July 29, 2014

Today you should read: Ephesians 1:7-14

Who am I? This seems to be the age old question of mankind. Over the centuries different philosophers have tried to crack this code. Today we see this question being played out on the big screen, in books and in song. We hear statements like, “I just need to take some time to find myself” or “I just need to be me.” This question leads so many of us to seek our identity in something in order to feel significant. Some of us look for that “one true love” to make us feel whole. Others of us might look for that corporate job that pays lots of money to feel significant. Many find their identity in a social group or even organizations like the military or a sports team. These are just a few of many ways that we as humans search to find an identity. As I think about how all of us want to feel significant, it begs the question, “Why do we feel a need to find an identity in the first place?”

Our passage today answers this very important question. Ephesians chapter one is one of my favorite books of the Bible because it points out our greatest need as humans which is “identity.” In counseling others I have realized the answer to the identity crisis in our lives is also the number one cure to the issues that many of us go through. I hope that you read jumpstart yesterday to get the first few verses of this chapter because God’s answer to our identity begins with verse three. Now let’s pick up in verse seven and look at what we need to know from this passage.

  1. We have redemption because we had to have it (v.7-8)

This is one of the most freeing sentences in all of scripture. We have redemption and forgiveness for all of our sin because God lavished it on us through Jesus Christ. Why did he do that? Because “you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked” (Ephesians 2:1-2a). Why do we all search our whole lives to feel significant and whole? Because all of us without Christ were dead and empty.

  1. We now have a family (v.11)

If you have ever talked with someone who was adopted, they have a desire to know who their biological parents are. We are no different, because of sin we were separated from our heavenly father, but through the redemption of the cross we can know our father and have the inheritance of heaven. In other words, we get to have a relationship with the father who created us and one day we get to go home to be with him in Heaven.

  1. He comes to be near to us now (v.13-14)

Those who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ have been sealed. That word sealed signifies permanence in our relationship with God. We will never be lost again from our Father and he comes to live in us through the Holy Spirit. God is with his children and guides us. We no longer need to wander around looking for answers and wondering who we are. We are his children and co- heirs with Christ to the kingdom of Heaven. It does not get better than that!

So my question for you is this, do you believe that your identity is what this passage says it is? If so, do you act like this is true about you as a believer? If not, what do you find your identity in?

If you are not a believer in Christ I invite you to place your faith in Christ Jesus as your Lord because the answers that you have been looking for can only be found in Him.

Posted by: Chad Wiles

July 28, 2014

Today you should read: Ephesians 1:1-6

It’s all for His glory …

I know that you are aware that all things are for the glory of God.  We’ve heard it before, we can say it in our sleep, and we would all attest to it if anyone ever asked us.  But as I was reading this passage today the idea of everything being for God’s glory really stood out.

Here’s what I gleaned: Everything that God has provided for us in salvation and adoption should ultimately point back to praise to Him.

Today’s “Walk-a-Way”

As simple as this concept is, and as much as we know it, let’s pull it apart:

  1. Him blessing us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places (v3)
  1. Him choosing us in him before the foundation of the world (v4)
  2. His purpose for us that we should be holy and blameless before him (v4)
  3. His love for us (v4)
  4. Him predestining us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ according to the purpose of his will (v5)

…These are all to the praise of His glorious name through the grace He poured out on us in Jesus (v6)

So…today, as you think about your spiritual blessings, your salvation, and your adoption, remember that it was, and is, all for the glory of God Himself.

We are chosen and saved for the praise of His name.

Posted by: Sam Cirrincione