The First 15

Tuesday July 12, 2022

by Jan Davis

Today is Tuesday, July 12. We continue our tour of Ephesus traveling to the fourth chapter of Paul’s letter to the Ephesians.

Opening Prayer

In the morning, I wait for a word from my Heavenly Father, I sit at the feet of my Lord Jesus to learn his truth, and I open myself to the abiding presence of the Holy Spirit.

Pause and Pray

Holy and Loving God, thank you for inviting me to sit with you in the stillness of daybreak as you surround me with your embrace of steadfast love. I breathe slowly and deeply – exhaling my concerns and worries into your trustworthy care and inhaling your joy and peace to carry with me throughout my day. Amen.

Scripture Reading

I join in unity with all the people of God, past and present, and praise him with the words of Psalm 133.

How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity! It is like precious oil poured on the head, running down on the beard, running down on Aaron’s beard, down on the collar of his robe. It is as if the dew of Hermon were falling on Mount Zion. For there the Lord bestows his blessing, even life forevermore. Psalm 133:1-3

Pause and Pray

Christians are united – in all times and all places we find our unity in Jesus Christ. The barriers of hostility have been destroyed between us and God and us and others. The dividing walls have come down in Jesus the Savior. The Body of Christ (the church) is united as one. The New Testament paints a beautiful picture of unity in the early church with images of the community coming together to pray, worship, make decisions and share life. Unity is God’s gift to the church and Christians are encouraged to work towards unity especially in the local church. This does not presume that Christians will agree on all matters of faith and life, but it does require that believers love one another in Jesus. Disunity results from pride, selfish ambition, hypocrisy, favoritism, fear, prejudice, quarreling, spiritual immaturity, and false teaching. Such things do not belong in God’s church.

There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. Ephesians 4:4-6


In this short sentence, Paul provides the absolute foundation for the church in all times and places. There are seven “ones” – one body (the church), one Spirit, one hope, one Lord (Jesus), one faith, one baptism, and one God. The list of seven is important for many reasons. In Scripture the number seven represents perfection and completeness. The Trinity is clearly referenced. God is defined in three persons – Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The church also makes the list. When Paul says, “one body” he is referring to the church community. We are one church. Christ unifies believers in his body and he is the head of the church. There is one God. Despite the claims of the ancient Roman world and pagan culture of Ephesus that there are many gods and lords, Paul says for the Christian there is only one. God the Creator is over, through and in all things.

Ask: What do I observe that threatens the unity of my church family? What are the “gods and lords” of this world which try to usurp the reign of God and headship of Christ in my life and in my church?

Pause and Pray

I pray to you God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit. You are the one God and blessed father of us all. Almighty Lord you are over all and through all and in all. You reign mightily in this world, in my church and in my heart. Preserve the unity of my church and bless all of the people who are members of Christ’s body. Bless your church with a resolute faith, renewed hope, fortified agreement and unprecedented peace. I read the words from Ephesians again and listen for the message you have for me.

There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. Ephesians 4:4-6

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

Paul’s brevity of words are chock full of essential Christian concepts on which to build a life of faith. God might want me to learn something about an area of my life that is currently experiencing division and disagreement. Perhaps this discord is found in a relationship, my home, my extended family, a friend group, my Sunday School class, small group, or local church. Maybe God is inviting me to alter my thinking or behavior in order to bring unity to the situation. Perhaps God is showing me how to work for agreement or compromise. If I let the words of this scripture speak directly into the situation – what might God be saying?

Pause and Pray

Holy and Loving God, in a world fraught with dissension, disagreement and division, reveal your blessed gift of unity, oneness and peace. I invite you into my home, my family and my church – cast out the sources that threaten to divide and fill us full of your Spirit of love, forgiveness, understanding and peace. Amen.

Now I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you be in agreement and that there be no divisions among you but that you be knit together in the same mind and the same purpose. 1 Corinthians 1:10

If, then, there is any comfort in Christ, any consolation from love, any partnership in the Spirit, any tender affection and sympathy, make my joy complete: be of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Philippians 2:1-2

Closing Prayer

As I leave this time of prayer, I go seeking to sow seeds of unity and peace in my relationships with other believers in the name of Jesus Christ.


The First 15

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