Eph 1:3 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.
By invitation only
One key thing as human beings, we truly don’t understand is that we are not entitled to know God or be known by God.
Now I can hear your objections ranging from ‘I’ve lived such a good life I will go straight to heaven where all the good people go’ or even ‘I’m not a murderer or a sex offender so I’ll be ok’.
In our humanness we imagine that we are the most important person/people in the world, and we cannot imagine not being number 1 in God’s kingdom or maybe second place! Once again I hear the objections ‘ ‘You can’t be speaking about me I give loads of money to charity’ to ‘You can’t be talking about me I always sacrifice myself for the benefit of others’…..
Next time someone annoys you think about why you’re upset. In that moment ask God to show you what your heart attitude is. Maybe it’s ‘I don’t ask for much it’s the least God can do for me’ or ‘how dare they treat me like this after everything I’ve done for them’.
Despite our darkened scarred hearts that cause us to see the world and eternity through skewed thinking, Father God loves all those he has created and has provided a blessed rescue plan for each of us.
All we have to do is accept his invitation, his invitation to belong to his family, to be adopted into the kingdom of God where Jesus is not only the King but also our brother, the kingdom where God isn’t just the Creator but our Father God.
In other words, despite deserving the punishment of death God gives us the position of child with all the inheritance entitled only to Jesus. The cross is where God’s grace and mercy meet.
The only question left is are you ready to accept the invitation?
Letting go and letting God
Unfortunately for us, also at the heart of every human, is the inherent desire to control our own circumstances and our own surroundings. We are our own world, so it is our natural impulse to trust what we see and only accept what we experience. However, the worst part of having a heart that puts us at the centre of the universe is that we can not have two masters, God will never compete for ownership because he is the only Creator.
In the letter to the Ephesians, the apostle Paul makes it clear that God loves us so much that his provision was planned before the beginning of time. For many this seems to be an incredible stumbling block rather than the provision of salvation God intended it to be.
To receive and accept this invitation all we have to do is let go of controlling our own lives and accept God’s foreknowledge of us and his future impact on our everyday lives. How do we do that? Stop trusting in ourselves and our own abilities and through the acceptance of what Christ has done for us, trust in God.
Something to celebrate
It hard for us to consider there is more to life than what we see with our own two eyes. There seems to be an inherent lack of trust in our hearts not just towards God but towards one another. For some of us this can stem from difficult relationships or experiences. In the corrupt, sinful heart of each of us is a heart that is cynical; unwilling to change, unwilling to learn, unwilling to admit error, unwilling to consider life beyond us.
In the book of Ephesians chapter 1 the apostle Paul is introducing the newly founded church to the concept of who God is and what he has done for them. Seems a bit strange why would he need to tell a church, who already believes in Jesus what Jesus has done for them, surely once they are born again that is enough, that is all that is needed to live the life Jesus promised.
Well Paul knows people really well because he knows himself really well.
Paul knows that as people we are vulnerable to keep looking to what we can see and trust what we experience which results in forgetting God’s promises and fulfilments because we forget to look up, we forget to continue to trust.
Paul wants the church to remember who they are and fully understand what God has done for them as this will form and continue to form the basis for their faith and trust in Jesus.
As we have seen today and over the last few weeks, to put our faith and trust in Jesus and walk the life of following Jesus takes a miracle. That miracle will take hold in our lives when we have hearts that recognise our need of being rescued from the clutches of sin and have hearts that sing out in praise to God for being rescued.