When I saw Tamara Peterson’s beautiful work of art, I immediately thought of the beautiful hymn with that title written by John Mark McMillan. These words remind me of the Truth in Ephesians Chapter One, Scripture passages I wrap around my heart, like the Loving Arms of my Savior Jesus Christ, when I feel discouraged.
I remembered reading years ago about an old Navajo Indian who had become rich because oil had been found on his property. He took all the money and put it in a bank. His banker became familiar with the habits of this old gentleman. Every now and then, the Indian would show up at the bank and say to the banker, “Grass all gone, sheep all sick, water holes dry.” The banker wouldn’t say a word—he knew what needed to be done. He’d bring the old man inside and seat him in the vault. Then he’d bring out several bags of silver dollars and say, “These are yours.” The old man would spend about an hour in there looking at his money, stacking up the dollars and counting them. Then he’d come out and say, “Grass all green, sheep all well, water holes all full.” He was simply reviewing his resources.
That is where encouragement is found—when you look at the resources in God’s Word which are yours, the riches, the facts which undergird your faith.
Here are just a few of those treasures found in Ephesians 1:3-4:
NASB: Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him in love.
TLB: How we praise God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every blessing in heaven because we belong to Christ. Long ago, even before He made the world, God chose us to be his very own through what Christ would do for us; He decided then to make us holy in his eyes, without a single fault—we who stand before Him covered with his love.
Amplified: May blessing (praise, laudation, and eulogy) be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah) Who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual (given by the Holy Spirit) blessing in the heavenly realm! Even as [in His love] He chose us [actually picked us out for Himself as His own] in Christ before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy (consecrated and set apart for Him) and blameless in His sight, even above reproach, before Him in love.
Phillips: Praise be to God for giving us through Christ every possible spiritual benefit as citizens of Heaven! For consider what He has done—before the foundation of the world he chose us to become, in Christ, his holy and blameless children living within his constant care.
NET: Blessed is the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms in Christ. For He chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world that we may be holy and unblemished in His sight in love.
Wuest: May the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ be eulogized, the One Who conferred benefactions upon us in the sphere of every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, even as He selected us out for Himself in Him before the foundations of the universe were laid, to be holy ones and without blemish before His searching, penetrating gaze in love.
Young’s Literal: Blessed [is] the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who did bless us in every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, according as He did choose us in him before the foundation of the world, for our being holy and unblemished before Him, in love.
Heavenly Father, thank You that in Christ I am blessed with every spiritual blessing. I know that I know that I know that because I have placed my trust in the finished work of Jesus Christ, I am redeemed by His precious blood, He has crowned me, surrounded me, encircled me with His glory and blessing. Jesus is alive, He has come and is coming again! Thank you for surrounding me with the shield of your love and favor. Thank you for how Your favor is operating and functioning in my life. It surrounds me and encircles me like a shield. Your favor goes before me and prepares my way. Your favor opens doors of blessing and opportunity in my life. Wherever I go and whatever I do, Your favor is with me, surrounding me, encircling me. Your favor fills my life with overflowing blessing, peace, joy, fulfillment, and abundance. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.
Look Up—meditate on Ephesians 1:3-4…pray to see what it reveals about the character of God.
Look In—as you meditate on Ephesians 1:3-4…pray to see how you might apply it to your life. Be propelled to ask galvanizing questions about your discoveries: “Because God is_________, I will_____________.”
Look Out—as you meditate on Ephesians 1:3-4…pray to see how you might apply it to your relationships with others. Let the nature of God impact on every relationship, for your good, and for His glory.
* If you liked this post, you’ll love this book – Name Above All Names Devotional: Focusing on 26 Alphabetical Names of Christ