Summary: Part 3 of a 4 part mini-series on the three blessings of God from Ephesians 1, focusing on the blessing of adoption as sons and daughters.
“Focusing on Truth – a study in Ephesians”
Lesson Four: “Too Good Not to Be True – part 3”
Subtitle – “Say it anyway!”
First - Read Ephesians 1:4-8 - PRAY
There are few affirmations that are more important to the overall well-being of a child than the loving affirmation of parents. As parents, we sometimes forget the importance of our words and the affect that they can have on the self-worth of our children.
My son recently read and told me about the book A Child Called It that was written by David J. Pelzer. David tells of his life’s story being raised by his mother who was a devoted den mother to the Cub Scouts in her care, and somewhat nurturing to her children--but not to David, whom she referred to as "an It." This book is David’s horrifying account of the bizarre tortures she inflicted on him. As a young boy he was starved, stabbed, smashed face-first into mirrors, forced to eat the contents of his sibling’s diapers and a spoonful of ammonia, and burned over a gas stove by his maniacal, sadistic, alcoholic mom. It is hard to imagine, but even his father didn’t protect him; he was saved only an alert schoolteacher.
You don’t need to read this book though to know as a parent the importance of our words and actions. Our words can and often do determine the direction our children will take. In the same manner, God’s words for us are important and will determine and change our direction if we will allow. As we begin, I would ask you – how do you view yourself this morning? Do you ever feel like an “it” rather than who God says you are? If you are a Christian, what direction are you going in? If you are not a Christian, would you like to know what God would do for you this morning if you would let Him?
In just the few verses that we’ve covered, our study in Ephesians has already revealed several blessings and titles that God has given to us as Christians.
1. We are blessed with every spiritual blessing.
2. We are blessed in the heavenly realms.
3. We are God’s chosen and loved ones.
4. We are HOLY and without fault.
Notice the last phrase in verse 4 that rounds off these descriptions – “in His eyes.” Some of your versions say “before Him” or “in His sight.” Ephesians 1 is all about how God views us – us being in His eyes, before Him. Have you ever wondered what someone REALLY thought of you? I’ve talked about the blessings and will continue to do so today, but as I do, I want to give you some instructions for enjoying the blessings of God.
1) TRUST GOD’S PERSPECTIVE. As I have talked about these blessings the last few weeks, some of you look at me as if I have my head in the sand, like I am a spiritual ostrich! “Pastor, I don’t feel blessed! I don’t feel holy! I don’t feel chosen!” Look at the banner on the back wall – Prov. 3:5-6 – there is one phrase missing – “don’t lean on your own understanding…” (or anyone else’s).
(Part of the next several paragraphs are taken practically verbatim from a message by Bishop Joseph Garlington entitled, "Becoming a Person after God’s Own Heart-message 1"). Ephesians 1 is about us living “in His eyes,” “before Him” – and this passage here shows you that God already sees you in certain ways. And there are ways that God can see us right now that we cannot yet see ourselves. Ephesians gives us a glimpse of ourselves through the eyes of God. And we have the choice to say, “Yes, that is who I am,” or we can say “Well, I just can’t see me the way God sees me.” Now to say, “I can’t see what God sees” – that’s a no-brainer because you can’t. Thank you for stating the obvious!
But let’s say one of you stood on a 100 ft. tower above this building and yelled down “a tornado is a mile away and coming right in this direction,” we down here below would quickly prepare and act on what was said as if it were reality. You would not say, “I’m not worried about a thing. I can’t see the tornado, so I don’t really believe one’s coming.” That would be foolish, right? You have to rely on the perspective of the person above, right?
So when God says to you, “This is who you are,” you actually have the option of saying, “This is who I am” even though you can’t see it. But you say it anyway. And even if you see inconsistencies or incongruities or seeming contradictions to what God has said, you say it anyway. Look at someone and say, “Say it anyway.”