WEEK ONE OF TEN
Before His Throne: Introduction ~ What blessings are ours in Christ? (Eph. 1)
1st half – talked about who we are, and why we each signed up for this study. Some said they joined because of the title of the book – reminiscent of a much beloved song “Before the Throne of God Above.” Some said they joined because they didn’t have the time to commit to all the behind-the-scenes research of “Precepts” but still wanted to participate in a study of God’s word. One woman said that as she is getting older and considering the blessing of perhaps soon seeing her Lord face to face, she wanted to explore more this notion of how to be prepared to come before him in Glory. Still others said they came because of the fellowship they anticipated with others they knew would be in the class.
2nd half – looked through Ephesians chapter 1, first 14 verses, and pulled out the repetition of the phrase “in Him” or “in Christ” or “in the Beloved (Son)” and made a list of all the blessings that are ours, and all the “things” we possess as saints who are IN HIM. (My goal in this was to give a firm foundation – to remind us of the assurance of grace, of God’s forgiveness, to remind us of our identity in Christ – before we get into this study which is focused on the theme of “the fear of the Lord” as it is presented in the book of Malachi.)
Finally – we looked at verses 15 and following and identified (6) things we want to take as our prayer focus as we pray for each other over the coming weeks:
15 This is why, since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, 16 I never stop giving thanks for you as I remember you in my prayers. 17 [I pray] that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, would  give you a spirit of wisdom and  revelation in the knowledge of Him. 18 [I pray]  that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened  so you may know what is the hope of His calling,  what are the glorious riches of His inheritance among the saints, 19 and  what is the immeasurable greatness of His power to us who believe, according to the working of His vast strength.
(How is it true that “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” AND “perfect love casts out fear”?)
WEEK ONE OF TEN