12/30/20

Our scripture this week is Ephesians 1:3-14, taken today from the Christian Standard Bible (CSB).

Blessed is the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavens in Christ. For he chose us in him, before the foundation of the world, to be holy and blameless in love before him. He predestined us to be adopted as sons through Jesus Christ for himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace that he lavished on us in the Beloved One. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace that he richly poured out on us with all wisdom and understanding. He made known to us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure that he purposed in Christ as a plan for the right time —to bring everything together in Christ, both things in heaven and things on earth in him. In him we have also received an inheritance, because we were predestined according to the plan of the one who works out everything in agreement with the purpose of his will, so that we who had already put our hope in Christ might bring praise to his glory. In him you also were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and when you believed. The Holy Spirit is the down payment of our inheritance, until the redemption of the possession, to the praise of his glory.

Paul tells us of the blessings God sends to those who choose Him. These aren’t things we can see or touch, but when we believe, they enable us to become brothers and sisters in Christ, part of God’s workforce for the healing of the world. This is a blessing beyond measure, to know and share His love with everyone.

Jesus came to be God with us face to face, teaching and showing us what life in God is all about. He promised when He was no longer with us in person that the Holy Spirit would come to us as God’s presence in our lives (John 14:16). Paul speaks of this as “the down payment of our inheritance” (v. 14).

God has already kept His promise to us, He always does. Now it is our turn to act in faith, to believe in the truth of the Good News and spread it to all the world. We are each called by name to be the representatives of His love.

Gracious God, we are grateful to be Your people, ready to go where You send us to do Your will. Strengthen us to be effective workers for Your kingdom. Amen.

Published by Pastor Doug

UMC pastor, Retired USAF, husband, father, grandfather

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