I am currently using a JOeRNAAL Tredessa got me from South Africa to write, word for word, the entire book of Ephesians and then to "personalize it," re-writing it as I receive the Word as my own. Ephesians has long been my favorite book of the Bible so you'd think I wouldn't have been surprised to just be realizing: Paul wasn't writing a "book of the Bible" when he wrote this. He was writing a letter (later recognized to be inspired by God through him) to the household of faith at Ephesus, people he loved, the people he really wanted to see GET what God had done for them and how God saw them.
It has turned my personalizing of this book into my chance to use Paul's now-paraphrased words into a letter to my own family. Here is a sample. Eat it up – it is for you, too, dear reader!
It's really, dear familia, by the forceful-favor called GRACE (this powerful wind of love and goodwill that blows over and through you, the God-given power to do what He has called you to do, to be who He has called you to be) that you have each been healed-cured-delivered-rescued-given new life and a fresh new heart (aka SAVED) through your trust and confidence and assurance in God and all that He says (your FAITH) – not at all through your own efforts or your ideas, or desires, even. It is all from our mighty and awesome Father God – just an outpouring towards us, a gift! It's His idea. And by the way – don't try paying Him back by your works or talents and gifts. You cannot allow yourself ever to think you had anything to do with what He has done!
Anything God could say in 27 words or less through Paul, I can say in 127 words or so…Jeanie
NOTE TO SELF: Stay in the favor-force. Receive the gift. Jesus already paid it.