Sermons

Summary: Encouragement to endure

“The Glory of the Child of God”

August 1, 2010

Ephesians 1:3-10

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight.

In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding.

And he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillment—to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ.

In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, in order that we, who were the first to hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory.

And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God's possession—to the praise of his glory.”

It was Sunday morning and Harry was off to church. He pulled out of his driveway in his new 2-seater convertible. The roof was closed because of the driving rain, but he happily headed for church. As he turned onto the main road he saw ahead of him three bedraggled figures huddled under a single umbrella at the next bus stop. One was old Mrs. Fletcher. She still insisted on going to church despite her arthritis which was always worse in wet weather. There was Dr Jones, the local GP. A year earlier Dr Jones had diagnosed a rare and dangerous disease that Harry had contracted on an overseas vacation, so Harry literally owed him his life. And the third person was Judith. Harry had had a crush on Judith for the past 6 months, ever since she joined their church, but he had never had the courage or the opportunity to ask her out.

Harry had about 3 seconds to decide what to do. There was only one spare seat. Who should he offer a ride to? What would YOU have done? Three seconds was enough for Harry to figure out what to do. He pulled over, jumped out, handed the keys to Dr Jones, helped Mrs. Fletcher into the passenger seat, then happily waved good-bye to them as he huddled close to Judith under the umbrella.

God has a plan. Over and over in His word he reveals that fact. God has a plan. Sometimes it doesn’t seem like it. Sometimes it seems like life is aimless confusion. Sometimes it seems like life is without rhyme or reason. But it’s not. Things are under control. God has a plan. God has a purpose.

In our Scripture we read that, before the creation of the world, God chose us. Isn’t that an awesome thought? Before God created Eden and Adam, Before He created Mount Shasta and Mount Lassen, before God created flowers and fruit, He was thinking of you and me. You are not an aimless accident. Your conception may have caught your parents by surprise – but it didn’t catch God by surprise. He was thinking of you long before that.

God has a plan. We haven’t seen all of it, but we have seen enough of it to know that all this that we are going through; all of life and all the experiences of the world, is preparing a people for Himself. Life is to put us in situations where we learn to make good choices. God told the Israelites, way back in the Old Testament, that he was setting before them a blessing and a curse – blessing if you obey, and a curse for disobedience. Choices. In the New Testament it is to “believe” or not believe. Choices. Love or not to love. Choices. To obey or not obey. Choices. I think God has this fantastic plan for us in the future and He is preparing a people who will choose to love him and follow Him regardless of circumstances or situations.

God chose us before the creation of the world to be a certain way. What does He want us to be? His plan was (and is) for us to be a holy people. He said, “Be holy, for I am holy.” So I think we need to get it in our minds, we need to realize that God plans for us to be holy. I don’t know what that means to you. I don’t know what that says to you. I don’t know how that impacts your life. But accept the Word and will of God to be holy. Learn what that means to you personally. The Holy Spirit will teach you what this means and how it relates to your life – if you really want to know.

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