Chosen, Redeemed, and Forgiven with Wisdom

Meditations on Ephesians 1

Maybe you’re a regular here, and you landed on this page from your RSS feed, Twitter, or email. Maybe this is the first time you’ve set foot in this place. Maybe you did some random Google search and landed here. However you got here, I’m glad you landed on this page. So, grab a cup of coffee or a cold beer and sit with me for a while, because I have something to show you.

Maybe, like me, you’re the one who tried hard to serve well. Maybe you’re the person who grew up in church — literally. Maybe you were the guy who was at church every time the door opened. Maybe you’re the girl who saw your worth in how much you could contribute. Maybe you’re seeking validation in serving well, and often. Relax. If you are a Christian, God chose you to be in Christ before the world began. He knew how much you would try to earn His favor, and He gave you grace anyway. Rest in Him. Trust in Him.

…even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world…

Maybe you’re the girl whose life as been shattered. Maybe you’re the guy who feels like his heart has been broken one too many times. Maybe you’re the one holding on for dear life, struggling to take the next breath. Maybe you feel like you can barely keep your head above the waves. You have redemption in Jesus. You and your pain do not exist for no reason, but have been redeemed for God’s glory and your ultimate joy in Him. You have hope in Him, a confidence that will not disappoint (Rom. 5:5).

In him we have redemption through his blood…

Maybe you feel like you’ve done too much, gone too far. Maybe you grew up in church, but then you went to college and peer pressure and your own desire to sin got the better of you, as the good influences of your youth seemed to fade away. Maybe you got drunk one night and did something you thought you’d never do. Maybe you did both of those things just to fit in. If you believe in Jesus, you have forgiveness. So, turn to Him and trust His Lordship.

…the forgiveness of our trespasses…

Maybe you loved God with all your heart, and then had that heart broken by those who used His name to justify their own twisted desires. Maybe you were spiritually abused. Maybe you just woke up one day and saw the cliché Evangelical constructs of the 90’s as shallow, and became disillusioned with the whole thing. Maybe you’re trying to make your way back, but it’s messy and people don’t understand. There is mercy in Jesus. There is grace for you to work out your salvation, space to be confused and frustrated. Even angry. Keep coming home, again and again. There is grace.

…according to the riches of his grace…

Maybe you’ve read this far and just don’t understand why God would extend love and grace and mercy toward you. Maybe you’re wondering if this really applies to you. Maybe you’re wondering if God made a mistake, or if He really knows everything you’ve done. Friend, you are not alone. We can take comfort in the fact that God didn’t haphazardly give us redemption or foolishly bless us or do either of those things blindly. He had insight into who we would be, the ways we would stray, the wounds we would carry, and in His wisdom He still chose to bless, redeem, and forgive us.

…which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight…

Maybe you’re looking around at this broken, fallen world and are just tired of it. Maybe you’re looking at the Church divided, at Christ’s Bride being seemingly pulled apart limb by limb, and just don’t understand. This isn’t the way it’s supposed to be, and, when the time is right, God’s People will be united in Him, and creation will cease to groan because it has been restored.

…which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time,
to unite all things in him, things in heaven and on earth…

Until then, may we suffer well and look to Jesus for our strength and hope.

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