Date: Wednesday, October 24
Scripture: Ephesians 1:3-14
Verse: “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” (Ephesians 1:3).
Maybe due to being the firstborn in my immediate family, I am a doer. I am not a type-A personality by any stretch of the imagination, but I am one who is always trying to earn favor from those above me. As a young person I wanted to please my parents, my teachers, and my coaches. Today I want to please my family, my boss, and, to be honest, God. I know there is nothing I can do to earn the love of Jesus, but that doesn’t seem to stop me from trying.
Those of us who strive to please God are often frustrated. No matter how hard we try, we find ourselves coming up short, making mistakes, not meeting our own expectations. In short, we fail.
Then I read a passage like today’s and I am moved to the place of that strange heart-warming John Wesley experienced on Aldersgate Street. I suspect Wesley was a God-pleaser before his famous transformation of which he wrote, “I felt my heart strangely warmed. I felt I did trust in Christ alone for salvation; and an assurance was given me that He had taken away my sins, even mine, and saved me from the law of sin and death” (The Journal of John Wesley, May 24, 1738). It was already done. It wasn’t out there to be attained, it was already his.
Paul reminds the believers in Ephesus and us that we have been chosen by God to receive lavish blessings from him. There is nothing we can do to earn it, deserve it, or feel like we deserve it. It is already ours because God holds us up as “holy and blameless before him in love.” Sometimes I need to be reminded to stop trying to earn, and just receive the manifold blessings God has already given me.
Prayer: Oh God, quiet my heart of striving, and let me rest in your blessings today. Amen.
Action: Don’t do anything today to earn God’s favor. Rest in the knowledge you are a recipient of his blessings.