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 reminds us that God provides “forgiveness for our failures based on his overflowing grace”, thankfully not based on what we deserve, but on His love for us. That is His promise, if we are willing to accept the responsibility that forgiveness entails. He has made a way for us to be reconnected with Him in spite of our failings.
God sent His son to reach us personally, to teach us about this wonderful offer of reconciliation. This blessing is offered to all who will receive it through Jesus. He came as an example of what a life in God could be.
There is nothing we can do to earn this blessing, the only thing we must do to receive it is respond with grateful thanks. God wants to be part of our daily lives, and wants us to share that joy with others. His promise will never change, but it will change us.
Gracious God, we are thankful for Your love and the coming of Your son to show us how to live. May we hear Your call on our lives and go to tell the Good News to everyone. Amen.