Series: Grounded in Love
Message: Our Circle
Preacher: Japhet De Oliveira
Reflection: Mark Witas
Live Wonder: Zan Long
Live Adventure: Jenniffer Ogden
Live Beyond: Andrew Jones
Live Purpose: Emily Ellis
Editor: Becky De Oliveira
Refresh: Begin with prayer. Ask for the Holy Spirit to open your heart to new understanding and for God’s character to be revealed.
Read: Ephesians 1:1-14 in the English Standard Version (ESV). Note 1–3 insights or questions.
Reflect: The author of Ephesians says, “When you believed, you were marked in Him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of His glory” (Verses 13-14).
In the Book of Revelation there is a lot of talk about seals. Not the kind of seal that you see at Marine World slapping its flippers together while balancing a ball on its nose. The seals in the book of Revelation are more of a permanent stamp of ownership or authorship. Kind of like an ancient wax seal that would be fastened to a letter or message of importance.
The last book of the Bible describes two seals that folks that the end of time will possess. People will either be stamped with the seal of God or the seal of the beast. The seal of God is placed on the forehead of believers. The seal of the beast appears on both the forehead and the right hand of those opposed to the way of Love.
In both cases, the seal of God and seal of the Beast, the seal is acquired because this is what human beings choose as their destiny. Those who choose to accept what God has freely given them, and choose to continue to follow the Lamb wherever He leads, receive the seal on their forehead. Those who choose the way of the Beast receive the other seal, because this is their great desire.
So what is this seal of God? Is it an actual tattoo on the forehead? Is choosing to go to church on a certain day versus another as some have taught? Or is it something else?
We really don’t have to do much searching to find what the seal of God is. It’s right there in Ephesians 1. Paul tells us that the seal of God is His Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit that guides us into all truth, all obedience, all faith. The Holy Spirit that comforts us in times of loss. The Holy Spirit that grants us wisdom when faced with difficult decisions. The Holy Spirit that interprets our inner groanings into beautiful, eloquent prayers. The Holy Spirit is the seal of God.
Notice that in the Book of Revelation, every person standing on the Sea of Glass has this seal. That’s because being possessed by the Holy Spirit is a guarantee that our future is secured. He is the indwelling Christ that is the reason there is no condemnation for us.
Recalibrate: What are the evidences that the Holy Spirit is in possession of a life? Do you feel Him, see evidences of Him or just have to believe that He is what He is promised to be?
Respond: Take time to realize that Jesus has sent us the Holy Spirit to dwell in us. He is in us, wanting to direct our thoughts and actions. Thank Him for guiding you into all truth.
Research: Read John 14:15-31
Remember: “Bring praise to God’s glory” (Ephesians 1:14, ICB).
Mark Witas is the lead pastor for the Sunnyside Seventh-day Adventist Church in Portland, Oregon. He is a regular contributor to the Daily Walk.
Share with your child the story of creation and how God breathed life into Adam and Eve. Check out the Bible App for Kids creation story. Hold your little one’s hand away from your mouth and breathe out so they can feel your breath on their hand. See if they can do the same for you. God gives us life to do good things with it. Our Words to Remember for this week say, “Bring praise to God’s glory” (Ephesians 1:14, ICB). See if your little one can say those words with you.
Remind your child of The Words to Remember for this week (“Bring praise to God’s glory.” Ephesians 1:14). Find a way that you can help make the big home where we all live a better place today. Maybe you can help pick up trash, or rake a yard, or plant some bulbs to bloom in spring. When we remember all the things God gives us, it is easy to share and help make the world even more beautiful. Keep your eyes open for how you can help make the world more beautiful today and bless others!
Do you look like your parents? Do you act like them? Maybe you do, maybe you don’t. Whether you like it or not, you’ve got some of them in you. I look almost exactly like my dad. His first grade school picture and my first grade school picture look like photocopies. I even act like him. My mom said it was like having two of my dad in the house. Not only did I inherit my dad’s looks, but I also inherited his personality. We all inherited something from our moms and dads whether we want it or not. We also inherited something from our Heavenly Father, but this gift is a choice. He has given us the gift of Heaven. All we have to do is love and accept Jesus into our lives! That sounds way better than a funny cowlick!
What does the having the Holy Spirit in our lives look like? Ephesians says that we are “sealed with the Holy Spirit,” but what does that mean? When we have the Holy Spirit within us, our lives begin to mirror Christ’s life. This spirit has given us the promise of an inheritance. And what is this inheritance? Being in Christ. Being in Christ means that everything that is true about Christ is true about you. His victory has become our victory and we have access to eternal life because of what He has done. And so, quite literally, when God looks at you, He sees Jesus. We are holy and blameless because He is. We have access to every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places because He does. What are some ways that we can practice experiencing God’s Spirit? Maybe it means starting your day by connecting with God and saying, “God, in this moment I may not believe, but I ask that you help my unbelief. Create a desire within me to want to know you more.” Read a passage in Ephesians and claim it as God’s promise to you.
Zan Long is GRC director for faith development groups. She lives in Sydney, Australia, and serves at her local church in nearby Kellyville.
Jenniffer Ogden serves as the children and family pastor at the Walla Walla University Church in College Place, Washington.
Andrew Jones teaches grades seven and eight at Vista Ridge Academy in Erie, Colorado. He is originally from Oregon and attends Boulder Church.
Emily Ellis is a junior studying theology at Walla Walla University and interning at the Eastgate Seventh-day Adventist Church.