Read Ephesians 1:3-5
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…
According to this passage, what reasons do we have to praise God?
Unfortunately, I think most of us can remember a time in our lives when we desperately wanted someone to choose us. We wanted to feel wanted. Maybe no one picked you for their team at recess. Maybe you never got asked to a dance. Maybe you checked the mailbox over and over but never received an invitation to the party. Maybe you spent years in foster care longing for a family to adopt you, but they never did. So many of us have been deeply hurt by exclusion. There is great loneliness in feeling left out, isolated, and ignored.
We all want to be chosen.
I am here to offer encouragement today. After Paul introduced himself and greeted the Ephesians with a prayer of grace and peace, Paul turned to praise God. He said we should bless God because He has blessed us with EVERY spiritual blessing. We should declare His praise and bless His Name because He has blessed us!
What does it mean that He has blessed us with spiritual blessings? It means that those of us in Christ Jesus have been blessed with the gift of the Holy Spirit, which has the power to transform us. Through Christ’s work on the cross, we are justified and made holy and blameless in God’s sight. And by the power of the Holy Spirit, we enter into a process of lifelong sanctification. We become more and more holy as He is holy.
But why us? Why is this gift available for you or for me? Because He chose us. Did we deserve it? No. He chose us, even before He created the world. Before we even had a chance to deserve it, He chose His church. Why? Because He loved us, and it was His will to do so. The NIV translates it as “in accordance with His pleasure and will.” It pleased and delighted God to choose us. He wanted us. He loved us. So, He adopted us. He made us His family.
Friends, if you are in Christ, you are family. You have a place you belong. Even before He made the world, He looked forward to having a relationship with you. You are one of God’s chosen ones.
Father God, blessed be Your Name! I thank You and praise You for loving me enough to choose me. I didn’t do anything to deserve it. I am a sinner. And yet, You have chosen me. You make me holy and blameless. You give me a place to belong. Thank You, Lord. Amen.
~ Pastor Nat Crawford
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