The First 15

Thursday June 23, 2022

by Jan Davis

Today is Thursday, June 23 and we continue to pray through chapter two of Paul’s letter to the Ephesians.

Opening Prayer

I come to this time of prayer bringing an open heart and open mind, quietly waiting for God to reveal truth to me and whisper wisdom over my soul.

Pause and Pray

Holy Lord God, I am here to experience your loving presence and discover the specific message you have for me. Communicate through the sacred words of holy scripture and help me carry your revelation throughout my day. Amen.

Scripture Reading

I praise Jesus Christ the cornerstone and rejoice in God’s goodness with the words of Psalm 118.

The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; the Lord has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes. The Lord has done it this very day; let us rejoice today and be glad. Psalm 118:22-24

Pause and Pray

God has taken great measures to restore humanity into fellowship with him. Jesus is the key. Jesus ended the alienation and removed the barrier. In the next few verses of Ephesians chapter one, Paul uses terms that are political in nature – defining what it means to belong to a particular country. There is a status that is enjoyed through citizenship. It is the same in the kingdom of God. Those who were once far away were called aliens, foreigners and strangers, but when they accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior they are now so near to God they are called citizens and members of the household of God. We who once had no people, now are God’s people. (Fredrick J. Long, The Letter to the Ephesians)

Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. Ephesians 2:19-20


When a person travels outside of their country they need to carry a passport. Official agents behind big desks ask questions of those entering a country’s border. Travelers encounter barriers when passing through customs and immigration. When I travel internationally, I keep my passport handy – to identify me as a citizen of the United States of America. When I come to the dividing wall between two countries and display my passport, I am allowed to enter, I am invited in. So it is to be a “citizen” in the kingdom of God. It is the greatest sense of security and belonging to know my eternal passport has been fully won with the blood of Jesus. My heavenly citizenship is sealed on the passport of my soul – my name, my face, my fingerprints, even the hairs of my head (Luke 12:7) – I am identified, I am unique, I am known and claimed by God.

Ask: What does it mean to be a citizen of the kingdom of God? What difference might that make in my daily life?

Pause and Pray

Thank you, precious Lord God, for I once was a foreigner living outside your kingdom and a stranger to your love. There is nothing I could ever do to be worthy of your household, yet you make me an honorable citizen of heaven. Thank you for the universal Church, of all times and all places, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets with Jesus Christ as the head and cornerstone. I read the words from Ephesians again and listen for the message you have for me.

Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. Ephesians 2:19-20

Ask: What image, word or phrase stands out to me when I slowly read this passage? What is God trying to say to me through these words of scripture?

Pause and Pray

Dissecting daily passages from Ephesians gives me an opportunity to go deeper into this text, listening for God’s message each day. Perhaps one of Paul’s images resonates the most with my soul – heavenly citizenship or the household of God. I imagine myself as part of God’s family. Living in God’s household. I consider what it means for me to be a heavenly citizen with God’s holy people – the saints from all generations. I ponder my role in the universal Church built on a sure foundation solidly constructed beginning with the cornerstone – Jesus himself. All things are perfectly aligned and beautifully assembled because of Christ. He is the cornerstone and head of the church (Colossians 1:18, Ephesians 1:22).

Pause and Pray

Come, Father God, I invite you into my life’s circumstances and ask you to teach me what it means to live my life as a citizen of your heavenly kingdom and as a member of your household. What are the joys and privileges? What are the responsibilities and obligations? Grant me your grace to live a life worthy of a heavenly call. Amen.

As I have often told you before and now tell you again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is set on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven. Philippians 3:18-20a

Closing Prayer

I leave this time of prayer and travel into a broken world. I carry a heavenly passport and shine the love of Christ wherever I go.


The First 15

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