For the next few months, our devotionals will focus on the book of Ephesians. Though we will move through the book linearly, the writings will primarily be devotional reflections and not necessarily a verse-by-verse or in-depth study. We encourage you to take time to dive into the book for yourself and see its richness. Then, share what you’re learning with us!
Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, To the saints who are in Ephesus, and are faithful in Christ Jesus: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Ephesians 1:1-2
What a beginning! In my opinion, Paul wins in the “outstanding greeting in a letter” category. These few words convey so much truth about God and about the believers he’s writing to (and us). Nearly every word or phrase could be a study in itself. But today I haven’t been able to get away from one thought: I want my interactions with people to begin the way Paul began this letter — with truth, grace, and peace.
Before he communicates anything else, Paul speaks to the Ephesians’ identity. He calls them saints, holy ones, the faithful in Christ Jesus. He reminds them of the truth of who they are. What if we all consistently encouraged one another like that? What if our first thought in conversation was to remind each other of who we are? I know how life-giving it is when people in my life speak truth like that to me.
Then he greets them with grace and peace. The Message says it this way: “I greet you with the grace and peace poured into our lives by God our Father and our Master, Jesus Christ.” It breaks my heart to realize how often I greet people with weariness, with disinterest, with busy-ness, with impatience. How different, how wonderful, if I simply overflowed the grace and the peace poured into my life.
I want my words and my everyday interactions to be invitations for others to rest in the God of all grace and peace. I want to speak truth and life, and talk to my brothers and sisters as they are: saints. That seems like a pretty great place to start.