Scripture

Ephesians 1:9-14

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.

Reflection

If you had the choice between visiting the beach or going to the mountains this summer, which would you choose? I am guessing that if we did a survey, there would probably be an even split between the two.

But perhaps we can all agree that part of what we love about either of these destinations is the chance to see the vastness of God’s beauty as you stand on a mountain top looking out at over a beautiful valley or sit on the beach and see ocean waters that seem to have no end.

Perspective matters. Sometimes we need to step back and see the much larger picture, and so much of what Paul is doing in this letter is inviting his readers to understand the overarching story of what God has done and is doing in the world, as well as the critical part we are called to play in this grand work.

Today, I want you to reflect on how Paul describes the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer. In verse 13 he says, “when you believed, you were marked with a seal,” and in verse 14, he describes this “seal” as, “a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance.

God “in Christ” is building a whole new world. “In Christ,” God is reconciling and restoring all things. We see glimpses of that when we stare at the vast ocean or look out over a rich valley, but we also see it whenever light invades any dark corner in our world.

The Holy Spirit is what marks you as a part of that new world and is the initial down payment God makes to declare that you will be a part of his future glory.

Go back and read that sentence again.

Now read it again.

Perspective matters, doesn’t it?

Are you starting to see the bigger picture?

Prayer

Loving God, help us today to see the bigger picture. Give us the perspective that enables us to be still in awe of your glory. Slow us down long enough for us to appreciate what you are doing in our lives and in our world. And remind us, loving God, that in spite of our faults and our frailties, that you give us the incredible honor of being a part of the marvelous mystery that is your grace at work in the world. AMEN.