Tuesday, April 2nd
Lock: to make fast with or as if with a lock; to hold in a close embrace
Ephesians 1:11-14 (NRSV)
In Christ we have also obtained an inheritance, having been destined according to the purpose of him who accomplishes all things according to his counsel and will, so that we, who were the first to set our hope on Christ, might live for the praise of his glory. In him you also, when you had heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and had believed in him, were marked with the seal of the promised Holy Spirit; this is the pledge of our inheritance toward redemption as God’s own people, to the praise of his glory.
I enjoy listening to music on my iPod as I walk each morning. Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing is one of my favorite songs, and I especially love this stanza:
Oh, to grace how great a debtor
Daily I’m constrained to be
Let Thy goodness like a fetter
Bind my wandering heart to Thee
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it
Prone to leave the God I love
Here’s my heart, oh, take and seal it
Seal it for Thy courts above∗
At Here’s my heart, oh, take and seal it, I draw an X with my finger across my heart as a symbolic reminder that it is “prone to wander.” I need the help of the Spirit to keep my heart sealed, to keep it locked in unity with God.
In preparation for this devotion, I found this helpful commentary about Paul’s use of the word seal in Ephesians 1:13:
“In the ancient world a seal was used to signify the genuineness of a document. When goods were being transported, a seal identified their owner and protected them from theft. In government, a seal served as an official emblem of state officials. Paul uses seal as a metaphor for the Holy Spirit’s supernatural work in a believer’s life. It is a sign that we are spiritually genuine, protected, and validated as members of God’s family. ” (Quest Study Bible Commentary, page 1677)
Through the work of the Holy Spirit our hearts are sealed, signifying that we are genuine, protected, validated and beloved children of God! We could never lock our hearts into an obedient relationship with God on our own. Jesus came to give us a better way. He gave us the Holy Spirit- the One whose work in us does the sealing for us!
One of the definitions of lock is “to hold in a close embrace.” Isn’t this such a lovely and fitting way to envision how the Spirit seals our hearts to make them God’s own?
∗(Robert Robinson, Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing)
All definitions are excerpted from the Merriam-Webster online dictionary at https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/
Photo credit: Aaron Burden on Unsplash