Every & All
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him.
I don’t know about you, but sometimes I can be a complainer. I may not always show it or say it, which is something that I’ve learned from years of being a complainer…people don’t really like to listen to you when you complain out loud. Unless of course they feel the same way, then the old saying rings true, “misery loves company”! I have come out of my days.
So while I often keep those thoughts to myself, I can occasionally get lost in how “certain decisions don’t go my way” or “this person over here thinks poorly of me” or “I don’t get what I want for dinner.” (as it turns out I have more in common with my kids than I thought!) Once the complaining-hamster gets on that complaining-hamster-wheel it is really difficult to get him off. The thoughts swirl and it can be tough to let go.
Every Tuesday and Thursday morning the Student Development staff get together for prayer and devotions. Even in the midst of the Coronavirus we have committed to virtually gather and pray for each other and point each other towards Christ. Recently we started to go through the book of Ephesians and these verse struck me. In fact, I think every time I read through the book of Ephesians these verses reach out to me, in part because they run so counter to my woe-is-me default.
Paul practically starts his letter to the Ephesian church reminding them that they have been blessed in Christ “with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places”. What a statement! There is a part of me that says, “Really?! Every spiritual blessing?” It is as if Paul almost dares us to challenge him on this point because he goes on to say all the reasons why and how we have been blessed. Take a look at some of what Paul mentions next as our spiritual blessing:
- He predestined for adoption to himself (v. 5)
- We have redemption through his blood (v. 7)
- The forgiveness of our trespasses (v. 7)
- He made known to us his will of Christ (v. 8)
- We have obtained an inheritance (v. 11)
- We were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit when we believed (v. 13)
And the list goes on! In him we have a home and a family, we belong somewhere; we have been redeemed from our state of sin through his shedding of blood on the cross; we have been forgiven for all the wrongs we have committed; we are now privy to God’s mysterious will by knowing Christ; we have been given the gift that God intends for his children; we have been marked and sealed with Holy Spirit; too many gifts to count! Entire books have been written about each one of these blessings and I might argue we haven’t mined the depths of their riches.
In this season, from the looks of it, there is much to complain about. But also remember what you have been given; something that can never be taken away, nor will it ever fade away. You have been given every spiritual blessing in Christ and that is more than we could ever hope for. Rest in it, meditate on it, memorize it. It will change the way you see the world and bring you closer to the one who calls to you home.