Daily Update – Thursday, 15th October 202
Today’s readings – Ephesians 1:1-10 Psalm 98:1-4 Luke 11:47-end
Pause: Lord Jesus, still our hearts and minds now, as we prepare to hear from your word. Thank you for the eternal perspective which your word gives us. Thank you that your word reveals to us the Father’s eternal plan to unite all things in heaven and on earth under your sovereign rule. Thank you that all of this springs from your love and your abounding grace towards each one of us. Renew our understanding and lead us to praise you and thank you now and always.
In his letter to the Christians in Ephesus the apostle Paul is so excited and thankful to God for his grace towards his people that he barely draws breath! Verses 3 to 10 are one long sentence in the Greek, an effusive and engaging torrent of words which give praise and glory to God for all his actions in blessing and saving his people, as he planned from the beginning of time.
The sheer depth and scope of Paul’s teaching is remarkable. He looks back to the time before creation and sees God’s hand in choosing and saving his people, even before we were made (v.4)! He powers forward to the time after the fulfilment, when Jesus returns, and rejoices in the fact that everything in heaven and on earth will be united under Christ (v.10). In between he revels in the blessings which God showers on his people through election, being made holy and blameless, predestination, adoption as sons, forgiveness of sins and the revelation of the mystery of his will. All of this solidly grounded in God’s love for his people and the riches of his grace towards us which he has lavished on us (vv.7-8). In particular the adoption as sons refers specifically to all the rights and privileges of an adopted male heir under Roman law, which are complete and unquestionable.
Running through everything is the activity of Jesus himself, who is the person who bring us all these blessings. He is the agent of our election, grants us adoption as sons, redeems us through his blood, forgives our sins, delivers the revelation of the mystery which God purposed in Christ and unites us to God and to one another.
If, like me, you have been feeling rather oppressed and somewhat cast down by second spikes, further lockdown measures, continued social distancing and being limited to meeting only five other people, then reading this passage of pure gold from the apostle Paul is the fastest and most effective way to recalibrate and focus on what is really important to each one of us!
God chose us from before the beginning, has wonderful plans for us as he brings the fulfilment to pass and in the meantime showers us with countless blessings and his eternal favour and grace. It’s so good, there’s so much to savour and relish that it’s hard to take it in and process it…. The news is so good and so joyous, shouldn’t we be bouncing off the walls as we praise God for his goodness towards us and look forward eagerly to enjoying all that is promised? So let’s focus on what is truly important and leave behind the fleeting and temporary troubles of today. These blessings are worth treasuring in our hearts as well as sharing with any who ask us. Such deep-seated and wonderful joy and praise is bound to overflow to all around us, don’t you think?
thank you for your abounding love and grace towards us.
Thank you that you lavish your grace on us in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Give us power to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ for us.
Fill us with this love which surpasses knowledge, we pray.
We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord.