Ephesians 1:1-14. Had the privilege of teaching at a youth group in April on how God’s love lead to his adoption of us as His children. Our adoption was planned before the foundation of the world, through this adoption we have the privilege of calling our God, Father.
Jesus Christ, the only being who has or ever will possess this characteristic! This is huge to our faith and everything that we know. The infinite God that came willingly into a finite world! Matthew 1:18 tells us that Jesus Christ was fully human born of woman, even sharing our human characteristics and emotions Luke 2:40, Luke 2:52, Matt. 8:10, John 11:35, etc. Yet he did not share one thing with us and that was sin (1 Peter 2:22), which is imperative to all that we believe.
Scripture also shows us that Jesus was fully God, the same passage Matthew 1:18 shows us that Jesus birth was a supernatural act of God. We also affirm Christ being fully God in Colossians 2:9. “The eternal Son of God took to himself a truly human nature. His divine and human natures are forever distinct and retain their own properties even though they are eternally and inseparably united together in one person ” – Wayne Grudem. This truth is why Christ has the power to conquer and forgive our sins, it is why we live today. “Bring all who claim me as their God, for I have made them for my glory. It was I who created them. ” Isaiah 43:7 NLT
Hebrews 12:9-11 “Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live? For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. “
It is first important to know God does not make us sin nor does he tempt us to sin, but rather we by our own nature choose to sin. As we all struggle with sin it is good to know that God ‘s discipline in our lives is good. That bad things that happened due to our poor actions may be God ‘s way of discipline and pruning us to be a better servant to Him. Just as earthly parents discipline when we disobey them God disciplines when we disobey Him. This should both encourage and humble us!
We were created by God for three things. For His Glory, in His Image, and to care for the Earth. “Genesis 1:27-28 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”
We were created for His Glory, not as if He needed anyone to bring Him glory as He was already infinitely glorious before creation, however He choose to create us. As we Glorify God we are filled with Joy, because there is nothing greater than God so as we enjoy and worship God and give thanks for all the good things He has made we in turn give Him glory which in turn provides us with great joy as we live how we were created to be.
Created in God’s Image
We were created in His Image. This is an amazing and beautiful things. If it wasn ‘t for this we could just put ourselves along with the rest of creation. But this says something deep about us and the way we live and think. We were made by God in His own image, in His likeness.
However because of sin the image of God in us is distorted by our own actions and sinful nature and we defile the pure image that God intended. But the bible gives us true hope, Romans 8:29 says we are being conformed into the image of His son and Colossians 1:15 talks of us as the image of the invisible God! We are in no way God nor is God like us, but we should find great joy that God choose to make us in some parts like Him.
We were created with responsibilities as creatures in God ‘s image, to “subdue it and have dominion over ” the earth – Gen 1:28. We should always demonstrate care and respect for God ‘s creation. We should enjoy and take part of God ‘s wonderful works and creations but not take advantage or abuse what He has made.
As representatives of the King of the Universe we have awesome responsibility on this Earth. Let us not forget our place with God, that we are His servants and we get the privilege of working along side of Him as He makes all things new and will one day restore His creation to perfection! Amen.
Luke 9:23-25 And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself? “
Maybe we should just let that verse sink in to our hearts and minds. Are you willing to loose your life for Jesus Christ? Or are we trying to gain the world? I ‘m preaching tonight on Empathy, but I believe before we can truly be empathetic we need to understand sacrifice. To take up our cross and follow Him, good or bad we do it because He first loved us, He was the first to show compassion therefore true compassion comes from us becoming living sacrifices to God (Rm 12:1)
In Luke 1:38 mary says “…Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word… ” in response to God ‘s call on her life. Of course today is valentines and for many it ‘s a time of love. I want to challenge us today not to forget the love that God has shown us. In all his glory and power he choose to show us love through Jesus Christ.
So back to the verse, should we not respond the same way to the God who has shown us so much love. But do we truly view ourselves as servants to God? Do we serve and perform duties according to the Word of God as a servant of God would? God loved us so much that he sent His son to die for us, the least we could do is love and serve Him everyday.
I define prayer as the intentional conveying of a message to God. Intentional is important as it’s a direct and earnest effort on our part to convey a message to God, not just a statement about God. The bible teaches that God is in control and sovereign over every situation but it always tells us to pray and that God hears our prayers. (1 John 5:15)
We underestimate the power of prayer. God hears our prayer if we pray with a humble heart that is seeking Him. Daniel 10:12 “…humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to them. ” It is a health habit for us to pray to God often, how else can your relationship with God increase, unless you spend time talking with Him.
“God is continually involved with all created things in such a way that he keeps them existing and maintaining the properties with which he created them; cooperates with created things in every action, directing their distinctive properties to cause them to act as they do and directs them to fulfill his purposes. ” Wayne Grudem.
There are more scriptures then I can list that support this statement. With this truth we should be confident everyday to rely on God, to trust Him with all of our heart. He is the God who holds the universe together (Heb 1:3 & Col 1:17) and by Him all things were made (Col 1:16). So take heart that God is always there, always involved and acting upon our prayers according to His will and desire.
Please if you read these blogs, take the minute you would read it and pray to God for this day.
(Psalm 19:1-4 ESV) The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. Day to day pours out speech, and night to night reveals knowledge. There is no speech, nor are there words, whose voice is not heard. Their voice goes out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. ” Luke 19:40 (ESV) He answered, “I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out. “
In my life I am very inspired by God ‘s created universe, the sky, the trees, the stars all of God ‘s creation that surrounds me. It is amazing to look at it like a child and see the beauty of God ‘s glory shown in His own creation! I think sometimes we need to stop and pause and look at this beautiful creation He has made and know that the reason it ‘s there and the reason it does what it does is because of God, by His very word. “Be still and know that I am God… ” Psalm 46:10