Ephesians 1: 1-14 ..God has taken us to the high places of blessing in Christ!

1. Complete Blessings, v1-3
Blessed “US” – The Saints in Ephesus, faithful in Christ, and Paul & all believers!
Blessed us with “EVERY” (all kinds of) blessing that the Spirit bestows!
Blessed by “GOD and FATHER” of our Lord Jesus – from first to last!
Blessed us in “heavenly places.” (This is why Paul offered grateful praise to the Lord. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Paul’s thanksgiving was for what the Father has given to us: “who has blessed us.” Notice, the verb is in the past tense-this has already happened. What is it that has already been given to us? It is “every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places.” Think about it. This truth is staggering in its implications. Every grace resource that heaven has to offer is already ours here on earth.

2. Complete Salvation, v4-8
Lavish grace of God, v8 – excessive, luxurious, extravagant; undeserved favor and gift
The strong will of God, v4-5  He chose us before creation, predestined us, in accordance to His pleasure and will!
Adoption of God. To be holy and blameless in His sight; to be His sons and daughters. Redeemed, Forgiven! “Grace” means favor. When used of God it refers to the favor bestowed in our interest, which is undeserved. God is praiseworthy because of His grace (bestowed freely, but not unconditionally). This favor is priceless and saving. If God were not gracious, we would have no hope.

3. Complete Purpose, v9-12
The mystery of His Will: v9 He made known. To us His pleasure… Also v8b.
Purpose attached to Christ, v9b to bring all things together under Christ.
He works out His plan, v11. scheduled fulfillment, v10.
For the praise of His glory! – God deserves all the glory! (As children of God, we are sojourners on earth, but we are citizens of heaven (Philippians 3:20). We acknowledge the existence of spiritual realities, spiritual influences, and spiritual goals. Life is more than the physical. The spiritual realm is the place in which God gives all spiritual blessings. It is the domain of Christ’s kingdom and God’s eternal purpose. It is the essence of life).

4. Complete Assurance, v13-14
Included in Christ – by hearing and believing.
Marked with Christ – having believed, sealed with the Holy Spirit of  Promise.
Guaranteed inheritance – until the final redemption day!

God’s possession (you and I) would have received God’s promised inheritance! Praise God! He is our Father. He adopted us, chose us, freely bestowed his grace on us, redeemed us, and forgave our sins; he revealed his will to us, saved us, confirmed his promises to us, and possesses us — in Christ, who gave himself for our sins. When we contemplate who God is, what He has done, and what we will be, we will know exactly what we should praise.

Praise Him from whom all blessings flow, and walk every day according to the calling of the gospel of the Son of God​!




US OKs 1st coronavirus test that allows self-swab at home

US OKs 1st coronavirus test that allows self-swab at home


2 hours ago

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. health regulators on Tuesday OK’d the first coronavirus test that allows people to collect their own sample at home, a new approach that could help expand testing options in most states.

The test from LabCorp will initially only be available to health care workers and first responders under a doctor’s orders. The sample will still have to be shipped for processing back to LabCorp, which operates diagnostic labs throughout the U.S.

Allowing people to self-swab at home would help reduce infection risks for front-line health care workers and help conserve protective gear.

For the home test, people are initially screened with an online questionnaire. If authorized by a physician, LabCorp will ship a testing kit to their home. The kit includes cotton swabs, a collection tube, an insulated pouch, and a box to ship the specimen back to LabCorp. To take a sample, a cotton swab is swirled in each nostril. The test results are posted online to a secure company website.

More on the Outbreak:

The company said it will make the test available in the coming weeks. Each kit will cost $119. The kits will not be available in Maryland, New Jersey, New York, and Rhode Island. Those states have laws prohibiting testing with at-home kits.

Initially, the Food and Drug Administration required health care workers wearing masks, gloves and other protective gear to collect all samples from potential coronavirus patients, usually by sticking a long swab down the nose or throat.

More recently, the FDA has endorsed the self-swab method. LabCorp’s test is the first that allows it to be done at home without supervision.

FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn said in a statement the agency authorized the self-swab test based on data showing it is “as safe and accurate as sample collection at a doctor’s office, hospital or other testing sites.”


The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.


As I Have Loved You

Psalm 91 1-

According to Jn 15:12, when Jesus gave us His commandment to “love one another, as I have loved you,” He gave us His example to follow. In the next three verses, He shows us the kind of love we are supposed to have for one another. We are to love one another with:

Sacrificial love – Jn 15:13 – He laid down His life for us. As a matter of fact, He laid down His life for all men, Rom 5:6-10. However, we are to love those sacrificially who are our friends. In Rom 16:3-4, Paul said of Priscilla and Aquila, “who have for my life laid down their own necks.” And in Eph 5:25, husbands are told to love their wives “as Christ also loved the church, and gave Himself for it.” Man, if you aren’t willing to lay down your life for her you have no business marrying her.

Selective love – Jn 15:14 – You are My friends if you do whatsoever I command you. The Pharisees didn’t do what Jesus commanded them, i.e., Jn 6:29 believe, and He wasn’t their friend, as you can plainly see in Matt 23. He was, instead, a friend of publicans and sinners, Matt 11:19, because they did what He commanded them, Matt 21:28-32. So, we should love whom Jesus loves and not love whom He does not love. For instance, John wrote 1 Jn 2:15-17 and James wrote Jas 4:4 to direct us in our love. We should love those who love Jesus enough to keep His commandments, Jn 14:15.

Scriptural love – Jn 15:15 – Jesus said of His friends, “all things that I have heard of My Father I have made known unto you.”  In Jn 16:12-14, that’s what the Holy Spirit does for us. This really refines the group you love the most. These are the true Bible believers. Jesus showed things to Peter, James, and John (i.e., the transfiguration, Matt 17:1-9) that he didn’t show the rest of his disciples. And He showed things to John, the disciple whom He loved, (Jn 13:23-26, Lord, who is it?) that He didn’t show the rest of the disciples. John was to whom He was given the Revelation.

When Jesus told us to love one another, as I have loved you, He gave us his perfect example to follow, so we would know how to do this. We must be willing to lay down our lives for our friends. Jesus doesn’t expect us to love everybody, but He does tell us to love those who are obedient to His commands. And the ones we will love the most are the ones who love His words the most. – Our Savior’s commandment to love one another as He loves us is probably our greatest challenge. I pray that we can try to show love in all we do.

“The man who wishes to know the “that” which is “thou” may set to work in any one of three ways. He may begin by looking inwards into his own particular thou and, by a process of “dying to self” — self in reasoning, self in willing, self in feeling — come at last to the knowledge of the self, the kingdom of the self, the kingdom of God that is within. Or else he may begin with the thous existing outside himself and may try to realize their essential unity with God and, through God, with one another and with his own being. Or, finally (and this is doubtless the best way), he may seek to approach the ultimate That both from within and from without, so that he comes to realize God experimentally as at once the principle of his own thou and of all other thous, animate and inanimate.”    Author: Aldous Huxley


We Will Overcome – Jaci Velasquez

Song We Will Overcome – Artist Jaci Velasquez – Album Heavenly Place – Release Date 1996


We Will Overcome

Sometimes you’re weak and weary
Feels like you’re heart is breaking
Nobody close enough to ease your mind
The darkness has you crawling
You wonder if you’ll ever reach the light

But you’ve got to know
That the father is always there by your side

We will overcome heartache and sorrow
We will overcome all the pain in this world
We will rise above the cares of tomorrow

We all get disillusioned with all of life’s confusions
Sometimes we simply have to walk by faith

The road may not be easy, but there is hope and healing
Remember help is just a prayer away

So don’t be afraid
He will give us all the strength that we need

Repeat Chorus

When we struggle through the hard times
There’s a peace that comes from the Lord
Just remember He is faithful so believe and trust in Him more
And don’t be afraid, He will give us all the strength that we need


Rooted and Grounded in Love


The answer to Paul’s prayer in Eph 3:14-19 hinges on us being rooted and grounded in love. There is a companion passage to Paul’s prayer request in the Gospel of John.

In Jn 14:15, Jesus said, “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” Like Paul, he stresses the necessity to be rooted and grounded in love and to keep his commandments. We must be rooted and grounded in love:

To be strengthened with the Spirit – Eph 3:16 and Jn 14:16-17. Notice how Jesus said that He would “pray for the Father and He shall give you another Comforter.” We take for granted, as Christians, that the Spirit is in us because we are saved. But Paul was praying that we would “be strengthened with might by His Spirit in the inner man.” There is a difference between the Holy Spirit simply being in us and the Holy Spirit filling and strengthening us. Any of us who have been backslidden know this all too well. For the Spirit to strengthen us we must love Jesus Christ.

For Christ to dwell in our hearts by faith – Eph 3:17 and Jn 14:18. Notice that Jesus said, “I will come to you.” Christ dwells in us when we are saved, of course. But for Him to dwell in our hearts by faith, we must be rooted and grounded in our love for Christ. How many Christians have had a season where they weren’t even sure if Christ was in them? This lack of certainty was due to their lack of love for the Lord Jesus Christ. How much do you really love Christ today?

To know the love of Christ – Eph 3:19 and Jn 14:19-21. Again, Paul was not talking about a “knowledge” of Christ’s love, because it “passeth knowledge.” He was talking about knowing the love of Christ, personally. The amount you know the love of Christ is directly proportionate to the amount of love you have for Him. To really know the love of Christ, you must be rooted and grounded in love for Him.

To be filled with the fullness of God – Eph 3:19 and Jn 14:22-23. Jesus said, “If a man loves me, he will keep My Words: and My Father will love him, and We will come unto him, and make our abode with him.” Being filled with the fullness of God is conditioned upon being rooted and grounded in love for Christ and being obedient to Christ’s Words. There are some who say they love Christ, but they don’t keep His words. There are some who keep His Words, but they don’t really love Him. Do you love Christ fully? The more you love him, the more you will be filled with the fullness of God. They go hand in hand.

To comprehend the body with all saints – Eph 3:18 and Jn 13:34-35 with Jn 17:21-23. The breadth, length, depth, and height have to do with the stature of the fulness of Christ (Eph 4:13) in God Almighty We are to be made perfect in one in Christ’s body. This is only possible if we love one another as Christ loved us that we were commanded by Jesus Christ. How much do you love the brethren, I mean, really love them? As much as Christ loved them? We can never be one in Christ if we don’t have love one for another and keep His Words.

All the things Paul prayed for in Eph 3:14-19 hinges on our love for Christ and obedience to his commandments, including loving one another. Now is an excellent time to search your heart and ask the Lord to help you love Christ and the brethren as much as He knows you can, Amen!



“Jesus said, ‘The Kingdom of God is within’ and ‘I only say what I hear the Father saying and I only do what I see the Father doing’. Therefore, It is something we experience, articulate, and do. The Kingdom of God is already here but not yet fully realized.”
Author: R. Alan Woods