Ephesians 1:3 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, 4 just as he chose us in Christb before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless before him in love. 5 He destined us for adoption as his children through Jesus Christ, according to the good pleasure of his will, 6 to the praise of his glorious grace that he freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. 7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace 8 that he lavished on us.
The apostle Paul begins his letter to the church in Corinth with words of praise to the Father for his blessings and grace. Several things jump out at me from this passage:
1. v.3 says God has “blessed us in Christ”. Some of you know that I came to faith as a young adult, having married a life-long Christian. It’s not that I knew nothing about the church, it just wasn’t a meaningful part of my life until I was about 23-24 years old. Knowing Jesus has been an utterly transforming experience, one for which I am eternally grateful.
2. v.4 says “just as (God the Father) chose us in Christ…”. I can assure you I did not choose the Lord, the Lord chose me. And once the Lord laid hold of me, there was no letting go. Jesus is relentless!
3. v.6 says “to the praise of his glorious grace that he freely bestowed on us in the Beloved”. Today is my 26th wedding anniversary. Jana and I could never have made it without the lavish grace of God who carried us through many difficult times.
Speaking of difficult times, I know there are many people who read this blog who struggle in various ways. Perhaps even you. It would be wonderful if being a Christian allowed us to avoid the troubles of life – but it does not. Instead, we are given the promise that, in the midst of our troubles and sorrows, the Lord Jesus walks with us. The Lord Jesus walks with you. Right now. That’s a promise.
Lord Jesus, today I’m grateful for the many ways you lavish your grace upon your children – even those of us meeting in this space today. I pray especially for those who struggle in many and various ways. Give them faith to withstand the storm, arriving again to a place of peace. Amen.