Pondering Ephesians 1:9-12
This Week’s Passage: 9 And he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, 10 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.
11 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, 12 in order that we, who were the first to hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory.
Sometimes as I ponder my mind thinks like a preacher who is who is putting together a sermon outline. With that in mind you will understand why the four words in this passage that stood out to me all begin with the letter “P”.
Pleasure – It is somewhat astounding and overwhelming to realize that the magnificent and glorious God of the universe takes great pleasure in me. I am the delight of His heart. And just as my own kids bring joy to my life so I brings joy to the Father. It pleased Him greatly to lavish His grace upon me and rescue me from the dominion of darkness and depravity of sin.
Purpose – God acts with intentionality. I am a part of His grand purpose. There is a reason why He has given me new life. He has plans for me. He wants to use me to be a part of fulfilling His purposes. Rick Warren says this in his book “The Purpose Driven Life”:
“If you want your life to have impact, focus it! Stop dabbling. Stop trying to do it all. Do less. Prune away even good activities and do only that which matters most. Never confuse activity with productivity. You can be busy without a purpose, but what’s the point?”
A good reminder. Often I confuse busyness with productivity. We do the same in the church. I need to remember to consistently ask “why am I doing what I am doing?” if I want to live with focused intentionality.
Predestined – “…according to the plan…” Here’s an analogy that comes to mind to help me understand this. When it comes to draft time the General Manager of a football team does not draft just anybody that is available. He drafts someone that will fill in the needs that the team has. If they are weak on the defensive line he might draft a tackle. If they need someone fast that can catch a football he would draft a wide receiver. Predestination, or the fact that God chose me specifically, is kind of like this. He has a plan and he wants me to be a part of specifically filling a role in bringing about that plan. Predestination, rather than being a confusing doctrine, ought to be a biblical truth that fuels believers with a great sense of purpose and joy as they anticipate how God will use them to bring about His purposes.
Praise – The reason that God has done what He has done in my life is that I might be a testimony of resounding praise to His greatness. It would be foolish to think that anything I do could possibly add to the glorious nature of God. God is fully glorious. That is who He is by nature. But my life can and should point others to Him so that they too recognize just how gloriously resplendent He indeed is. This is what it means to live to the praise of His glory.
I’m just sayin’!
Next Week’s Passage: Ephesians 1:13-14