I’m teaching through the book of Ephesians at South Fellowship Church on Sunday mornings – and its been ROCKING me! I’m only 2 weeks in (so far I’ve covered 1:1-14) and the takeaways are immense for me on a personal level. There are a lot of things I could reflect on, but I think the main one is this: I’ve spent a significant portion of my life waiting, hoping, and praying for things that God has already given me.
I’m convinced that many of us who follow Jesus view our time on earth as a waiting room. Our thought is that eventually, when we die, we can get on with the good stuff… we just need to get through these 80 years that we call life first. Indeed, there is good stuff to come, but I’m convinced that in many ways I have sold this life short. This is the challenging part about Ephesians for me; so much of the good stuff that’s talked about in the first chapter is written in the present tense. That means it’s a current reality! So, according to Ephesians 1, I am blessed, chosen, adopted, redeemed, forgiven and given insight into his grace. Not only that, I have also I have obtained an inheritance, I have been given the Holy Spirit who leads me into truth, assures me that these promises are true, and serve as a guarantee for all that is yet to come. WOW.
Three times in the first chapter of Ephesians Paul writes, “To the praise of His glory!” And it’s true, he has been so good to us, in spite of us. I wonder if there are so few people who truly live for his glory because there are very few people who are convinced of the blessing that we currently stand in – the redemption that is presently ours. I feel as though Ephesians 1 has invited me out of the waiting room of the Christian faith and into the banquet hall. I’m reminded that Jesus said that he came to give us abundant life… he wants us to live, not just exist. And it’s the people who truly live who are able to shout of his glorious grace.
Parting thought: I once heard someone say, “If you are waiting to die to be set free, then death is really your savior… Jesus isn’t.” That stuck with me. My hope is that along with the Saints at South Fellowship, I would live today in the light that Jesus IS the savior!