Our scripture this week is Ephesians 1:3-14, taken today from the Common English Bible (CEB).
Bless the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! He has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing that comes from heaven. God chose us in Christ to be holy and blameless in God’s presence before the creation of the world. God destined us to be his adopted children through Jesus Christ because of his love. This was according to his goodwill and plan and to honor his glorious grace that he has given to us freely through the Son whom he loves. We have been ransomed through his Son’s blood, and we have forgiveness for our failures based on his overflowing grace, which he poured over us with wisdom and understanding. God revealed his hidden design to us, which is according to his goodwill and the plan that he intended to accomplish through his Son. This is what God planned for the climax of all times: to bring all things together in Christ, the things in heaven along with the things on earth. We have also received an inheritance in Christ. We were destined by the plan of God, who accomplishes everything according to his design. We are called to be an honor to God’s glory because we were the first to hope in Christ. You too heard the word of truth in Christ, which is the good news of your salvation. You were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit because you believed in Christ. The Holy Spirit is the down payment on our inheritance, which is applied toward our redemption as God’s own people, resulting in the honor of God’s glory.
Paul begins his letter to the congregation in Ephesus with a reminder of God’s blessing and His plan for us. He tells them (and us) that we are called to be part of what God is doing in the world. Before going into any specific instruction or other issues, Paul calls them to remember who they are and what God intends for them.
What a wonderful way to begin any activity, by recalling our purpose and the joy we have in the Lord. God wants to be involved in our everyday lives, to be present with us to encourage and comfort us. Through His inspiration, any task we are called to becomes holy work.
Consider your relationship with God in everything you do, even the most common things. By including Him in all our activities, we maintain a closeness that enables us to call on Him in difficult times. When we need strength, He is always there.
Loving Lord, we are Your children, created by Your hand and breath. Help us to live in You and You in us, that we may follow the way You have prepared for us and share Your love with the world. Amen.