Richly Blessed-April 15, 2012
We have been blessed by God in Christ with every spiritual blessing. God chose us in Christ to be holy and blameless before him in love. We were born again into the new selves God desires for us. Then the destined us for adoption as his children through Christ. In adoption the families often endure a lengthy process of getting the child and there is usually great cost. There is another work at play here as well, those who were of age in a family, whether by adoption or otherwise were able to receive the inheritance of the father. It was also possible for the children to receive this even before the father had passed. Such an example in scripture is the prodigal son story. This adoption was the good pleasure of his will, so that we would praise the glorious grace bestowed on us in Christ.
“In him”, is part of the message that continues to get brought to the forefront. It is in him all things are possible. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace that he lavished on us. It may be too often that we forget that it is in Christ, and it is his work, and the price paid in his body. All too often we cheapen grace and do not acknowledge the gift that we have in Christ. The God would put his Son in my place to die for me is truly a lavish grace indeed.
In God’s great wisdom he has made known to us the mystery of his will. We do not find ourselves with God trying to guess what he desires of us, or have to try to figure out his will for our lives. Our God is personal, he gave a personal word to his people, then he gave the living Word, His Son to us all. It was a plan that involved his Son, and in the fullness or time to gather up all things in him, things in heaven and earth. Gather up all things in him. Gathering up that which is disconnected, broken and bring all together in a redemptive healing work that is truly a great act of grace. Without grace where would I be?
In Christ we have also obtained an inheritance. What? This inheritance is not something that we must wait to be a part of, it is something to be lived into now. Too often we look to what we think we have as an inheritance in heaven, and we do have that as well. In looking to the future we forget to live each day for him. Evangelist D.L. Moody used to warn us about people who were so “heavenly minded they were no earthly good.” In today’s time there seems to be a fascination with heaven and the “reward” that will be there are the streets of gold, and mansions.
The language itself is complicated, take for example reward, it implies that he is rewarding us for our response to his grace. Christ himself speaks of heaven, but he speaks more of hell, and even more often about what we should be doing as well live our lives in this world. Should we not also spend our time wisely in this world as we seek to be obedient to Christ. The streets may be paved with gold, but who looks at what the streets are paved with here on earth and marvel at it? Why, because its common.
The glorious creator of all the universe will be in front of you, it wont matter what or who else is there. In Revelation we have a picture of eternity that is perpetual worship. All of this gathered creation, crying out, Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord God Almighty, Who was, who is, and who is to come. Falling down in worship of the king of kings and Lord of lords. If heaven is going to be a place of worship. We perhaps should focus more on that here too. It is not a place of retirement from this life, but a place of life and worship.
The purpose of God was accomplished in Christ, so that we who were first to set our hope on Christ, might live for the praise of his glory. God richly blessed us in Christ, lavished on us the grace of salvation and gave us in Christ the purpose for living to bring glory to him. Then God sent the Holy Spirit to those who believed the gospel of our salvation. The Holy Spirit is the seal of the promise of God. This is the pledge of our inheritance toward redemption as God’s own people, to the praise of his glory. In a nutshell God saved us and it was a mighty act of grace on his part, then made us his own and lavished us with the blessing of inheritance toward redemption, that he might be glorified. In is not about us, it’s all about him. We will glorify him with our lives?