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  • Shawn Thornton

When God Breaks the Rules

Monday - January 10th

Scripture to Read Today: Ephesians 1:3-14

You also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit.

Ephesians 1:13


Today writers can utilize AI (artificial intelligence) applications like Grammarly, Quillbot, and ProWritingAid to sharpen their sentences and paragraphs. For example, I use Grammarly to help ensure what I write communicates as effectively and efficiently as possible. It doesn't do the writing for me (I am sure that feature is coming), but Grammarly shows me writing missteps that cloud the clarity of a sentence or a paragraph.


I am utilizing Grammarly right now as I write this Take5 devotional. Grammarly goes beyond simple spelling errors and obvious grammatical mistakes. Sometimes I find myself a bit embarrassed when the software points out a glaring sentence fragment or, the opposite, a run-on sentence. Taking the time to fix a sentence helps clarify what I am trying to communicate.


Over the years, my father-in-law (who has been a life-long educator) has proofed pieces I write. What Grammarly misses, he catches. From time to time, when I am trying to make a specific emphasis, I ignore things highlighted by Grammarly or pointed out by my father-in-law. Maybe a sentence fragment or a run-on sentence actually help bring a point home. So, I intentionally break the grammar rules. Neither Grammarly nor my father-in-law like it. It is easier to ignore the software's input than the input of my human proofreader. He argues his case. Grammarly does not.


Because of the profound nature of much of Paul's teaching in the Book of Ephesians, Paul uniquely uses run-on, complex sentences throughout his letter. For example, in the Greek text, Ephesians 1:3–14 is one sentence, which some scholars consider to be the most cumbersome in the Greek language! In fact, The Book of Ephesians has eight lengthy sentences (1:3–14, 15–23; 2:1–7; 3:1–13, 14–19; 4:1–7, 11–16; 6:14–20). Yet, each of these sentences presents profoundly simple (not simplistic) theological and practical perspectives for our lives.


Read Ephesians 1:3-14 out loud from your Bible or Bible app. As you read, listen to the beautiful perspective on our salvation in Christ conveyed in this sentence. It is a long, profound sentence. But it is also a clear, Christ-centered, hope-filled statement about our relationship with God now and forever!


When God breaks the rules of good grammar, He emphasizes the grandness of our salvation in Christ!

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