Ephesians has always been one of my favorite books. Back in college when I took honors Biblical Interpretation this is the book I chose to write my big term paper on. I have no clue what I wrote in that paper nor do I have the commentary book I used more than 15 years ago. Despite graduating from a Christian university, I’m no theologian. This and any future posts are just what I’m learning now while I read it using my NLT Study Bible.
What is our legacy with Christ?
We get to be united with Christ. Christ! He is not separate or far from us but we are united. He is with me. Always. Something I need to rely on more than I do. A relationship I need to cultivate. So many times this summer I’ve been reminded that I need to spend more time in the Bible and praying and here’s another. Too many unnecessary things get in the way of my relationship with Christ, these same hints often get in the way of my relationships with my husband, my children, and my friends. I need to get my priorities straight so I’m focused on what really matters. First things first and everything else will fall into place where it should.
God loved us before the world. Reminds me of Psalm 139 where it talks about us being known in the womb, being fearfully and wonderfully made.
He chose me.
Because he loves me. I am to be holy and without fault. I’m adopted by God, taken into his family. Because of what Jesus did for me, for us. Not only did God want this but it brought him pleasure. I bring him pleasure. Great pleasure.
My response? Praise. God lavishes grace and I respond by praising him.
What other response is there?
“He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins.” Eph 1:7.
Let that sink in for a minute.
The note from my study Bible says, “Believers, who were once prisoners of sin, are free from God’s judgment and from bondage to sin because of Christ’s sacrificial death.”
I was a prisoner and am now free.
Do I act like I’m free?
Sometimes I sin, over and over the same sin. Mine is anger, yours might be something different. These sins are all covered by what Christ did for us on the cross. We are free. I am free. Or at least I can be. I have not quite figured out the how yet, since it’s all too often I find myself angry or reacting in anger … But I think, at least for me, the biggest issue is not spending enough time in the Word and in prayer. The farther I stray from my relationship with God the more anger has free reign and God does not. Praise God he gives me grace, but what is my response? Not always what it should be. There are so many things I say and do that do not bring glory to God. My humanness rears it’s ugly head far too often.
Still God showers kindness and wisdom and understanding.
Is this in hopes that one day I will get it?
Makes me think of my kids, specifically the 8yo. He does the same things over and over seemingly ignorant of instruction and guidance. He knows he shouldn’t but does anyway. Repeatedly. Maybe I’m a spiritual 8yo.
God revealed something to us.
Why would the creator of the universe reveal something to us? Maybe so we can have hope, definitely so we can share with others. God’s plan involves everything, EVERYTHING, being under Christ’s authority. We are united with Christ. Have an inheritance from God who “chose us in advance, and he makes everything work out according to his plan,” Eph 1:11. Another part of God’s plan and purpose is that we trust in him and by so doing bring praise and glory to him. He gave all believers the Holy Spirit as a guarantee that we will get that promised inheritance, the one we don’t deserve because of our sin but get anyway because of God’s grace and Christ’s sacrifice. We were bought with a price and our gratitude is seen through our lives praising and glorifying God.
So many tangible blessings in my life and yet the spiritual blessings Paul talks about are more important.
What Christ did for me.
That God loves me.
That God purchased me with the cost of Christ’s death.
I’m grateful to be part of his plan and when I’m in the thick of the chaos of this life on earth need to remember that I was bought with the ultimate price for the purpose of praising and glorifying God. In whatever circumstances I find myself. Not to whine about all the things I don’t like or have but instead to focus on the praises and blessings and find the joy in all my circumstances. Something I can only do if I am united with Christ daily praying and reading my Bible.
Here’s to the wonderful joy in knowing that despite my efforts, God is the one in charge, he is the one with the plan. He is guiding my steps and getting me where he wants me to be so I do glorify him. One day, one trial, one circumstance at a time. I’m a slow learner but God is hanging with me and will not ever leave me alone on this journey. Praise God for his grace and mercy.