Thanksgiving and prayer – Ephesians 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.
Spiritual Blessings in 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 just as he chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless before him in love. 5 He destined us for adoption as his children through Jesus Christ, according to the good pleasure of his will, 6 to the praise of his glorious grace that he freely bestowed on 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 that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and insight 9 he has made known to us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure that he set forth in Christ, 10 as a plan for the fullness of time, to gather up all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth. 11 In Christ we have also obtained an inheritance, having been destined according to the purpose of him who accomplishes all things according to his counsel and will, 12 so that we, who were the first to set our hope on Christ, might live for the praise of his glory. 13 In him you also, when you had heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and had believed in him, were marked with the seal of the promised Holy Spirit; 14 this is the pledge of our inheritance toward redemption as God’s own people, to the praise of his glory.
15 I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, and for this reason 16 I do not cease to give thanks for you as I remember you in my prayers. 17 I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation as you come to know him, 18 so that, with the eyes of your heart enlightened, you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance among the saints,19 and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power for us who believe, according to the working of his great power.20 God put this power to work in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, 21 far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the age to come. 22 And he has put all things under his feet and has made him the head over all things for the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.
Ephesian is a letter written by Paul to the church at Ephesus. There were a couple of letters Paul wrote during the time he was in prison, at Romans, and Ephesians is one of them. Unlike other Epistles, which was Paul response to series of problems, Ephesians is Paul’s description of his understanding of a redeemed community.
What does it say?
V. 1 -10 Paul starts with a statement that says, “Blessed be… (V. 3)” He starts with inviting the believers to praise God for God’s plan of redemption, fulfilled through Jesus Christ. It is through God’s plan of salvation, which started from the beginning of the world, we can praise God.
V. 11-14 Then Paul talks about the power of living in Christ. In Christ, we find our purpose and reason to continue to live Christ. The Holy Spirit comes to the believers, who accepts Christ and devote their life to follow him, continues for the transformation of life.
V. 15 – 23 As a response to this salvation, the believers gather under the name of Christ, and the church community formed. Paul is thankful for the way the Spirit and the people contributed in building this faith community. Christ is the head, and leader of this gathering called the church and his body.
What does it mean to us (me)?
“It’s in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for. Long before we first heard of Christ and got our hopes up, he had his eye on us, had designs on us for glorious living, part of the overall purpose he is working out in everything and everyone.” Ephesian 1:11-12 The Message
I believe it is only through Christ that we see the purpose of our lives. It is not about what we do, but it is about what attitude we live this life. Do we live as people who were redeemed by faith? We didn’t do anything to earn it. We were only blessed to understand the weight of sin and blessed to rely on the redeeming power of Jesus Christ. We are living for Christ. Whatever we do… whatever our career is… it should fall under one purpose, to live for Christ in whatever we do.
Because this was God’s Prevenient Grace revealed in our life. Even before we understood… even before we accepted God… God’s grace surrounded us, penetrated us, and worked with us. And when that plan become revealed in our life, how powerful can that be.
When that plan becomes revealed through our day-to-day jobs, it can change the way we come to work. It will change the way how we encounter people, who we meet throughout the day.
May we understand the glimpse of God’s plan and love in our life, and be thankful.
How does this passage speak to you?
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