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GRATITUDE and BLESSING



Ephesians 1:3-14


3 All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ. 4 Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. 5 God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure. 6 So we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us who belong to his dear Son. 7 He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins. 8 He has showered his kindness on us, along with all wisdom and understanding.


9 God has now revealed to us his mysterious will regarding Christ—which is to fulfill his own good plan. 10 And this is the plan: At the right time he will bring everything together under the authority of Christ—everything in heaven and on earth. 11 Furthermore, because we are united with Christ, we have received an inheritance from God, for he chose us in advance, and he makes everything work out according to his plan.


12 God’s purpose was that we Jews who were the first to trust in Christ would bring praise and glory to God. 13 And now you Gentiles have also heard the truth, the Good News that God saves you. And when you believed in Christ, he identified you as his own by giving you the Holy Spirit, whom he promised long ago. 14 The Spirit is God’s guarantee that he will give us the inheritance he promised and that he has purchased us to be his own people. He did this so we would praise and glorify him.


 

Over the last month we have been reflecting on the many blessings we have received through the coming of Jesus. We lit candles that emphasised Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love as gifts that Jesus gives to us. We have highlighted the ways in which God has been faithful and has kept His promises. We have pondered the ways in which God’s love was displayed through Jesus. Do you remember that we said that the love candle is the last candle because love is the greatest gift? We have celebrated the fact that through Christ we are members and heirs of God’s family. We rejoiced that God has “pitched his tent” among us.


The proper response to all of these gifts is to be filled with enthusiastic and sincere thankfulness! In today’s reading, Paul bursts out in gratitude for what God has done: “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” (v. 3). That verse summarizes our month’s reflections quite well.


Every blessing we enjoy comes from God. He chose us (v. 3). God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family (v. 5). “In kindness and grace, he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins (v. 7). He showered us with Kindness (v. 8). He revealed to us the “mystery of his will” (v. 9). He has given us the Holy Spirit (v. 13). All of these benefits/Gifts and more have come to us because of the person and work of Jesus Christ, the Babe of Bethlehem.


These blessings were given to us not simply for our enjoyment, but as we read above “The Spirit is God’s guarantee that he will give us the inheritance he promised and that he has purchased us to be his own people. He did this so we would praise and glorify him.”


In other words, so that we would be equipped to take part in God’s mission to the world.

 

A TAKE AWAY


Take a few minutes today to give thanks to the Lord for all that you have received. As the Doxology puts it, “Praise God from whom all blessings flow!


 

PRAYER


Every blessing comes from You, God. You alone are our most treasured gift. We thank You for saving us from sin and adopting us as Your children. Our hearts spill over with thankfulness for who You are and all You have done.



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