1/1/21

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

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love He predestined us to adoption as sons and daughters through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, with which He favored us in the Beloved. In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our wrongdoings, according to the riches of His grace which He lavished on us. In all wisdom and insight He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He set forth in Him, regarding His plan of the fullness of the times, to bring all things together in Christ, things in the heavens and things on the earth. In Him we also have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things in accordance with the plan of His will, to the end that we who were the first to hope in the Christ would be to the praise of His glory. In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation—having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of the promise, who is a first installment of our inheritance, in regard to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory.

Paul tells us that we are God’s chosen, His “own possession” (v. 14), which should give us an idea of how much He loves us. We are part of the family of God, eternally connected to Him and each other. Because we are a family we have different gifts and different responsibilities.

Gods knows each of us better than we know ourselves because He created us. He has a plan for us as individuals and for us all as His people. We may not fully understand our role and the resources He has given, but by accepting the forgiveness He offers, we can live into the life He intends for us.

Many people see New Year’s Day as a chance to start again, to change their hearts and lives. This rededication is a good thing, but God is always ready for us to turn to Him. We don’t have to wait for the beginning of the year to repent and see a new path. God will be waiting for you every day! May we all be blessed in 2021 to better see His plan and answer His call on our lives.

Gracious God, we don’t deserve all the “second chances” You offer us, but You give them to us just the same. Help us to be worthy of the gifts You send, using our blessings to bless others. Amen.

Published by Pastor Doug

UMC pastor, Retired USAF, husband, father, grandfather

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