In Heaven and on Earth

Ephesians 1:3-14 (ESV)

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth. In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory.  In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.

With the way events are happening, in our individual lives, and in the world, we live in, for my own peace of mind, I sometimes have to take some time to think about where God is in the midst of it all. How angry is He at the hatred? At the senseless killings. Do people realize that there will come a day when their evil will be punished? Do they realize how the choices they make now so greatly impact their future?

Also, am I living up to the standards I set for myself based on what God has shown me? Is it only what I want, the emphasis on my standards, and not what the Word of God says?

I go back to that rainy Spring Day, sitting on the front porch of my parents’ home, a book in my hand, difficult memories swirling around me, and deep, deep sadness because nothing in my 22 years had worked out like I anticipated and the future life I’d dreamed of having just was not going to happen.

It wasn’t like I didn’t know who God was. It wasn’t like I hadn’t sat in on discussions about Jesus. It wasn’t like I didn’t read the Bible. I believed in God. But until that rainy day, I didn’t believe Him. Didn’t believe the promises He gave. The life changes I’d seen in other people’s lives because of their commitment to Him.

I loved religious movies. They touched something inside of me, but I never thought they could apply to my life. I loved the Bible stories,and the heroes I respected. And then, in a novel by a man I’d never heard of, telling a story of faith, pain, war, and hope, I met Jesus the Savior. Recognized His love. Saw what real commitment and trust in a forever with Him were all about.

Maybe that’s why I love fiction. Why I love telling stories because that is what reached me.

In doing some studies this weekend, the above verses broke through like the sun on a rainy day. In the heavens, and here on earth, as believers, we are blessed. We were given the Word of God to show us His love, His redemption, and His plan to redeem the world.

We were given the Holy Spirit to seal our relationship with God, to guarantee that someday we will stand before God as one of His kids. We were given an advocate to walk with us, comfort us, guide us, and empower us to do God’s work in bringing more people into the family of God.

More studies on the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity, are part of my future study plans. So, there might be some of that in blogs to come. Or not. I write as the Lord leads.

May God bless you my friends – Vicki

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