Tag Archives: Ephesians 1:4

I Choose You

Father, bless our time together, not just this morning but throughout this day. May I do and say and think what is pleasing to You. Fill me and use me. All I have is Yours. Amen.

1 Peter 1:18-20 (<<click here)

So we chose bondage. We may not have made that initial choice to disobey but none of us is innocent. We all choose every moment if we will obey – we choose bondage – or we choose to accept the ransom paid. And Lord, You paid that ransom. You paid the price in our stead. And that price was death. You shed Your blood for me. You died for me!

As Peter said, “And it was not with mere gold or silver, which lose their value. It was the precious blood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God.” The sinless for the sinful. The spotless for the deeply stained.

“God chose him as your ransom long before the world began, but now in these last days he has been revealed for your sake.”

Paul proclaims it as well,

“Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes.” Ephesians 1:4

Lord, thank you for Your ultimate sacrifice. You knew the price You would pay. You weren’t forced or coerced into it. You did it because You loved us. You did it so we, in turn, could love You. May I never forget Your love for me. May my love for You guide my every step. I choose You, Lord, for you alone are worthy! Amen.

Nov 6th, Sun, 6:12 am

God’s Love

We love because, Father, You loved us first (I John 4:19). If we don’t love we don’t know You because, Father, You are love (I John 4:8) “Even before You made the world, You loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in Your eyes…” (Ephesians 1:4). Before I even realized it, much less, acknowledged it. You loved…me. I had done nothing to cause You to love me. You just loved me…for me.

And it works the other way, too. There is nothing I can do to make You not love me. Even at the final judgment, those who are cast into the darkness of Hell will be sent there not because You have ceased loving them but only because they rejected Your love. Your love endures forever (Psalm 136). Love, Your love never fails (1 Corinthians 13:8).

Father, enable me to grasp the ramifications of Your love more and more each day. May it so fill my heart, mind and so that it influences every action, every thought.

June 22nd, Wed, 7:06 am

Such Love!

It really should come as no surprise, Father, but Your love and grace never cease to amaze me! A hymn I grew up with popped in my head when I first sat down.

“Such love, such wondrous love!
That God should love a sinner such as I –
How wonderful is love like this!” – C. Bishop, 1929

“God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. This is real love – not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.” 1 John 4:9-10

Lord, first of all thank You… Thank You for loving me even before there was a day one! (Ephesians 1:4) Thank You for your sacrifice for me… for all of us. Thank You for Your faithfulness to me even when I am unfaithful. I am overwhelmed by Your “real love”.

I think one of things that beats us down is thinking that we are the only failures in Your kingdom. Looking out over the vast sea of faces of fellow pastors, and leaders in the church – over individuals that just seem so “saintly,” it becomes very daunting.

No matter how overwhelming those thoughts might be, in reality they are not true. We – every single one of us– are all sinners. None of us are perfect. You are the only one who is perfect. And even though we may feel like the ugly stepchild in the family of God none of us were “naturally” born into Your family. We are here not because we are better than anyone else but solely, entirely, exclusively because You…loved…us! Help me, Lord, to remember this. Burden my heart and mind with the burning desire to draw closer to You each and every day!

Dec 20th, Sun, 6:43 am

Listening

Since we last came together, Father, a lot has transpired, Karen’s second round in the hospital in as many weeks and for two totally unrelated issues. Thank You for good care from wonderful caregivers. And, Father, most of all, thank You that Karen is on the mend and that she will be home soon. And then in the middle of all that You called Your faithful servant, George, home. Our loss is surely Your gain. Cancer had its way with him but no more. I would ask that You would be especially close to his family this day and in the days to come. May we all be ready to step into Your presence as he was.

2 Timothy 1:9-11 (<<click here)

As I sit here in contemplation, young Samuel’s response comes to mind as he answered Your call, Lord, in the Israelite tabernacle of old. “Speak, your servant is listening.” 1 Samuel 3:10 Help me to be receptive to Your call on me this day. I, Your servant, am listening.

It’s hard to wrap my mind around it but I cling to the fact that You chose and loved me even before the creation of the world (Ephesians 1:4) And You chose me to be holy and blameless. You saved me not because I deserved it but to make Your grace known. You “broke the power of death and illuminated the way of life and immortality through the Good News.” v10

We like to think that we got to where we are all on our own but there is no truth in that. At least in our culture it’s all about “me”. “I” got me to where I am, “I” don’t need anyone else. Me, myself and I will get through just fine. But if we really, down deep, look at it we realize it’s the farthest thing from the truth.

My only means of fulfillment on this speck of dust in the universe, my only means of security in the fact that there is life beyond the threshold of death, is found solely in You. Because of Your unfathomable sacrifice I have true life, now and for all eternity.

Lord, You love me and You have my best interests in mind. Help me, every moment of every day, to strive for holiness – to become more like You with every breath I take. Fill me with Your presence. Use me to shine Your light into the darkness of this world. May I be attentive to You. “Speak, your servant is listening.”

Oct 23rd, Fri, 6:42 am

No Better Place than Here

Father, after all these weeks I am still amazed and overwhelmingly blessed that You so gently wake me for our time together. Thank You, for You love. Thank You for the great privilege of spending one-on-one time with the Creator of all that is! It’s hard to wrap my brain around the concept that You really want to spend time with me! Praise Your Holy Name!!

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Lord, Jesus, this morning I feel compelled to save the next portion of scripture for the next time we come together. I feel the need to just write this morning. As I look back over my life, Lord, You have been there every step of the way. Through every heart ache and trial, through every victory and all the joy, You have been by my side. I have been obedient and I have rebelled but You have never given up on me. The word “grateful” doesn’t even begin to express how I feel.

As I wondrously proclaim, “Even before You made the world, You loved me and chose me in You to be holy and without fault in Your eyes.” (Ephesians 1:4) That’s like forever but I honestly cannot recall a time in my life when I didn’t know You or at least when I didn’t know of You. I was blessed to be born into family the loved and wholeheartedly strove to serve You. And it went beyond Mom and Dad, four of my grandparents and every one of my aunts and uncles were of the same heart and mind. What a heritage! What a foundation on which to build my life! All the building blocks under me were solidly, securely placed on You! (Ephesians 2:11-22)

Now clearly I did not pop out of the womb perfect and without fault (Lord, You know that is true!) but Your hand has guided me. You have aligned my heart with Yours. Over the course of my life, I have wandered, I have blatantly sinned, I have hurt You and dirtied Your name in the process but I could never go beyond Your reach. The pull of Your love has always brought me back.

After 50+ years of living, some may look at who I am and what I’ve accomplished and they may shake their heads and think that I really haven’t done a whole lot with my life. I don’t have a huge bank account, I live in a nice but modest home, I have not ascended the ladder of success (by human standards) in the business world or in any denomination I have served. But Lord… I am where You have placed me. I faithfully serve as Your child in my home, at my job and in the two churches with which You have blessed me.

No, I am definitely not perfect. I stumble. I fall. But I am not defeated. Lord, You patiently work with me each and every day. You encourage me. You direct me. You help me. You encourage me. I am blessed beyond measure!

I am full of joy! I am content – but not to the point of complacency. I would follow You anywhere You would lead me, but for now I am where You want me to be – in the center of Your will. Help me to listen. Help me to continue to expand my horizons in You – to draw closer to You, to more and more be able to hear Your direction and to have the courage and wisdom to do and be all that you desire for me to do and be. There is no better place than here!

Sept,20th, Sun, 6:41 am