Thursday, August 13, 2015

In Christ…Blessed!

            Everyone wants to be blessed. It is one of the deepest longings of our souls. Quite often we think of material things as the greatest blessings (and they are nice!), but the most profound blessings are always the spiritual and emotional blessings.

            Paul writes, Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.” (Ephesians 1:3)  That is an easy sentence to read, but difficult to comprehend fully and to believe! Yet Paul tells us that this is a truth we can build our lives upon. When Jesus prayed for God’s will to be done on earth as it is in heaven, he did not imagine that it would just somehow happen despite the choices and decisions of people, rather he knew that for God’s will to be done on earth lots of individuals have to choose to listen to and follow the Father. Since you won’t follow someone you do not trust, we must first learn to trust God if we are going to be blessed in the heavenly realms!

            Paul tells us that in Christ we have some significant reasons to trust God: we are adopted as God’s children, we are redeemed from our sins, we are chosen to bring God glory, and we are marked by the Holy Spirit. Talk about some serious spiritual blessings! What else could we need? We are welcomed into God’s family through his willingness to adopt us! We are forgiven of our sins and failures by his marvelous grace the he lavishes on us! We are chosen by God so that he can work though our lives and be glorified because of us! We are given the Holy Spirit to live inside our hearts and minds to confirm our adoption and continuing status as dearly loved children of God!

            But what is God up to by doing all these things? Is he just trying to give us nice experiences so that we enjoy our lives? Or is he trying to do something larger with his creation through us? Paul tells us plainly: With all wisdom and understanding, he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ. (Ephesians 1:8-10) God is working to answer the prayer of Jesus for his will to be done on earth as it is in heaven, and he is using his obedient children as the tools to make it happen! What a great description of the purpose of our faith – to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ!

            So if your concept of blessings is that God gives you little gifts that you can enjoy in private, you could not be more wrong. God is giving you tremendous gifts – gifts that will satisfy your soul and ease your mind – to be used to share with everyone around you so that God’s desire for his kingdom to actually rule all creation – on earth as it is in heaven – will become reality. On that day sin will be no more, death will be completely defeated, love will reign on the earth and God will join his family as the holy city descends and God makes his dwelling place with us!

            If you have placed your faith in Jesus Christ, you have been blessed beyond your wildest imagination. You are adopted, forgiven, chosen to bring God glory and marked with the Holy Spirit. Live like it!

            If you have not placed your faith in Jesus Christ, what are you waiting for? Your heart and soul long to be blessed, and Jesus is eager to pour his blessings into your life. Trust him today!

- Kenny Payne

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