“Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.
“In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.” Ephesians 1:2-14
In Paul’s methodical teaching, he greets the Ephesian church with a blessing, then spells out who they are and what they have. They were always to remember their standing in Christ, and the riches entrusted to them for stewardship in the church and beyond. An inventory would arm them for doing their part in the Body of Christ.
The bounty God’s children own is as unimaginable as it is wonderful as it is awe-inspiring. Only an infinite, all-sufficient God could so endow and supply. The identity and inheritance bestowed is lavish and eternal, empowering and enlightening for daily living with heavenly impact in an earthly world.
If all this is ours, how are we to behave, interact, plan, work, and serve? He’s granted us these precious gifts for a work He’s prepared. His Spirit inspires and unifies and builds, and we are privileged to be caught up in contributing. (Ephesians 1:15-20; 2:10,18-22)
What does being chosen from the beginning to be adopted as God’s child mean to our sense of identity and self-worth? Has it turned insecurity and self-consciousness to Christ-consciousness and desire to emulate Him? If we’re redeemed and forgiven, and are being made holy and blameless for eternity, how does that affect everyday choices, and motivate us beyond living for just me, just now? Where am I working my way, in my strength? If God indeed has a purpose for me, am I exploring His plan and exercising my gifts to that end? How is His indwelling Spirit directing and infusing the way I love, discern, speak, pray? (Esther 4:14; Acts 17:26; Romans 8:26-27; Galatians 5:22-23)
Father, may I daily rejoice in and live out Your bounty, to the praise of Your grace and glory.