Echoes Of Encouragement From Ephesians

“Correction does much, but encouragement does more.” Johann Wolfgang Goethe 

Echoes. Reflections of sound off of the hard surface of my soul.  Never expect originality from an echo.  These reverberations of encouragement originate from outside my life.  I am only the interface.  The source of the original acoustic is the spoken Word of The Word.  

I was intrigued by the fact that the name “Ephesus” was not written in every early manuscript.  Some scholars believe that the letter was encyclical, intended to circulate among different groups of believers.  I picture my name and my community penned there in the introduction that Paul writes.  All saints could do the same and maintain the integrity of Paul’s thought. 

The Word through Paul has much to encourage me. These echoes are for us.  For you.  For me. 

Ephesians 1: 1-2

I wonder how many times I have introduced myself.  We meet and greet a variety of people in a variety of circumstances in a variety of ways. An increasing cause for concern as my brain grows older and brimming with minutia, is the number of introductions made to me that I have had no space to catalog into permanence.  What makes an introduction memorable?

Etiquette mavens tell us that the most important part of introductions is to simply…make them.  Within those greetings are the opportunities to create a lasting impression in another life. Every relationship I have began with an introduction. Introductions are central.  There is much to be gleaned here.

Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, 

To the saints who are in Ephesus, and faithful in Christ Jesus: 

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Paul presents himself as “an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God”.  He discloses how he thinks about himself with the information of who he was, whose he was, and why he was what he was.   This is an incredibly revealing introduction.  Would I ever engage another person with this depth of revelation at the onset of a conversation?   Amazing.

Note that Paul is careful to introduce himself to us as an apostle by the will of God. An apostle is one who is sent forth, someone who is an ambassador.  In the loosest sense of the word, all Christians are apostles, but in the New Testament writings this title is reserved for the men Christ personally chose and commissioned to lead the early church.   It was God’s heart desire that Paul was commissioned an apostle, and Paul recognized that.  Yet I often do not consider that God has a passionate plan from His heart for me.  And the way I view myself reflects that. 

The insightfulness continues as he turns his mind toward the saints he is addressing, these are pronounced as “the faithful in Christ Jesus.”  The word saint is the translation for the Greek word meaning, to set apart.  Saints are those people set apart from something, but more importantly, they are set aside to something.  They are different.  Paul’s wording tells us that the source of this difference is not where their feet are planted, but where their hearts are planted.  They resided in a place, so the letter is sent to a location, but they made a life in a person. “In Christ Jesus”. This is what makes a saint out of an ain’t.

Too often I have settled for being someplace, when God has in mind that I am in Someone.   And you?  What place are you in life?  No matter where your feet are at, you can be in Christ Jesus.

Perfect submission, perfect delight

Visions of rapture now burst on my sight

Angels descending bring from above

Echoes of mercy, whispers of love. 

This is my story this is my song

Praising my Savior all the day along.

~ Fanny Crosby 

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About ccragamuffin

Christina C. is a woman energized by encouraging others. She never wants to forget that she is a ragamuffin...a broken earthen vessel, heavy laden, bedraggled, and weary until grace changed her life. She now holds a treasure in a cracked earthen vessel. Anything bright or beautiful is the treasure shining through the cracks.
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13 Responses to Echoes Of Encouragement From Ephesians

  1. Pingback: Echoes Of Encouragement From Ephesians (II) | Resting in His Grace

  2. mrteague says:

    I found this challenging. I struggle with a poor self-perception. What you said about Paul intoducing himself as an apostle by God’s will was convicting. When I don’t see myself as God does, I am in unbelief, denying His work. By the Spirit, I hope to be confident in who I am in Christ and celebrate that. Thanks!

    • ccragamuffin says:

      Thank you for sharing your heart, Mr. Teague. Your words…”by the Spirit, I hope to be confident in who I am in Christ and celebrate that”…are words that speak the theme of Ephesians…and bring celebration to my soul! I hope you will travel this road with me as I walk through Ephesians to grow in “confidence” and “celebrate”. Wa-Hoo!!!! It is a grand journey of encouragement! I am praying for you right now. Blessings.

  3. Thank you so much for sharing, once upon a time i use to feel invisible to God while all the time he wanted me to find my identity in him. it was an awesome read.

    • ccragamuffin says:

      Thank you for reminding us of this wonderful truth…that IN HIM we live, and move, and have our being…we are more visible to Him, than we are to ourselves. That continues to amaze me also. Your moniker, “fortifiedinchrist”, is a beautiful testimony. I am praying that you will continue to discover the work of art that you are. Blessings. ~ CC

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  8. mtsweat says:

    Your thoughts bring indeed many echoes of encouragement here good friend. Yours runs hand in hand with hearing a much younger crowd explain how trying to assemble a puzzle of many mixed pictures can look a lot like our trying to put the pieces of being a good Christian together. 🙂

    Striving and laboring is our natural response, but God calls (causes) us to sit first. Every encounter with God must begin with sitting. It of course portrays the image of bearing no weight, no load. Why? Because all of the work has been done. “Being someplace,” doing something, are the ploys I find myself falling for often, when all that I’m called to do is rest in Christ. From that position there is nothing that I cannot do.

    It will be profitable (and fun) to journey along with you and the echoes cc. It is important to flesh out those words, “in Christ.” We need to know what that looks like… and how to take a seat in His grace. btw; great quote and Fanny pack… what inspiring words!

    • ccragamuffin says:

      And fun…yes! It is one of the deepest joys to share a meal of the Bread Of The Word. There are many servings to be shared of fleshing out who we are in Christ .Thank you for YOUR encouragement…you echo so nicely. Blessings. CC.

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