This week we will take a look at the New Testament book of Ephesians. Ephesians, written by the apostle Paul about 60 A.D. likely when he was imprisoned in Rome (perhaps near about the same time he wrote Colossians) to the church in Ephesus and probably a circular letter intended for other churches in addition to the one in Ephesus. The city of Ephesus was the most important city in Western Asia Minor (now Turkey) and boasted a pagan temple dedicated to the Roman goddess Diana (Greek Artemis) (cf. Act 19:23-31). Paul made Ephesus his base of operations for over two years, during which he and his associates evangelized Western Asia Minor (Act 19:10). Read Ephesians this week in at least two other versions than you normally read. Day 1. Chapter 1 The obvious language of "predestined" in Eph 1:5-11 (Grk: proorizō - to predetermine, decide beforehand) can cause some difficulties with ideas of predestination vs. free will, once saved always saved, and other related theological issues. Without going into detail here, I might offer a quick suggestion: has God 'predestined' us in the sense that we have no free will and doesn't matter what we choose etc. (cf. Rom 9) or has he 'predestined' us in the sense that he decided beforehand that He would adopt His children into sonship after the fall through His perfect Son Jesus Christ, yet through His 'predestination' of this plan, we still have choice in participating in His 'predetermined' plan? Eph 1:18 - Pray with Paul today that the "eyes of your heart" may be enlightened in order that you may know... Day 2. Chapter 2 Eph 2:1 - One of the primary tenants of Christianity; you must recognize that you are dead in your transgressions and want life that you cannot provide for yourself (cf. Rom 5:6; Heb 11:6). Are you able to find other passages that help to explain how we are “made alive with Christ” (Eph 2:5), “raised up with Christ” (Eph 2:6), and “brought near by the blood of Christ” (Eph 2:13)? Do any of these seem to be contradictory to Eph 2:8-9? If so, how can we harmonize and reconcile them? Day 3. Chapter 3 Who can you pray for as Paul did (Eph 3:14-21) other than yourself? Pray this prayer for them today. Day 4. Chapter 4-6 These chapters describing Christian maturity will keep us busy for the rest of our lives. What instruction on Christian living jumps out at you in these chapters? Pray for strength and talk to someone close to you in the faith to help you in these areas. Day 5. Chapter 6 We are indeed in a struggle; however let us remember it is not against people, even when it feels that way. Putting on the full armor of God is no easy task and takes great effort and dedication, but He has given us all we need to be victorious (cf. Rom 8:37-39; 2 Pet 1:3). Please pray for me as Paul asked the Ephesians to pray for him (Eph 6:19).