Ephesians 1 has been a favorite passage of mine for several years. I like to read it with my own name inserted into its pages and imagine Paul talking to me, a believer in Jesus Christ. Join me today as I work through the first part of the chapter.
While many these days would argue that the Bible is old and out of date, I would encourage us to look at it it’s pages with fresh eyes to better understand our creator, to get a glimpse of His love and broken heart over His people (the Israelites), and then to receive the grace, which has been offered to each of us through Jesus.
Wherever you fall today, whether you are skeptical about Jesus or know him very personally, please hear these words (written a couple thousand years ago), with you in mind. God desires to have this kind of relationship with you today!
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places,
*For those who have a relationship with Christ, you have been blessed with every spiritual blessing. That’s power, friends!
4 even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him.
*You were chosen and loved before the grass was laid and the oceans were carved out. YOU.WERE.CHOSEN and not just chosen, but for a purpose: to be holy and blameless before him. Because He gives us the Holy Spirit at the time of salvation, you are not left to “be holy” by yourself.
In love 5 he predestined us[b] for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, 6 to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.
*Adopted: to take by choice; accepted. As a child of God, you have received placement in His family. You are not alone or unwanted. You have a place at His table and will receive His affection and love. There’s a room for you in his home.
This concept had never so fully hit home with me, until I began reading the stories of orphans, who just want to be a part of a family. I’ll read about “Antonio” who loves to play with cars and eat spicy food and “would love a forever home” or “Ally” who is 16, but still longs to be a part of a family. In Christ, there is no “wanting” anymore. You have been adopted into the most loving home with a God who knows what you need, well before you do. Regardless of what this broken world has offered you, God has prepared a place in heaven for you where there is no loneliness, abandonment or fear.
7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, 8 which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight 9 making known[c] to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ 10 as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.
*Being a child of God means true forgiveness. In other words, this isn’t a hold it over your head kind of love! God’s forgiveness comes through what Jesus did for each of us on the cross; He died a miserable death and took on the sins of the world so that we might be seen as clean and presentable before a Holy God. My sin is no longer mine; it’s been forgiven. Now, that’s redemption! And don’t miss this…the grace offered to each of us is given lavishly and according to God’s riches. That should mean that we, as believers in Jesus are extending heaps of grace to others. If you’re not, why aren’t you? The One we were created for-our example-sure does!
The next time you open God’s Word, ask Him to speak directly to your heart! His Word is full of rich truth that will truly change your life!!
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