Almost Unbelievable Blessings – But Believe Them!

Let me introduce you to two amazing verses that probably most believers read over without paying proper attention to the real meaning of them; I know I did. These are Ephesians 1:3 and 2:6. Only more recently have I given them real thought, though I’ve read the Bible most of my life, and even wrote a simple study of this book long ago. This meditation covers the first verse and soon a second will cover Ephesians 2:6 because they contain too much material to discuss at one time.Ephesians 1:3 says How blessed is God! And what a blessing he is! He’s the Father of our Master, Jesus Christ, and takes us to the high places of blessing in him. 4 Long before he laid down earth’s foundations, he had us in mind, had settled on us as the focus of his love, to be made whole and holy by his love. 5 Long, long ago he decided to adopt us into his family through Jesus Christ. (What pleasure he took in planning this!) 6 He wanted us to enter into the celebration of his lavish gift-giving by the hand of his beloved Son. (All verses are from the Message Bible unless otherwise noted.)

Starting with the second part of verse 2, the Passion translation says: May God himself, the heavenly Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, release grace over you and impart total well-being[1] into your lives. 3 Every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realm has already been lavished upon us as a love gift from our wonderful heavenly Father, the Father of our Lord Jesus – all because he sees us wrapped into Christ. This is why we celebrate[2] him with all our hearts.

How does this verse work in my daily life? Ephesians 1:3 enables us to live a fuller life here on earth by recognizing that we can endure and overcome life’s perplexities and trials. Why? Because through the Holy Spirit, we can ask our loving heavenly Father to meet our needs. Even when those aren’t met the way we want or expect, He gives us courage and patience to endure without giving up hope in the situation. We begin to see with spiritual eyes and recognize the proper priority of earthly issues.

We count the truly important things as those which are eternal because life’s problems pass away quickly, comparatively. Yes, difficulties may endure a month, 6 months, a year but over the span of our lives, that’s fairly short. And some issues affect us a longer time, perhaps forming roadblocks to our development further down the road. But God still has already given us every blessing the Holy Spirit provides, so let’s examine those.

God is the Creator of all people, but He is Father only of those who acknowledge Jesus Christ, the Messiah/God’s Son, as our Savior and Lord. With Jesus as Savior, the guilt of all our sins and wrong actions disappears because of the blood He shed for each one of us on the cross, once and for all. We only need to accept this wonderful gift. We receive birth into the Kingdom of God, becoming His child and brothers and sisters of every other believer in the world. If we’ve never been part of a loving family, now we find one. (Unfortunately, all Christians don’t act loving to all others, but that’s not God’s intention.) When we leave this earthly life, we simply move into our heavenly life; our bodies die but our spirits – that God-part of us – doesn’t die.

Perhaps the first blessing we need to consider concerns God choosing us before we were even conceived and giving our lives a purpose.

Psalm 139:13-16 records: Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out; you formed me in my mother’s womb. 14 I thank you, High God — you’re breathtaking! Body and soul, I am marvelously made! I worship in adoration — what a creation! 15 You know me inside and out, you know every bone in my body; You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit, how I was sculpted from nothing into something. 16 Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth; all the stages of my life were spread out before you, the days of my life all prepared before I’d even lived one day.

Jeremiah 1:5 tells us, “Before I shaped you in the womb, I knew all about you. Before you saw the light of day, I had holy plans for you: A prophet to the nations — that’s what I had in mind for you.”

Just imagine! God watched over you when you were conceived and all the time until you were born, and He has ever since. It doesn’t matter if you were “an accident” because to your Father, you were not. He had a plan and a purpose for your life! He knows every day you will live and when you’ll leave this earthly body and go meet Him face to face. When we think we haven’t followed much of Father’s plan for our lives, He says, “Give me your life today to turn around and make into the potential that lies within you.” We never know who we can become until we’re willing to let Daddy-God show us!

Having a purpose in life inspires us on those days when nothing seems to go right and we’re having difficulty even getting started with our work. It also gives us an overall goal to strive toward as we accomplish our daily tasks. Knowing that Father planned for us to do a specific job or type of work and chose us for that, makes all the learning and tediousness of any work worthwhile. It also gives us an individualism that sets us apart from the masses, while not saying we’re better or less than any other.

That freedom to be the person God created us to be liberates us from the fear that we don’t do exactly what everyone else does. We’re confident in who we are and like ourselves that way. It doesn’t mean we try act different for the sake of being different, but it does mean accepting and loving ourselves just like we are, warts and all. It enables us to accept, like and love others as they are that’s who God created them to be. This doesn’t mean we’re happy with ours or another’s warts, but it does mean we realize that we’re not yet perfect, even though we’re headed in that direction.

Other blessings besides these await us: We have a peace[3] that keeps us calm and on solid footing no matter what we’d going through. Please see footnote 1 at the end of this meditation to see the true meaning of that peace, which is a total well-being. We learn that we can completely trust our heavenly Father no matter what our circumstances are. We gain support from our spiritual brothers and sisters when we bond into a community of believers as Hebrews 10:25[4] commands us. Notice that’s a command, not a suggestion if we feel like it.

A huge spiritual blessing we might not consider is prayer. Often we pray but don’t let its full impact soak into our minds. In prayer, we stand before God’s throne of grace and boldly ask our loving Father for what we need (Hebrews 4:16[5]), simply because He made that provision when Jesus made us totally right God when we accepted Jesus as our Savior. We don’t come like a frightened child before an angry father, afraid he might beat or berate us because we don’t know how to find something for ourselves. No, our Father delights to give us the desire of our hearts when they are following His will (Psalm 37:4[6]).

Time and space don’t allow more on this topic, but I hope you’ll do as I plan to continue doing and search out this verse for yourself to get an idea of just what a wonderful place of blessing our loving Father provides for us.

[1] Well-being in this verse is usually translated as peace, but the Hebrew peace means much more than simply no conflicts or war. It’s all compassing, meaning nothing broken and nothing missing.

Nelson’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary (Copyright © 1986, Thomas Nelson Publishers) states: A word with several different meanings in the Old and New Testaments.

The Old Testament meaning of peace was completeness, soundness, and well-being of the total person. This peace was considered God-given, obtained by following the Law (Ps 119:165). Peace sometimes had a physical meaning, suggesting security (Ps 4:8), contentment (Isa 26:3), prosperity (Ps 122:6-7) and the absence of war (1 Sam 7:14). The traditional Jewish greeting, shalom, was a wish for peace.

In the New Testament, peace often refers to the inner tranquility and poise of the Christian whose trust is in God through Christ. This understanding was originally expressed in the Old Testament writings about the coming MESSIAH (Isa 9:6-7). The peace that Jesus Christ spoke of was a combination of hope, trust, and quiet in the mind and soul, brought about by a reconciliation with God. Such peace was proclaimed by the host of angels at Christ’s birth (Luke 2:14), and by Christ Himself in His SERMON ON THE MOUNT (Matt 5:9) and during His ministry. He also taught about this kind of peace at the Lord’s Supper, shortly before His death (John 14:27). The apostle Paul later wrote that such peace and spiritual blessedness was a direct result of faith in Christ (Rom 5:1).

[2] Bless.

3 Sorry, there’s no footnote here; I simply couldn’t make Word do what I wanted.

[4] Hebrews 10:24-25: Let’s see how inventive we can be in encouraging love and helping out, 25 not avoiding worshiping together as some do but spurring each other on, especially as we see the big Day approaching.

[5] Hebrews 4:14-16: Now that we know what we have — Jesus, this great High Priest with ready access to God — let’s not let it slip through our fingers. 15 We don’t have a priest who is out of touch with our reality. He’s been through weakness and testing, experienced it all — all but the sin. 16 So let’s walk right up to him and get what he is so ready to give. Take the mercy, accept the help.

[6] Psalm 37:4 (Amplified) Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He will give you the desires and secret petitions of your heart.

 

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