Delighting in Our Generous God
One way I see God at work in the lives of our teenagers at West Park is through their love for His Word. Currently, there is a group of about 10 students & adults who are memorizing the book of James together. Wanting to participate but feeling led to memorize a different book, I am memorizing Ephesians alongside them as they put James to memory. If you think of us, we would love prayers as we journey through this; it is not an easy discipline but the reward is so so great!
As I have been pondering on the theme of generosity this month, I began to wonder, “How have I seen God’s generosity towards me?” So I then asked myself, “Well, what have I read lately in the Bible about God’s generosity towards sinners?” And that’s when my Helper, the Holy Spirit, brought to my mind the very book that I have been putting to memory. The book of Ephesians is overflowing with descriptions of God’s glorious grace which He has lavished upon sinners, and the verse that my Helper led me to first was Ephesians 1:3, “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”. We have been blessed in Christ Jesus with every spiritual blessing. He truly does not withhold the most important and vital things from His children. And so, I invite you to marvel with me at God’s bountiful generosity to us through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Every page of the Bible is an exhibit that displays God’s gracious generosity. Eternity is not long enough for us to worship Him for what has given to us! So let’s begin to praise Him now, and we’ll do this by looking at the spiritual blessings Paul lists in just the first half of Ephesians 1. As we read these spiritual blessings below, found in Ephesians 1:3-14, we do not study them as a way to feel better about ourselves, but as a way to know our triune God more deeply. We read these spiritual blessings as a way to stir our hearts into a deeper trust, faith, and rest in Him.
By faith in Christ Jesus, we have been given the spiritual blessings of…
• A heavenly home that awaits us (3:1)
• Being chosen by the Father before Earth was created (1:4)
• Being chosen by the Father to become holy and blameless(1:4)
• Being adopted by the Father from the grips of death into God’s family (1:5)
• Being the recipients of His glorious grace (1:6)
• Being the recipients of the greatest love story ever (1:6)
• Receiving redemption through Jesus’ blood (1:7)
• Being forgiven of every sin against our Holy God (1:7)
• Benefitting from a God who is wealthy of grace (1:7)
• Being enabled by this grace to understand our need for salvation (1:8)
• Understanding God’s plan for salvation which was once hidden for ages (1:8)
• Being included in God’s plan as a recipient of this salvation (1:10)
• Being united to God in Jesus (1:10)
• Receiving a promise of an inheritance that is to come (1:11)
• Being predestined to be heirs of heaven with Christ before all of eternity (1:11)
• Receiving the comfort of a Sovereign God who will work His plan completely (1:11)
• Being examples to others of redeemed lives so that God gets the glory (1:12)
• Receiving the very Spirit of God as a seal and preservation of our lives (1:13)
• Being guaranteed by the presence of this Spirit that the promised inheritance is really ours (1:14)
Wow. This is why I said eternity is not long enough to praise God for His bountiful generosity, and this was only 12 verses in the first chapter of Ephesians! Through Jesus Christ, this is our God, and we are His people. He is a generous God, and we are a blessed people. We are the beneficiaries of this generosity.
So I ask, when you think of God, do you think of these things? Do you set your mind on the fact that the triune God planned before the beginning of time to lavish His endless supply of grace on undeserving sinners? And we remember that each of these spiritual blessings come to us through the precious blood of our Savior, who became a servant and gave of Himself so that these spiritual blessings might become ours. May our minds be soaked with these truths, may our hearts be stirred in adoration,and may our mouths be filled with the praises of our generous God!
I would like to suggest to you a few of my favorite songs that help me remember God’s generosity to me and that fill my mouth with His praises!
In the Valley (Bless the Lord)- CityAlight, Sandra McCracken
Christ is All- Matt Boswell, Matt Papa
Promises- Matt Boswell, Matt Papa
Lovingkindness- Matt Boswell, Matt Papa
In Tenderness- Citizens
Light of Your Grace- Citizens
Joy to Be- Citizens