Look at me blogging two days in a row!! The LORD has captured my heart this day and here's why.
My cute little devotional book 'God's Heart for You' by Holley Gerth has me all wound up....in a good way! I was challenged today to read Ephesians 1:1-14. Now that I've read the passage three times I am ready to share what was revealed to me. God's Word is so rich; so many truths for the taking. First, I want to provide the passage here.
1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, To the saints who are in Ephesus, and 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 in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, 4 even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love 5 he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, 6to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed 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 which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight 9 making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ 10 as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth. 11 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, 12 so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. 13 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, 14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it,to the praise of his glory.
What in the world? In Love?
In Love. They are two tiny words yet oh so profound. They stuck out like flashing neon lights to me. Everything was done IN LOVE. God did everything in love for me. I am loved; not because of what I've done but because of what He did for me; in love. He made a way for me to be adopted (1:5); a plan well thought out even before I was born.
Let me say right here what I say to my boys when they get going, "Slow down big fella'! LOL Let's take this apart piece by yummy piece with the help of my beautiful, big, black, English Standard Version Study Bible.
1:3 Every spiritual blessing communicates that the saving gifts of God are conveyed by the Holy Spirit (and this is the part I love) "whose personal presence throughout this age is the guarantee of future heavenly blessings."
We have a guarantee! Can I get an amen? :)
Another verse that spoke to my heart was this:
1:4 He chose us in Him-before the foundation of the world. Lord, I love you. ESV note says, "God's initiative in redeeming the believer from sin and death was not an arbitrary or (get this) a whimsical decision but something God planned all along "in Christ." Since God chose His people in His love, they can take no credit for their salvation.
Stay with me.
1:5 According to the purpose of His will. Whhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhaaaaaaattttt? ESV note, "God cannot be constrained by any outside force, and His inexorable(unyielding or unalterable) will for believers is to pour out His grace and goodness on them in Christ Jesus."
Grace & Goodness. We serve a good God who wants to smoother us in His grace and His goodness. There is nothing we need to do to earn this sort of crazy love. It's free. And as my friends like to say, "if its free, its for me"! LOL!
1:11 Who works all things according to the counsel of His will. ESV note, "How God's sovereignty and human responsibility work together in the world is a mystery no one can fully understand."
Amen to that.
1:14 Guarantee. What was that? ESV note, "God pours out His Holy Spirit on all His children; It is a down payment on their share in His eternal kingdom because He applies to them all God's powerful working in redemption."
In Love there is grace that was LAVISHED (per www.dictionary.com it means(expounded, bestowed, occurring in profusion, great amounts without limit)upon us.
In other words, in love, grace was bestowed upon us without limit.
Amazing Grace. How sweet the sound. That saved a wretch like me. To the praise of His glory.
Thanks for letting me share my heart today.