Daily Devotionals

Paul’s Text

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Scripture: “We have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in our prayers.” Ephesians 1:16

This Bible verse is quickly becoming one of my favorites. It’s on Brad Smith’s office door, and when I pass it, I always read it. It has not become part of the “furniture.”

I have wondered if it was hung there as a message to Brad from Eastminster, or if it was meant to be a message to members – possibly ushers and greeters, or officers who may be on the admin hall – from our pastors, because each pastor has a verse of thankfulness on his/her door. I don’t know who put it up, or what Small Group or class took on the project, but this sign, in particular, is a bright spot in my weekday. It’s personal.

Words of encouragement and kindness go a long way. I think that’s why Ephesians 1:16 has become special to me. It never gets old. It’s positive, unconditional appreciation. Absence makes the heart grow fonder, it says to me. You are unforgettable and we are thankful for you! We were thankful for you yesterday. We are thankful for you today. And we will be thankful for you tomorrow and the day after that. I can picture Paul smiling as he writes this in his letter to the “faithful in Jesus Christ” of Ephesus.

The “faithful in Jesus Christ” obviously needed some encouragement. Things were tough then, and as we are all well aware…things are tough now. Everyone is saying it and feeling it in one way or another. Things are extreme and going in the wrong direction. The news is almost unbearable. It’s like playing Russian Roulette with the remote. The truth is, everyone could use a little more good news, and Paul’s words were and are exactly that. Good news, in this case, words of encouragement and appreciation, is timeless. Paul was not talking to us, yet his words encourage me and probably others every time they are read and understood.

The verse is pleasantly surprising and unexpected. It makes you want to reciprocate in some positive way. And since we can’t change the “tough” aspects of today, like the temperature or the rising price of gasoline, we can do something positive. We can be grateful. It doesn’t cost a dime. We can intentionally find things to be happy about and say them out loud. We can tell people we are thankful for them, or simply give someone a compliment in place of critique. And you know what else? We can pray without asking for God’s help. We can simply thank him. We can be a bright spot.

Prayer: Dear heavenly Father, thank you for all that we have been given, and for every chance we have to make a positive difference in your world by showing others the genuine love of Christ. Amen.

Submitted by Blythe Lewis