I began reading Ephesians this past week after I got in bed each night; just a few verses to center my thoughts again on the purpose of everything and to get a verse in my head for my insomnia stretch that inevitably hits every night without fail. I need a verse to recite over and over again because it really does help me fall asleep, even if only for a few minutes. (My nights are awful, can you tell?? They are like a quote from a book I just finished reading….this older character in the story said, ‘My body has forgotten how to sleep, but it hasn’t forgotten how to get tired’ Amen, sister!)
So, I’m reading Ephesians from my NLT translation and the first 14 verses were as far as I got all week long. I read them over and over again and what made them so personal and powerful this time was reading them in first person (I, me, instead of you, we). Wow, was it ever impactful, rich and extremely comforting.
The most meaningful thoughts from these verses for me were:
Verse 3 (quoting in first person):
“How I praise God, the Father of my Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed me with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because I belong to Christ.”
Oh my goodness! Boy, did I need that verse this week. I have STRESSED and been super anxious big time of late about how in the world am I going to get credit card debt paid off in the next 5 years before I want to retire? I have lost so much sleep over this with no doable solution yet in mind. So, this RICH verse reminded me how wealthy I am in what truly matters and reciting this verse over and over again helped my mind rest. It truly did. I never used to think of myself as a worrier, but I have become one. And yes, I know all those perfect verses in the Bible about what to do with worry and yes, I practice them but not until I’ve had a good worry session first. Sigh! I’m trying, folks, honest! Just being real here.
I already have….now….this minute….every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realm there is. I didn’t earn it and I certainly don’t deserve it, but they are all mine, right now. All the love, wealth, Holy Spirit, fruit of the Holy Spirit, knowledge, wisdom, grace, all of it. I have been blessed with them all; all I have to do is step into them. Believe that I have them. Act as if I am not a pauper spiritually, and I don’t have to be a beggar because they are already mine because I belong to Christ. The minute I acknowledge those gifts in my life, they immediately grow into something even more!
The next meaningful thought for me in these verses was:
Verse 4-5 (again quoting in first person):
“Long ago, even before he made the world, God loved me and chose me in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. His unchanging plan has always been to adopt me into his own family by bringing me to himself through Jesus Christ. And this gave him great pleasure.”
The last phrase was another wow statement when I read it in the first person. Please know that when I’m reading and quoting these verses in first person, it is not to be exclusive or feel superior or better than anyone, but rather I’m needing the feeling of being inclusive. I need to be aware that I am included in His plan along with everyone else.
I know when I read this phrase, it gave me great pleasure but to sit with the fact that it gave Him great pleasure to do this in the first place is amazing. He has never done anything out of fear or obligation or with any motive other than one being 100% pure; He is totally incapable of doing any of those things. It would be impossible for Him, so when he decided to love me/us, and to chose me/us in Christ to be holy (not become holy because that is impossible for me/us to do), and without fault in his eyes, it gave him great pleasure to do that! Blows me away. And, it is his “unchanging plan” to do this even after all these years and even after mankind has broken his heart zillions of times but, because he practices what he preaches, he keeps forgiving those who hate him and despise him and use him.
This post is getting too long so I’m going to continue my thoughts on Ephesians 1 in another post. Thanks for reading and being patient between posts!