time to rise

Read: Ephesians 1:1-14

Reflect: Time to rise sleepyhead. Time to awaken from those 8 hours of beauty sleep and turn that alarm off. Come on now, that’s the third time you hit that snooze button. I know not everyone gets up on Tuesday and Thursday mornings, has their morning devotions and then reads Recharge, although they should.

you are in for the ride of your life!

Why am I so pumped?  Why am I so excited about this passage of Scripture? Let me tell you! When a month ago I received my schedule for my Recharge assignments I saw that Pastor Mike would be preaching from one of my favorite books of the Bible, Ephesians! I love this book, so much so, that I believe it was written exclusively for me. I’ve preached through it, I’ve taught it classes on it, and I argued (or should I say “discussed”) some of its rich doctrines with my theological friends. It’s exhausting and rewarding at the same time. If you have never studied this book, buckle up, you’re in for the ride of your life. (All right, that’s a slight exaggeration but it will be exciting). Now, I don’t know how Pastor Mike plans on preaching this book, but whatever he has in mind, it will be worth your while.  And now, let me share with you what God has taught me about this passage.

focusing on things above

Paul begins by praising the Father for blessing us in the heavenlies. (v.3). That is the location of the supernatural realm of God. While we have earthly citizenship, we also have a heavenly citizenship which needs to be our primary concern. (Phil 3:20) This is why we need to be pursuing “things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.” (Col 3:1) Did anyone ever tell you that “you’re so heavenly minded that you are no earthly good?”  Well, don’t believe them; that just isn’t true. Your mind always needs to be fixed on pleasing Christ, and if so, you will be in a much better position to serve Him, to love Him, and to speak to others about Him.  That’s being focused on “things above”.

god chose us out of his love

Paul not only praised the Father for blessing us, but he also praises the Father for choosing us.  Let me point out what God says: He chose us to be holy and blameless, He chose us out of love, and he chose us for his own pleasure. “He predestined us to be adopted as His sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with His pleasure and will. (Eph 1:5) Does God ever do things just for His pleasure? John Piper says of this verse “It means that nothing outside God’s pleasure – the pleasure He has in Himself- has constrained His choices and deeds.” (The Pleasures of God p. 50) You see, sometimes God does things simply out of love. In this case, he does it out of love for His Son. (1:6)

every spiritual blessing

Apply: So, what do we gather from these first couple of verses in Ephesians? One thing we learn is that we are blessed. God has showered on us more than we can imagine. But more than hat, Paul says we have been given every spiritual blessing. Did you catch that? Not a few spiritual blessings, not many spiritual blessings, but every spiritual blessing. Go ahead, name a few. We have the ability to love God, to know God, to trust God, and to recognize our own sinful nature. And the list goes on. This is what you and I have because of Christ. Now, what are you doing about it? Will your life today reflect the spiritual blessings you have received? I sure hope so. Afterall, I didn’t wake you up this beautiful Thursday morning for nothing!

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