Tag Archive for Ephesians

I am richly blessed by God

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. Ephesians 1:3-4 NIV

God….

  1. blesses us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing.
  2. planned on us being in Christ before the Creation of the world.
  3. wanted us to be holy and blameless according to God’s standards.
  4. made a way for us to meet God’s standards.

Therefore I…

  1. am blessed in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing. Isn’t it incredibly amazing that I exist in the heavenly realms? I am in two realms: the one we are very aware of and the the one that is unseen but ultimately so much more powerful and influential than what can be seen. And not only that, I don’t just exist in the heavenly realms; but every spiritual blessing that is there has been given to me!
  2. have everything I need. God planned for my provision before the world was even created. Isn’t that amazing? 2020, 2021, or whatever year it might be, God has given me everything imaginable. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness… you name it, God has given it to me beyond how I can even imagine it existing.
  3. am holy and blameless. When God looks at me, he sees holiness and innocence. Isn’t that amazing?
  4. am a recipient of God’s grace. I am so grateful that Jesus Christ made a way for me to live forever.

I was born for 2020 and 2021!

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:8-10 NIV

God…

  1. saves us by his/her grace.
  2. doesn’t charge us for our salvation.
  3. knows the future and prepares for it.
  4. created us in Christ Jesus.

Therefore I…

  1. am saved by grace! I am so grateful that I can be saved. So many times in the evangelical world, “salvation” is thought of in terms of heaven versus hell in the after-life, but God does a whole lot more saving than that! God’s grace transforms and redeems my life right now.
  2. get to get a present from God. It’s free. Do you ever have to pay for a gift? I don’t think so!
  3. am prepared for the future and the present. I never have to fear. Yes! I was made for 2020 and 2021 and the next day too!
  4. have been created in Christ and re-created in Christ for this very moment in history! I was born and re-born for this! Hurray!!!!

God is a revealer, an intense lover, the planner

We do, however, speak a message of wisdom among the mature, but not the wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. No, we declare God’s wisdom, a mystery that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began. None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. However, as it is written, “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived” – the things God has prepared for those who love him – these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit. 1 Corinthians 2:6-9 NIV

God is…

  1. A Revealer. One of my pastors, Aaron Horton, is always encouraging us to pray, “Spirit of Truth, lead us into all truth.” This is a most wonderful prayer. God is revelatory. Holy Spirit reveals God’s wisdom, truth, and love to us. I watched a documentary on some of the islands near Australia today. The beauty of God that is revealed in what has been made from that volcanic ash is incredible! I just enjoyed surfing the website of one of my favorite artists, who sometimes paints landscapes of South Dakota and nearby states. God’s beauty is revealed in her art and in the landscape. You can find her work on actofcanvas.com.
  2. An Intense Lover. “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived.” God has prepared for us more than anyone has ever received or dreamed of. Better than our ideal life or future is the reality of God’s revelation. As I sit here tonight thinking of people whom I love dearly, who quite strongly are repulsed by each other, I am in awe that this incredible promise is for each of them. God wants them all to experience abundant life and to live eternally. I am so glad of that!
  3. The Planner. I love that God’s wisdom was destined for our glory before time began. I am so grateful that God’s wisdom brings the end of death through Christ’s death. Human wisdom would have never dreamed that it would be possible for death to end through the murder of an innocent person. It is more than we could fathom or understand. It is bizarre yet the source of our life.

Therefore I am…

  1. In the Know. I can know God. I do know God. Like a baby discovering its fingers and toes and the people around it, I discover the spiritual realities that God reveals to me. I am no longer a “newborn” – at least one wouldn’t think so for how long I have believed Christ was my Savior – but perhaps I will always be a newborn in the Kingdom. I will retain the wonder awe of a little child discovering her Parent’s power and love.
  2. Intensely Loved. God loves me more than anyone has ever imagined one can be loved.

Higher than the highest heavens,
Lower than the deepest sea,
As far as east from west can be,
Greater love God has for me.

3. Planned. My glory is planned. The beautiful, wonderful, majestic future that God has for me has been planned. This wonderful present moment has been planned. Every good thing God has prepared me to do has been planned (Ephesians 2:10, Romans 8:28-29). I like it. I love it. I definitely want more of it! (That last bit is a quote from a country song. It’s up to you to google which one! haha!)

Joyful thanksgiving!

This morning I was having a conversation with myself as I thought about my life. I giggled and said, “Laura, of course God loves you! He even jumps up and down when He sees you because He is so happy!” I laughed knowing it was true, if not literally then certainly metaphorically. It’s sweet to be a child of God.

Recently I have reflected that sometimes His children will not treat me like good sisters and brothers. I have considered that sometimes they will treat me quite awfully, but God never will. No matter what happens, God will always be my good Father. He will never stop being faithful and true, kind and loving. He will even never stop being joyful as it is a natural result of His good character.

Today I am so grateful for my good, good Father! I pray that as we go throughout our day, we will experience His goodness in abundant measure! May His family be ours. May we love and be loved! And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance, dance!!!!

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight.” Ephesians 1:3-4

A look at destiny

Much of what God has destined me for, I am really excited about. I am excited about becoming like God (Romans 8:29), being holy and blameless in His presence (Ephesians 1:4), being adopted as His son (Ephesians 1:5) and being for the praise of His glory (Ephesians 1:12).

I am a little less excited about 1 Thessalonians 3, which says I was destined for trials and persecution. Indeed Jesus Himself warns us constantly in the gospels that the life of a disciple will be one fraught with pain. We will have to lay down our entire lives (Luke 14:33); we may lose our entire families (Luke 12:51, Matthew 10:34); we may be called the devil (Matthew 10:24-25). The list could go on and on.

In 1 Thessalonians, Paul reminds his readers that he warned them frequently in person that they would under go persecution and “it turned out that way as you well know.” He had sent Timothy to strengthen and encourage them in their faith, “so that no one would be unsettled by these trials. For you know quite well that we are destined for them.”

It’s not a fun fact, but it is a fact. You and I will have many trials in this life. Jesus has a good way of cheering us up! “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

It’s true that we will face trials and persecution here, but it is just as true that we are seated in the heavenly realms with Christ Jesus. (Ephesians 2:6) We don’t submit to our trials. We don’t worship them. No, they are under our feet. We are more than conquerors through Him who loved us!

Today as we face each trial and every unkind word, let us remember Romans 8:35-39

“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or distress or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: ‘For Your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.’ No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor principalities, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”