Summary: The beginning of Ephesians 1 emphasizes the fact that we are blessed with every spiritual blessing as Christians. This sermon dives into what we are supposed to DO now that we are blessed.
Focusing on Truth – a Study in Ephesians
Lesson Six: “What do I do with my blessing?”
Today, we jump back into our Ephesians series, “Focusing on Truth.” I said in the very beginning that Ephesians is a book of declarations – it declares the truth to us repeatedly. So before we dive further into this book of declarations, let’s make a declaration of our own.
Hold your Bible up and repeat this prayer after me:
Heavenly Father/ thank you for this Bible/it is Your Word to me today;/ I declare with confidence and boldness the following/ I am what this Bible says I am/ I have what this Bible says I have/ I can do what this Bible says I can do/ Today, I’ll be taught from this Bible/So my mind is alert/ my heart is receptive/ As I listen and interact/ may Your Spirit guide me and change me/so that I will never be the same again/By faith I ask and declare these things/ in Jesus’ Name, Amen.
We are just about to wrap up the first chapter in this declarative book. We have seen in the first 10 verses the three blessings that belong to Christians – election, adoption, and authority (get the CD’s to refresh). If you have asked Jesus Christ to be your Lord, than Ephesians clearly tells you that you and I are blessed people. What does it mean to be “blessed”? To bless is to show favor or smile down on. We are people upon whom God smiles. And that is a great thing,
But I want us to focus for a few minutes on what we are supposed to do with “blessing.” I remember as a kid when my mom would watch Jim & Tammy Baker on the PTL club, and Tammy would sing the song, “We are Blessed” – but we found out later that Jim and Tammy greatly misused their blessings. So today I want to focus on the truths in verses 11-14 that will help us learn to live with these blessings the way that God expects us to live. I want us to focus on the truths about these blessings that are very important for us to know, which has been our goal as we go through Ephesians - to focus on the truth. Why is the truth important? Because it is the truth that will set us free, that we allow us to live lives that are filled with joy and pleasing to God.
We focus on the truth in Ephesians, but sometimes the truth might get you in trouble – reminds me of a story - one night a Massachusetts state police officer pulled over a speeding car. The officer said to the driver, “I clocked you at 80 miles per hour.” The driver says, "Gee, officer I had it on cruise control at 60. Perhaps your radar gun needs calibrating." His wife was in the passenger’s seat, and without looking up from her knitting, she said, “Now don’t be silly dear, you know that this car doesn’t have cruise control."
As the officer proceeded to write out the ticket, the driver looked over at his wife and growled, "Can’t you please keep your mouth shut for once?" The wife smiled and said, "You should be thankful your radar detector went off when it did." As the officer then proceeded to write out the second ticket for the illegal radar detector unit, the man angrily stared at his wife and said through clenched teeth, "DARN IT, woman, can’t you keep your mouth shut?"
The police officer only frowned and said, "And I notice that you’re not wearing your seat belt, sir. That’s an automatic $75 fine." Getting flustered, the driver responded, "Yeah, well, you see officer, I had it on, but took it off when you pulled me over so that I could get my license out of my back pocket." At which point the wife piped up, "Now, dear, you know very well that you didn’t have your seat belt on? You never wear your seat belt when you drive."
And as the police officer begins writing out the third ticket, the driver furiously turns to his wife and shouts, "WHY DON’T YOU JUST SHUT UP??"? At that point, the police officer looks over at the woman and asks, "Does your husband always talk to you this way, Ma’am?" And she says, "No sir, only when he’s been drinking."
The truth will set you free or get you put in jail(!), but we desire to be people who let the truths of Ephesians set us free and change us. The one predominant truth that we have learned so far in Ephesians is the fact as Christians, we are BLESSED with every spiritual blessing because of Christ (verse 3). Christian, do you accept that? Will you go further with me based on that one fact? Today, I want to show you how to live with God’s blessing – you already have it, now you need to use it – so we will talk about “What do I do with my blessing?” Let’s stand and read in Ephesians 1:11-14 (on screen) PRAY. Today I want to give you three ways that we can use our blessings: