Destined To Be Blessed

Scripture Reference:
Ephesians 1:1-6 (NASB)
1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God,

To the saints who are at Ephesus and who are faithful in Christ Jesus: 2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

3 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, 4 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love 5 He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, 6 to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.

Background:
Paul writes a letter to the church in Ephesus in about AD 60 while being in prison. He worked the ground for 3 years, working tirelessly to bring the Gospel and raise up faithful followers of Christ. (Acts 19-20) Having been established as a fairly new church, Paul desires that every Ephesian Christian be growing mature in the faith. He makes known to every Christian the insights of what God has done for humanity, what it means to be in Christ, and how knowing what God has done should transform one's faith and lifestyle to become mature.

Observation:
God has chosen to bless us in Christ.
According to the kind intention of His will and great grace, He has chosen to bless us. (1:3) These are spiritual blessings in the heavenly places - blessings that are beyond our physical nature world, conprising of our intended calling as holy and blameless (1:4), adoption as sons through Jesus (1:5), and perfect acceptance in the Beloved [the finished work of Jesus]. (1:6) It is in God's nature to bless us because He wants us to live our lives to the fullest.

Before the foundation of the world, we were chosen to be holy and blameless before Him.
Before the world was ever created, God has chosen us in Christ to be holy and blameless before Him. (1:4) Even after the Fall of man - when we have all gone astray, walking our own destructive, sinful paths - His decision has never changed. Just like how Jesus has lived in this world being holy and blameless, God sees that we will be like Him as well. He will pursue us relentlessly so that we will realize who we have been called to be.

We are predestined to be adopted as sons through Jesus Christ.
Having lived in a time when we did not recognize God's plans for our lives, we have subjected our souls to our carnal nature and the god of this age. (2 Corinthians 4:4) We belonged to the family of this world, and the end goal for all it's members is slavery to sin and destruction. God has predestined that we will be adopted as sons and daughters through Jesus Christ (1:5), crossing over from destruction to life.

Truth:
1) God will never withold His desire to bless us. However, we can only be truly blessed when we are in Christ.
I have seen people accumulating riches, nice houses, obtained good positions and pays in their jobs, and yet feeling empty. Just 2 weeks ago, I had a conversation with a friend who was way senior in age. She just got her dream home, money for retirement, a man who loves her, etc. But, I saw emptiness in her eyes. I saw her finding comfort in the things she had, and yet clearly not feeling happy. She told me, "You know, Joy, I have settled down and gained everything I need. I know it's hard, but I try to be happy..."

My heart was saddened because she has lived for so long, and yet she is still searching to be happy. To me, she wasn't living life; she was just trying to fulfill her wishes and needs for the sake of survival. That was when I realized this: God loves to bless His children. However, we will only become truly blessed when we are in Christ.

Most would settle for a stable life, trying to fulfill the physical things they think they need. They searched for temporal things to make them feel blessed in their definition, but that is not the true blessed life. The true test of feeling blessed is when we are down and out, suffering and in pain, and yet we feel genuinely blessed because we are living abundantly with God's Presence as our hope, strength, and source of favor.

The blessings of God will flourish in an even greater measure, affecting not just us, but the people around us, when we are in Christ.

2) Holinessness and blamelessness should be our identity.
God has called us to be holy and blameless before Him, adopting His likeness and attributes. Holiness and blamelessness should be our identity, and we can truly live that out when we are in Christ and have our lives yielded to the Holy Spirit.

Living as holy and blameless may seem quite far fetched to any individual who is struggling hard to overcome sin. Know that God, who has chosen us to live out this identity, is faithful to see and aid us through with His grace to be more like His Son, Jesus Christ.

3) God yearns for everyone to be His sons and daughters.
God may have predestined us to be adopted as sons and daughters in his family, but He also gives everyone a choice to choose if they would like to be in His family. He has given freewill as a gift to mankind, and He will not bypass that freewill. In His will, He yearns for everyone to be adopted His family and live the blessed life, because this adoption is not exclusive to any individual; it is meant for all.

Application:
1) Do you feel that life is meaningless even though you have everything? Or, do you feel life is meaningless because you have nothing in this world to live for? I will encourage you to forsake your old pursuits, dedicate your life to God, discover the good path He has for you, and start walking in it.

2) Do you find it hard to believe God for provision and finance? Do you fall into a perpetual cycle of worry and insecurity about your future? It is time to stop worrying and start believing that God will bless you abundantly. Bring your needs before God in prayer. 

3) Do you struggle with condemnation, always having thoughts that you are a downright sinner, and that you will never be able to become holy? You do not need to keep striving in your own strength, beating yourself so that you might attain holiness. Depend on the Holy Spirit's power, and live from the identity He has called you to be - a son and a daughter, holy and blameless. Dedicate time to pray and read His Word.

Prayer:
Dear God, I thank You for the blessings You have bestowed upon my life. It has always been in Your gracious and loving nature to bless me with everything You have. I know that You are my Good Father who holds me in the palm of Your Hands, and I am secured in You. I dedicate my life to You once again, and I pray my heart will always remain open and teachable to Your Spirit in every season. Make me like You to be holy and blameless. Use my life as a blessing for others to see Your good intentions for them so that they may turn to You. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Joy, great to have you back. His love is an anchor, something solid to hang onto. Happy Saturday.

    ReplyDelete

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