I want to begin this article with this song , Lord I’m Coming Home, because that is where all encouragement begins.
(Performed by Day of Eternity and used by permission)
Medical research tells us that one of the main culprits in much of the sickness of these days is stress. Stress from pressures on the job, or from uncomfortable dealings with people, or just from listening to too much news which never has much good to say! God has an answer to this and He reveals it in His word. The Apostle Paul write about many of the secrets to having peace in our lives in the Book of Ephesians.
One of the greatest stresses we face is fear of the future. The older we get, the more we think about death – where will I go when I die – heaven or hell? If you are honest, you are probably thinking – ‘I deserve hell!’ but, Paul presents us with the salve that can heal those thoughts. If you repent and ask Jesus into your heart you can be forgiven –
“to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved. In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence, …. In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.” – Eph. 1:6-14
None of us deserve it but we were made acceptable in the beloved, Jesus Christ. We were ‘bought with a great price‘, the price of Jesus’ blood. That is what ‘redeemed’ means, we belong to Jesus because He bought us. And then He sent the Holy Spirit to seal the transaction. That is what Pentecost was all about. If you allow the Holy Spirit to fill you, He will be your guarantee of heaven.
Contrary to what many churches teach, Pentecost was not just an event for the ‘long ago’. it is promised to every believer throughout time who believes!
“Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.” – Acts 2:38, 39
If you are a church goer you will probably have taken communion but, I think it so sad that most don’t realize what they are doing. You see when Jesus initiated what we call The Lord’s Supper, He said this –
“For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.” – Matt. 26:28
Jesus told them, “This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.” He is making a “blood covenant” with us that guarantees our acceptance to the Father. But, a blood covenant always requires two people to be active. We must receive it and honor it to make it effective. The redemption and forgiveness of sins Paul is talking about is not ‘get out of jail’ pass and then you go on your same old way! It is an enablement to start anew, to turn around and live your life the way God intended it to be lived. And Jesus promised the Holy Spirit will help us do this, if we listen and obey Him.
Jesus also broke the Passover bread (for you see the Lord’s Supper is just the finishing of the Passover meal) and said –
“And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, “Take, eat; this is My body.” – Matt. 26:26
When we do this in faith, His body contains all the life, strength, and healing we need to walk the new life. Since Passover, of which the Lord’s Supper was part, was a family event and Jesus said we should do this often and remember Him, I believe we should take communion often – every time we get together. In it we remember the life we have been given.
Paul also gives the Ephesians and us many other clues how to maintain such a life.
5:16 “find out what is acceptable to the Lord.”
5:20 “giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of Jesus Christ,”
5:1-4 “Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. And walk in love, … no fornication … uncleanness or covetousness, … foolish talking, … which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks.”
5:16 “redeeming the time, because the days are evil.”
If you take Paul’s advice and do these things not only will your life take on new meaning but you will have true peace.