with the Holy Spirit. Reflect on the people of Ephesus who heard the Gospel preached, and some believed. In receiving the Holy Spirit, the official seal of the Promise to come, they were marked for eternal life. They were redeemed for God’s own purpose, receiving forgiveness, grace, and righteousness. All this was orchestrated so that God’s infinite, intrinsic worth would receive accurate acknowledgment.

How do I apply this to my life?

By remembering my previous lostness, I can keep in check my salvation and the fact that there are those around me who need a savior. I heard the message of truth many years ago, but I did not apply it to my life for decades. I was redeemed, sealed, and secured in a promise, but there was no action from my side. There was very little growth in my spiritual walk. I was not discipled by anyone. Was I influenced and made new? Absolutely! But what about the actions of redemption? The sanctification process was lost on me. Was I a better man than I was? I would say yes. But was I really a dead man? No. The new me was present and presented to the outside world but I lacked picking up my cross and following. Who am I kidding, I think I still have that issue. I want to build my own kingdom and rule my domain. To overthrow heaven in my life. But decades later, I do have a better understanding of what it means to be “in Christ.” I think I can best describe it at this moment as:


The summation of eternity past is expressed in the person of Jesus, who stepped out of heaven to experience the humanity He created and offer that same humanity a way back to Himself. So, humanity present could choose to die to ourselves and be in eternity future. By doing so, we understand God’s infinite, intrinsic worth, and we have accurately acknowledged it.

We tend to focus on us. Our pride lifts us up and makes us the most important person in our world. Following Jesus should put Him as the focus of our world. We are to see past our circumstances and keep Jesus first. And in doing so we love others well. We understand that lost people will act like lost people. They need a savior just like I did. Who is going to express the lovingkindness of God to them when we, as humanity, can’t get past ourselves? Do they need the truth shared and the gospel presented? Without a doubt! But they also need to know they are loved and valued and that there is a God in heaven wanting what is best for them. Him!

What is my response?

Father, I don’t believe I have the gift of evangelism but You tell us to go and make disciples. We are to be ready with truth at all times. We are to know You and have intimate knowledge of You. We are to be ready to share the good news and give an account of what is indwelling in us. I post journals, and I make videos in Your name, but how am I doing as a follower of Jesus? What does my daily life look like? Do I talk about and share the goodness that is God in my life? I don’t think I do it enough. Yes, I can be brave to share this with the world, but I need to be brave to share it with the person standing next to me. Help me to surrender to You in every aspect and my life and give me the boldness to talk to my neighbors. Those whom I can see before me and give me “the whatever” I need to talk more about You! Amen.

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