Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Just Words Won't Do

On Sunday we will read this from Ephesians 1:3-14
3 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, 4 just as he chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless before him in love. 5 He destined us for adoption as his children through Jesus Christ, according to the good pleasure of his will, 6 to the praise of his glorious grace that he freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. 7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace 8 that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and insight 9he has made known to us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure that he set forth in Christ, 10 as a plan for the fullness of time, to gather up all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth. 11 In Christ we have also obtained an inheritance, having been destined according to the purpose of him who accomplishes all things according to his counsel and will, 12 so that we, who were the first to set our hope on Christ, might live for the praise of his glory. 13 In him you also, when you had heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and had believed in him, were marked with the seal of the promised Holy Spirit; 14 this is the pledge of our inheritance toward redemption as God’s own people, to the praise of his glory.
In the original Greek language, that is all one sentence.

What do you feel when you read those promises from God? If you don't feel anything, read it again in this version (alt.):
3 Praise the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ for the spiritual blessings that Christ has brought us from heaven! 4 Before the world was created, God choose us to live with him and to be his holy and innocent and loving people. 5 God was kind and loving and decided that Christ would choose us to be God's own adopted children. 6 God was very kind to us because of the Son he dearly loves, and so we should praise God. 7/8 Christ sacrificed his life's blood to set us free, which means that our sins are now forgiven. Christ did this because God was so kind to us. God has great wisdom and understanding, 9 and by what Christ has done, God has shown us his own mysterious ways. 10 Then when the time is right, God will do all that he has planned, and Christ will bring together everything in heaven and on earth. 11 God always does what he plans, and that's why he appointed Christ to choose us. 12 He did this so that we would bring honor to him and be the first ones to have hope because of him. 13 Christ also brought you the truth, the truth of the good news which saves us. You put your faith in Christ and were given the promised Holy Spirit to show that you belong to God. 14 The Spirit also makes us sure that we will be given what God has stored up for his people. Then we will be set free, and God will be honored and praised.
You can't feel that by just by reading, or just by coming to church now and then. The kindness of God toward us needs to be experienced in our homes and among the people of God gathered regularly for worship and fellowship. God chose us to share His love.

If you know of anyone who is missing out on feeling God's kindness or trusting God's promises, please reach out to them this week.


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