Monday, January 3, 2011

Ephesians 1:1-14

1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God,
To God’s holy people in Ephesus, the faithful in Christ Jesus:
2 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

3 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. 4 For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love 5 he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— 6 to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. 7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace 8 that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding, 9 he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, 10 to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.

11 In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, 12 in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. 13 And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.

Questions to consider:

  • What has God the Father done for you?
  • How are you to acknowledge God’s gracious acts?
  • What is the focal point of God’s plan for all history?
  • How does this fact help establish priorities for the furthering of God’s purpose in (a) your life and (b) the world today?
  • How can you express today the unity that is in Christ?
Possibilities for prayer:

One of the questions to think about today asks what the focal point of God’s plan for all history is. The text for today seems to indicate that it is about Christ’s coming to this earth and offering us redemption through his sacrifice. The idea of everything in God’s story (as told to us through the Bible) coming around Christ and his redemption is a pretty powerful one. Let’s reflect on what that redemptive power has meant in our lives, and take some time to thank God for that most gracious gift which we have been given, in order to be “holy and blameless” in God’s sight.