Category Archives: Devotions

Thoughts on Ephesians 1:15-23

For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.

Ephesians 1:15-23

The more that we come to understand what God has done for us, and what He is planning to do, the more we will be filled with awe and admiration for Him. This understanding of God’s blessings leads to a greater faith in Him. Our faith is small and shaken because we do not fully understand what He has done, or what He is doing. We may question His ability, or His goodness as we face trails and loss, yet as we struggle through them and begin to understand God’s plan for the future, which very much includes our being blessed to an incredible degree, as well as the blessings which He has already lavished upon us in Christ, we are drawn into a position of peace, security and trust in God, which then leads to an unshakeable joy and love for Him, which finally erupts in genuine, joyous praise to Him. This is what God seeks to instill in us, this is what He is making us in to.

It is only right and just that God be praised. He is God, who created us. He is God who is perfect. He is God who is just. He is God. And yet the way that He goes about securing and cultivating and orchestrating that praise is the most loving and graceful act that can be conceived. In His wisdom He decided that the most effective heralds of His greatness, would be His enemies whom He forgave, redeemed and won over to Himself with His own power, love and incomparable riches and blessings.

It is for this reason that Paul prays that we might understand that, and it is for that reason that God, in speaking through Paul, puts down in words a taste and a glimpse of His grace, which can only fully be understood by the experience of His love for us, poured out through Christ, and secured by the Holy Spirit.

Part 5 in a series on Ephesians chapter 1.View Series

Thoughts on Ephesians 1:11-14

In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.

Ephesians 1:11-14

Furthermore, for us there is an inheritance that is promised to us. At the coming of Christ and the establishment of His kingdom, we are said to inherit it, to in someway share responsibility for this kingdom, to receive from it the benefits as members of God’s royal family of sorts. Christ will rule over all, but we will share in His blessings and glory. Our own lives will be enriched to an unimaginable degree. We may be poor and suffering many wants now, but in the end, under Christ we will be rich in every way, suffering no lack and having perfect and complete happiness through the constant streams of blessings flowing from Christ as our King. This inheritance is guaranteed by God’s promise of predestination and by the giving of the Holy Spirit, as a sort of down payment, the promise of more to come.

Through the Holy Spirit we begin to partake in the joys and riches of eternity. We still suffer, we still struggle, but the Holy Spirit blesses us, reminds us of God’s goodness, corrects us, leads us in the ways we ought to go and begins to implement the promises of renewal and purification which God has given to us. Among the first blessings we receive from God upon believing in Him is that He begins to change us, to remove from our lives the sin which has brought us so much misery and death.

And yet again we are reminded that this inheritance is promised and given, so that God’s glory will be praised.

Part 4 in a series on Ephesians chapter 1. New posts on Mondays and Wednesdays.View Series

Thoughts on Ephesians 1:7-10

In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.

Ephesians 1:7-10

The blessings Paul speaks about elicit praise not only upon The Father, the Master Planner, who orchestrates all things, but also upon Christ, His precious Son, who came and died in our place, taking upon Himself the punishment for our sins, and thus securing our redemption at the incalculable cost of His own life and blood. This thrusting forth of Christ as a focal point of our praise is in turn another part of God’s masterful plan, for God in His wisdom and infinite insight, has revealed to us the end result of His plan for this world, the ultimate reason for which He has done so much for us. It is to unite all things things in heaven and things on earth, in Christ and under Christ.

This unity is not yet realized. There is much division. The earth is divided against Christ, the majority of it’s inhabitants staunchly rejecting Him and His rule. We are also divided against each other, fighting, hating, even killing one another. We are divided against the spiritual realm, with many even questioning the existence of anything beyond the natural world. Yet God’s plan is that Christ will be the unifying factor of all things. One day all the world will recognize Christ, and Christ will bring total unification among all the inhabitants of the earth. There will be no more hatred, no more racism, no more misogyny, all will recognize one another as children of God, and thus as brothers and sisters, members of the family of God.

Part 3 in a series on Ephesians chapter 1. New posts on Mondays and Wednesdays.View Series

Thoughts on Ephesians 1:4-6

even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.

Ephesians 1:4-6

Paul is not talking about material blessings here, but spiritual ones. He goes on to list the some of the most amazing of these blessings. First, before the foundation of the world God chose us to become Holy and Blameless before Him. Before the world existed God saw and understood the fall of His future creation, the fall of me, and every other human, and He chose and predestined to restore a portion of our fallen race. He chose each believer before they were ever born, before the Universe was made, to one day receive His blessings, be freed from sin and made holy and blameless by the sacrificed blood of Christ. In other words He predestined to adopt us as sons. He determined whom He would adopt, and then carried out His plan of redemption and brought us into His family.

All this is done according to the purpose of His will, to the praise of His glorious grace. And He wields this grace in order to bless us. There is an order here. God will’s to do these things. The shape of these mighty works begins with Him. He creates this master plan, incorporating all of humanity’s short falls, wickedness and atrocities, and determines through them a path of redemption, victory and joy. This is the end result, Satan wreaks unfathomable destruction and misery throughout the course of this age, and yet somehow in the end finds himself utterly outplayed, so that the end result is beautiful, joyous and to the praise of God’s glory. So He works His will, in order to bring praise to Himself for His glorious grace.

This praise is our response. And not only ours but all the angels in heaven, all the creatures of this earth, all nature itself. All turns, beholds the magnitude of God’s grace, and praises Him for it. It is our response in particular because to us in particular God has extended in Christ this amazing gifts of predestination and adoption. Because He chose us, when we did not deserve to be chosen, we praise Him. Because while we were sinful and guilty, He determined and succeeded to convert us into holy and blameless sons and daughters, we praise Him.

Part 2 in a series on Ephesians chapter 1. New posts on Mondays and Wednesdays.View Series

Thoughts on Ephesians 1:1-3

First part in a series on Ephesians chapter 1. New posts on Mondays and Wednesdays. View Series

Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God,
To the saints who are in Ephesus, and are faithful in Christ Jesus:
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places,
Ephesians 1:1-3

Paul begins by praising and proclaiming a blessing upon God, because God has blessed us. This is exactly what God’s blessings are meant to do. God blesses us, and in turn we rightfully ought to praise and bring blessings to Him, this is the intended and only proper response to God’s blessings. So Paul begins by demonstrating what we ought to do as believers, and then goes on to point out why every believer ought to join Him in praising God.

If there were one word to sum up the reason we ought to praise God, it is “grace.” When we deserved God’s anger and punishment, He instead showered upon us love and blessing. We are blessed in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places. It is in Christ and through Christ that these blessings are given. Those who are not in Christ do not receive these blessings. Those of the world indeed receive some blessings from God, for He is the giver of all good things, yet the lavish and comprehensive blessings spoken of here are reserved only for those who are in Christ. We who are in Christ are blessed with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places.