This morning I woke up in my own home and for a few seconds was uncertain of where I was! How odd! Jet lag? Old age? Whatever the reason, it didn’t stay long even though I briefly felt disjointed.
This morning’s Bible reading is a few long sentences, short on punctuation and rich in truth. If read it too quickly, I need to go back and read it again because I lose my place and am not certain of the connections between the descriptive phrases. It makes me feel disjointed also, but in a very pleasant way . . .
“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 1:3–14)
As I read, it seemed a good idea to break this down into a cause/effect diagram. Out of that came this:
- God-blessed in Christ –––––––––––– that I might be holy and blameless
- Predestined for adoption –––––––––– to fulfill His will / to the praise of His grace
- Redeemed and forgiven –––––––––––– to make known to me the mystery of His will: unity with Him
- Given an inheritance in Christ –––––––––– to the praise of His glory
- Heard and believed the gospel –––––––––––––––– sealed with the Holy Spirit . . . to the praise of His glory
The bottom line is that God saved sinners like me for the praise of His glory. All that He has done points to the wonder of who He is, the wonder of grace (God’s riches at Christ’s expense), the wonder of a plan made before the world was formed — to make rebels who resist Him into blessed, holy and blameless, sons and daughters who are redeemed, forgiven and united with Him, sealed for eternity — because He promised this is our destiny.
Jesus, what can I say? I understand Paul’s mindset when he wrote this. You woke him up to the truth of where he stood before You, and he could not help himself — the words tumbled out, a torrent of truth, a shout of the glorious reality of Your amazing blessings. He knew it; I know it. It is like waking up to the incredible reality that because of You, I am in a glorious place. I’m not physically with you yet, but Your Spirit guarantees that my home in heaven is a reality — to the praise of Your glorious grace!