Scripture

Ephesians 1:3-8a

Praise for Spiritual Blessings in Christ

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. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he ]predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding,

Reflection

The idea of free grace is hard for us to comprehend or even accept. In the US, within a competitive, every-man-for-himself sort of culture, we compete for everything. And we inherently believe that whatever reward we get in this life is well-earned and deserved. We work for a paycheck, a raise, a promotion, affirmation, success, victory, and we hope these rewards will make us feel better about life or ourselves. Even in the realm of religion, we often work hard to be righteous. Maybe God will love us more and bless us more if we follow all of the “right” religious rules.

But grace is not something we have to work for. Jesus offers us redemption and restoration, “in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us.”  Ponder that for a moment.  What does it mean to have riches of grace lavished upon us? It means we don’t have to work to earn grace. But, here’s the important part, we should work because of grace.

Grace is something God wants to give us. It is yours to receive. Simply accept it as the most wonderful gift you’ll ever receive. Then begin to live as if you’ve just received the most wonderful gift you’ve ever received. Live like a new person, who just found the greatest treasure, and there’s plenty to share. Give grace out as it has been given to you. And don’t fear running out, there’s plenty to go around. Simply stay closely connected God, seek the Holy Spirit, follow Jesus, and you will find grace in every corner. Learn to seek it, accept it and share it.

Prayer

Dear Lord, thank you for loving me so. Thank you for giving me the kingdom, allowing me to play a part in your great love and grace. Remind me that life is about more than the daily necessities, and show me what it looks like to see your kingdom. Give me courage to follow you each day. In the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, Amen.