By Lay Pastor Jusak Pundiono
Lemah Putro, Sunday, January 6, 2019

Stepping into the 2019, let’s set ourselves aglow with the spirit of worship more than ever. With steadfast faith, let’s move ahead to reach victory till the end of time when the Lord returns.
Without realizing it, we studied the Letter to the Ephesians all the year 2018 through. Projected on the blueprint of the Tabernacle, the Letter of the Ephesians points to the Table of Shewbread. This implies that we must have an ongoing relationship with God. Why? The shewbread was meant for the priests, in charge of serving God, and every believer, including us, who has been forgiven by the blood of Jesus. Our relationship with Him comes to pass by faith that comes from hearing the Word of Christ (Romans 10: 17).
How should a believer in the Lord live so that they can take a stand to the very end?
 A believer is to be thankful for His grace (Ephesians 1-3).
- Firstly, the grace of heavenly inheritance – every part of God’s Word. We believe because we personally experience God’s Word and His peace is with us (Ephesians 1: 1-2), rather than miracles or people’s testimonies. We ought to be thankful for the spiritual blessings (peace, hope, joy, etc.) in heaven as the foremost inheritance, surpassing all earthly inheritances (v.3). With this in mind, let’s begin the year 2019 with peace and assured hope from God the Father without worrying about tomorrow.
- Next, the grace of our status as God’s children sealed with the Holy Spirit. Following the redemption by the blood of Jesus (vv.7,13), spiritual blessings will realize one after another. In the end, we will obtain the whole blessings, namely, to be God’s possession (v.14). How happy we are to be in the hands of God because we are His! With Him, we stay safe, come what may.
- Now comes the grace as His dwelling place where we are close to Him as He is always present in His Spirit (Ephesians 2: 1-22). Once living in sin and deserving His wrath, not to speak of the evil tendency since childhood (Genesis 6: 5), we are, in fact, not worthy of His grace by any means (Ephesians 2: 1-3). We ought to give thanks for having been pulled out of the mire of sins in addition to the awesome, spiritual inheritance as well as our changed status.
However, the fact that we can fall back into sin is always there. After all, the blood of Jesus through the Holy Communion reminds us of the power of redemption and the forgiveness of sins which He provides until the end of our life’s journeys. Isn’t life an opportunity to be a blessing and to change for the better?
In the past, we spent our time, talents and money pursuing wordly status. Now, we bend every effort to serve the Lord for the sake of our spiritual status that excels any status, knowing that we are fellow citizens with the saints and members of God’s family
(Ephesians 2: 19). Once our top priority was to build wordly businesses, but we now prioritize
building up ourselves grounded on the whole Word of God, that is, building our life as God’s
temple (vv. 20-22).
- And last but not least, the grace of the mystery of Christ via God’s servants who minister to us.
This is not limited to the ministries of pastors or elders, but it also applies to coordinators of
ministries (deacons) and parents as heads of the families.
As believers, we each are responsible for sharing the mystery of Christ (Ephesians 3: 3-6) that
provides strength to those God entrusts us with. As long as we live in this world, troubles and
problems come one after another in our marriages, families, friendships and at work.
Therefore, we should also pray for each another.
We need God’s wisdom since we are to make manyfold wisdom known to the principalities
and powers in heavenly places regarding the way we manage to know God’s will, practice
God’s Word in all aspects of our lives and overcome any problem that comes in our ways
(Ephesians 3: 10).
In spite of our tribulations, like what happened to the Apostle Paul and other apostles, let’s not
lose heart (Ephesians 3: 13). Instead, let’s receive the strength of His grace and peace by faith
from the Word of God. Let each of us be filled with all the fullness of God so that we are able to
do beyond all that we imagine. To Him be the glory throughout all generations (ay. 19b-21).
Simply put, believers glorify the Lord until the end of time.
 A believer is to live out his faith (Ephesians 4 -6: 9).
- As believers, we live in unity (Ephesians 4: 1-16). For that reason, we are to live in accord with
our callings. While suffering (because of the name of Christ) in prison, Paul, for example,
showed his attitude as a man who lived according to his calling. How about us as free people
with free will to determine anything? Can we take control of our actions wherever we are?
Our marriage relationship, family unity, etc.?
Do we still pray and give thanks in times of hardships? Do not use your free will beyond
control. Rather, appreciate the sacrifice of Christ by “imprisoning” all actions against the
gospel. Instead, learn to be humble, patient and helpful to each other (Ephesians 4: 2).
Thousands of angels in heaven rejoice not only because of our repentance and but also
because of the way we live our faith in particular. On top of that, our relatives and friends
witness how we live up to our faith until the day we leave this world.
- As believers, we show our transformed behaviors (Ephesians 4: 17-24).
Transformation should not end up with self-satisfaction. Keep your spirit and mind renewed
(vv. 17, 20, 23, 24). Please note: If we sow with our minds, we will reap actions (because what
we think may turn into action); sowing actions will result in habits; sowing habits will shape
The question is: What kind of habit do we sow? Good or evil? Transformation is not an instant
product. It takes a time-consuming process. So, do away with lies and dirty words.
Instead, tell the truth and use good words to build up and give strength (vv. 24-29).
Be friendly to each other and forgive each other (v. 32). Do not grieve the Holy Spirit (v. 30).
- As believers, the way we live is marked with the fulfilment of the Holy Spirit all the time
(Ephesians 5:1- 6:9). Besides living up to our callings, we live a life filled with the Holy Spirit
every time (Ephesians 5: 13). We live in God’s love poured out by the Holy Spirit right at the
point when we were His enemies (Romans 5: 5-6). We were chosen prior to the creation of
the world, weren’t we (Ephesians 4: 1)? That’s why we must sincerey honor God’s choice
so that we can bring sweet-smelling offering to Him by obeying His commands
(Ephesians 5: 1-2).
Let’s love each other more intensely and be more sensitive to His will. That way, we will live
our lives more cautiously, away from exploiting our free will.
When it comes to friendships and offers of any kinds, even related to God’s ministries, we
need to prove everything beforehand (Ephesians 5: 10). Concerning God’s will, it is note
worthy that an offer should not only sound good, but it should also be perfect and pleasing to
Him. Being “perfect” often goes hand in hand with sacrifice. With this in mind, try to
understand His will by living a life filled with the Spirit (vv. 17-18).
Being filled with the Spirit does not simply mean speaking in tongues that others cannot
comprehend (1 Corinthians 14: 18-19). Rather, it means living out faith that others can
understand (Ephesians 5: 19-21) and apply to married lives, homelives – parents and children
(Ephesians 6: 1-4) and at work – masters and slaves (vv. 5-9).
Do we live our lives filled with the Holy Spirit? Or, does the “flesh” get the upper hand
over us?
 A believer equips themselves with strength (Ephesians 6: 10-24).
- We must take up the whole armor of God in order to be able to stand (v. 13), believing until
the end of time to face political, economic, social, natural turbulences on a national as well as
international scale.
In his ministries, the Apostle Paul was also confronted with uproars provoked by people who
were jealous of him in collaboration with a number of criminals to cause chaos in the city (Acts
17: 1-5). In his farewell meeting with the Ephesian believers, he reminded them to stay on
guard against various winds of teaching (Acts 20: 25-30; Ephesians 4: 14-15).
We should stay alert since we deal with physical and spiritual matters, namely evil spirits.
These strongly organized spirits make every effort to topple our faith and standpoints alike.
They bring distortions to marriages, families and interfellowship. Therefore, all saints should
pray for each other to keep their unity depite the distance that keeps them apart.
These saints should also have the boldness to proclaim the mystery of the gospel
(Ephesians 6: 18-20).
- Aside from that, we must also console, build up and strengthen others. In this battle, we need
to support each other and struggle shoulder to shoulder. For this very purpose, Paul sent
Tychicus to the church in Ephesus (Ephesians 6: 21-22).
Let’s model ourselves after Tychicus, accountable and ready to be commissioned to diverse
ministries. Using the God-given gifts, he knew how to comfort, build up and strengthen others
(vv. 21-22). In this way, fellowship will be more intimate. Not only that, help as well as comfort
will soon be reality.
In the long run, the Lord will grant us assured hope, that is, peace and God’s love that will
always be with us (vv. 23-24).
Make sure that we believe and live in faith, taking pleasure in unity with a new, Spirit-filled lifestyle.
Equipped with the armor of God, we will stay resistant until the end of time. Amen.

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