1/2/21

Our scripture this week is Ephesians 1:3-14, taken today from the New King James Version (NKJV).

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 should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved. In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence, having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself, that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth—in Him. In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will, that we who first trusted in Christ should be to the praise of His glory. In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.

This letter opens with praise to God for the blessings He has given us. We are thankful for all these gifts but none is as important as the fact that “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins” (v. 7). Christ’s sacrifice releases us from the captivity of this world and prepares us for eternal life with Him.

Jesus cared about us more than He cared about Himself, and He calls us to love and serve each other in the same way. He showed us that life was more than just wealth and owning things, that we were created for a higher purpose. We are made to be with Him forever.

We can only speculate about when and how He will return, but we have His promise it will happen. Jesus will come to take us all home. Then we will join the song of all creation “Blessing and honor and glory and power be to Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, forever and ever” (Revelation 5:13).

Loving Lord, we are grateful for all Your blessings to us. Help us to use our gifts in love for each other and to be ready when Jesus returns for us. Amen.

Published by Pastor Doug

UMC pastor, Retired USAF, husband, father, grandfather

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