Once again, I’ve had a long blogging dry spell. However, it’s not because I haven’t been writing. I just haven’t been writing here. I’ve written some stories, two of which are being refined for possible publication. I wrote a novel’s worth of words in November, though I’ve not yet completed a novel. And, as always, I continue to journal in an effort to keep myself on track with the Lord. I pour my heart out to Him on a regular, near daily, basis.
Now, though I have several projects still in the works, I’m feeling drawn to dig in to a Bible Study again. My current class is on the epistles written by Paul while he was imprisoned in Rome. As I read through Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, I was impressed, again, with how much is there, for new believers and mature alike.
So I’ll begin again, writing a bit of Bible Study. No promises on how often. No promises on how long. The only promise I make is to put my heart into it. All the love I have for the Lord I pour out to you. My prayer is that my heart and His will be so entwined that His words spill from my fingers to feed all who are hungry and wanting more. I also pray, as Paul does in Ephesians 1:17, “that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him.”
In the passage we will be looking at here, Ephesians 1:3-10, Paul begins by blessing God who blesses us with the gift of His Son. Every blessing in Heaven is to be ours. We’ve been adopted into the family of God. We are equal inheritors of all that He has. He’s our Daddy, our Abba, and He wants us to have everything He has to offer. And since He is God, the Creator of the Universe and all it contains, absolutely everything is His. He wants us to have it all.
Verse four says that He chose us before the foundations of the world. Remember the scene in Toy Story, when Buzz Lightyear enters the claw machine with all of the little Martian stuffed toys? And when the claw comes down and picks him up and Woody tries to hold him back, all the Martians go, “He has been chosen!” Well, it’s kind of like we are in a great big claw machine, but God has an infinite number of quarters to play the game with and an infinite amount of time to play the game. And He’s going to keep playing the game, because He wants us all. He keeps dropping the claw and scooping us up, one by one. But we have to latch on to the claw as well. If we kick at the arms of the claw, we can drop out of His grasp. He will not drag us, kicking and screaming into His will. We have to say “Yes.” And once we say “Yes,” we have available to us all that He has to offer, which again, is everything, not the least of which is to be holy and blameless before Him.
And what does that mean, to be holy and blameless? Holy, according to thefreedictionary.com means “Belonging to, derived from, or associated with a divine power”. However, the 1828 version of Webster’s Dictionary defines it as, “Properly, whole, entire or perfect, in a moral sense. Hence, pure in heart, temper or dispositions; free from sin and sinful affections.” God purifies our heart, removing our sin, crucifying it on the cross with His Son, Jesus, making us holy and blameless in His sight, so that we can be with Him in those Heavenly places.
We are redeemed, forgiven of our sin, (pre)destined for adoption, all through the blood Jesus shed on the cross. When we say our “yes” and associate ourselves with Him, we receive all the rights and privileges He received as the Son of God. And, yeah, that’s pretty heady stuff. But let’s face it, having Jesus as your adopted sibling is pretty heady.
And sometimes we might wonder what God was thinking. Is He crazy, adopting me? I know I’ve wondered that, lots of times. But verse eight says, “that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding.” Yeah, He knows what He’s doing. We may not, but He does. And that, my friends, is a part of the mystery that is spoken of in the next verse. He moves us from one level of knowing to another as we grow in our knowledge of Him. As it says in Second Corinthians 2:18, we are “being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another.” As we grow and mature, we gain a deeper understanding of things. It doesn’t mean that the things we learned before are wrong, we simply gain a deeper insight to things, and experience a deeper level of our need for forgiveness, grace, mercy, and His love. Just as with anything, we learn more as we mature. Math, science, life, and love, the more we learn, the more we realize how little we really know. The deeper we delve into the mysteries, the more we realize how deep they truly are.
The ultimate goal of God, voiced in verse ten as “a plan for the fullness of time,” is to “unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.” The New Living Translation says, “And this is the plan: At the right time he will bring everything together under the authority of Christ – everything in heaven and on earth.”
So, do we really know, believe to the very depth of our being, that we are God’s children, entitled to all the benefits He has? If you don’t yet know it, or you know it in your head (you know the words) but don’t yet feel it in your heart, read this part of Ephesians again. Meditate on it. Read it several times, write it down, practice it. Let it sink into your spirit. And thank God for this precious gift. Think about how truly incredible it is. Keep going back to it until it starts to settle in. And trust Him. He doesn’t make mistakes.