For the new year, I'm reading through Ephesians and every time I see the word God or any pronoun associated with God, I substitute the word "Father". Why, you may ask? Because I didn't have a good earthly father, and I believe this will help me see God as a good Father. But more importantly, I'm trying to get a grasp on just how much The Father God loves me. You see I believe that if we can fully understand God's love for us, we can avoid a lot of unnecessary heartache, pain, fear, and struggle. I mean, what is there to fear when you are the beloved child of the God of the Universe?
Anyway, I love this verse right at the start of Ephesians. It sounds so sweet and gives you that warm feeling. But then I began to wonder, what actually are these spiritual blessings I've been given?? So, I asked God and then I continued to read and the answer is right there in the rest of the chapter!
Here are the spiritual blessings you've been given in the heavenly realm.
- We are set apart from the word, consecrated (made Holy) Ephesians 1:4
- We are blameless and above reproach in the sight of God Ephesians 1:4
- We are adopted as His own children through Jesus Christ Ephesians 1:5
- In Him we have redemption (deliverance and salvation) through His blood Ephesians 1:7
- We have forgiveness of all our offenses (shortcomings and trespasses) Ephesians 1:7
- He lavished upon us in every kind of wisdom and understanding, insight and prudence Ephesians 1:8
- In Him we also were made God's heritage (portion) and we obtained an inheritance Ephesians 1:11
- We had been chosen and appointed before the world began in accordance with His purpose Ephesians 1:11
- We are stamped with the seal of the Holy Spirit, a guarantee of our inheritance Ephesians 1:14
In other words, we are forgiven of every bad thing we've ever done or will do, we are God's children, we all going to heaven forever, and in this world we have a purpose, a reason we are here and the power of God's Spirit to help us through.
I don't know about you, but that's so incredibly overwhelming! The generosity, grace, and mercy of God astounds me. So no matter what you're going through, in light of all of this, it's not all that important, is it? Focus on the incredible love of God and your position with Him in the heavenlies. This is not a future condition. These blessings are stated in the past tense. We already have them!
**This digital painting is the work of Satoshi Matsuyama. Check out his other works. They are gorgeous: