Your Daily Dose of Spiritual Blessing

For what do you find yourself being thankful today?

Food? A nice home or car?

Is it that trendy sport coat or stylish dress you have been searching for that could give you an edge at work?

Did you choose to thank God for the breath to even say thank you to him today? No, I didn’t either. My Thank You’s usually consist of random automobile drivers not hitting me while weaving in and out of traffic or getting a discounted price on a product I need to purchase no matter the cost, and sometimes the fact that my schedule for any given day is going as planned. Shallow, I know.

But read Ephesians 1:3-4, “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.” Whoa! Spiritual blessings in the heavenly places? Did Paul really say we have spiritual blessings given to us by our Lord Jesus Christ? Read it again, I will wait. Ok, rewind here for a minute… remember when our Lord walked this earth, he told us he wouldn’t leave us as orphans when he went back to Heaven (John 14:18), but would send a Comforter (John 14:16)? That was fulfilled in Acts 2 as the Holy Spirit came at Pentecost on the 120 disciples, and he continues to reside today in every Believer. Something we can thank God the Father for every day, but there are other blessings bestowed upon us because of being in Christ.

Ephesians 1:7-10, “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.”

1. Redemption: GR apolustrosis; deliverance, a release effect by payment of ransom.

Here God Almighty granted to us our deliverance from his wrath upon our sin and in turn poured it out onto his Son Jesus Christ. The cross is more than just an emblem of sacrifice, it is an embodiment of freedom from slavery to sin and death. Something we truly deserve yet because of mercy that debt has been transferred, or propitiated, from off my name and onto Christ’s. A debt that I could never repay.

2. Forgiveness: GR aphesis; pardon, a releasing or letting go from obligation or debt.

Not only did God Almighty deliver us from his wrath he also pardoned or released us from the debt we incurred. I could never pay the ransom price for my soul, nor could I pay the cost of sin that I had accumulated. Romans 3:23 tells us that all have fallen short of God’s glory and Psalm 51:5 says in sin I was conceived. A human soul has no hope even within the womb. Our very DNA propagates the sin nature. And yet a holy God saw the human that the soul would indwell and said I will pardon his sin if he turns his heart to me. Now I don’t know about you, but redemption is grand. But forgiveness of my sins, which are too numerous to fill this blog site, is worthy of a Bapti-costal Hallelujah fit!

But there’s more…

3. Wisdom and Insight: GR sophia and phronesis; skill, intelligence, clarity; and understanding, discernment, practical insight or prudence.

Let’s say I asked you to come to Indiana to visit me, but you had never been to Indiana. And to make it interesting it was the year 1821. Just five years after it was accepted into the Union. No AAA. No GPS device. No Google Maps or Suri to direct you. How do you think you would get here to see me? You would consult a good, old-fashioned map! Along with the comforting Holy Spirit, redemption and forgiveness God bestows wisdom and insight into who he is and how he wants us to live. Where does one find this wisdom and insight? Inside God’s Word, or as more commonly called, the Bible. Billy Graham said one time that a Christian should walk through life with the newspaper in one hand and the Bible in the other. I agree. The only way we as followers of Christ are to discern with clarity and insight the way to live here on earth is to be in God’s Word. It is the only way to understand the “mystery of his will” from verse nine.

Deliverance, pardoned, clarity, and prudence. A daily dose of things to be thankful for while walking with Christ.

Grace and peace, James

*Scripture from ESV, Crossway Publishing, 2001

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