Head over all things

Ephesians 1:22-23 And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.

Who’s your king? Is it some person on this earth who is in authority over others? Is it a President or a CEO?  While these people may have power and may lord it over you, there is One who is truly over all things and He doesn’t exist to oppress you. He loves you.

Jesus Christ was placed in specific authority over the Church, even though He rules over all. The Church, that’s all of us who believe, serves as the body of Christ, living out His mission on this earth. His authority over us is not to control us or to hurt us, but to empower us and strengthen us. We’re better with Him in authority than we’d be without Him.

What about you personally? Is Christ head over you? Have you placed yourself under His authority? Are you living for Him or for your own agenda? It is a far better thing to submit to the King of Kings than to chase after our own desires and live as our own gods.

Name above all names

Ephesians 1:21 far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come.

Who is the most powerful person you’ve ever known? Think of the most authoritative and influential person you think has ever lived – now multiply that times infinity and you might start to get the picture of just how much higher Jesus is than any other human being.

He’s above all rule, above all authority, above all power, above every dominion on this earth, and He is above every name that is named. Forever. There will never be another person to walk this earth who compares to the God-man. His is the name by which we can/must be saved (Acts 4:12). His name is greater than all others and it is to Him that every knee will bow, on heaven, on earth, and below the earth (Philippians 2:9-10).

This is the one who we have on our side. What could ever oppose us that He can’t handle, that He doesn’t have dominion over? Simple: nothing. He holds all things together (Colossians 1:17), surely He has your life within His sight and He’s capable of taking care of you. Put your trust in Him. He’s the only one worthy of it.

Seated on His right

Ephesians 1:20 that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places

When Jesus Christ was raised from the dead, He eventually went back to His rightful place – seated at the right hand of God the Father. Why does this detail matter to your life or mine though?

The Bible is full of symbolism and not one single symbol goes by without deep meaning. It is significant that Jesus was seated on the right hand of the heavenly Father. It shows that He is equal to the Father – He is God. It shows that He is active, and not passive, in ruling. It shows that all power and authority belonging to God is Christ’s. Still, why does that matter for us?

The thing is, if Jesus had only died for our sins, then we’d still be forgiven, but He didn’t end His work by dying. He rose from death and conquered sin and death. He went back to His place in heaven so that the Holy Spirit could come to dwell in His followers (John 16:7), giving us power and authority (Acts 1:8). He went to be seated on the right hand of the Father to mediate on behalf of you and me (1 Timothy 2:5), acting as our advocate. It matters where Jesus is and what He’s doing right now!

His immeasurable greatness

Ephesians 1:19 and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might

What does God’s power mean for you and me as His followers? Does it mean that we should be afraid of Him because He has the power to strike us down? That we should revere Him because He has the power to command even the wind and seas? That we should ask for seemingly impossible things because He is capable of doing them?

The immeasurable greatness of God’s power has many implications for those of us who believe. His endless power guarantees our protection from anything that could possible come against us (Romans 8:31-39). It changes us, from the inside out. It means there is no more death to condemn us because sin and death were conquered by Christ’s work on the cross.

It also means that you and I are capable of far more than we would be on our own, for the same power that raised Jesus from the dead is at work in us through the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 1:20-21). We will never be able to fathom the depth of the power of God in this lifetime. He is so incredibly powerful and able that we should simply trust Him with all things. Why do we ever even try to do things on our own when our Father is so powerful?

In the knowledge of Him

Ephesians 1:17-18 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints,

We’d all like to know God a little better; wouldn’t we? Who can say that they’d prefer to be in the dark about who the Father is and what He has in store? No, most of us would like to hear from Him and know what He has to say to us. We expect it even, because God does speak.

We can only truly know Him as He reveals himself to us. He makes himself known as we grow closer to Him, helping us to better understand His character, His nature, His love, and His Fatherhood over us. The more intimately we become acquainted with the Lord, the more He allows us to know Him. Kind of like in our human relationships.

The difference, of course, is that the Father knows perfectly well what exactly to reveal to us at any given time. What we’re not ready for, we don’t know yet. The knowledge we’ve been entrusted with testifies to our growing relationships with Him.

Contrary to popular opinion, God wants to be known. He wants to show us who He is, He wants us to grow closer to Him. He wants His children to be enlightened. Seek Him and you will find Him.

Fix It

Matthew 5:23-24  “So if you are presenting a sacrifice at the altar in the Temple and you suddenly remember that someone has something against you,  leave your sacrifice there at the altar. Go and be reconciled to that person. Then come and offer your sacrifice to God.

2 Corinthians 5:18-19  And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to Himself through Christ. And God has given us this task of reconciling people to Him.  19  For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to Himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And He gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation.

Sometimes it seems so much easier to not fix a relationship than to face the issues and become right with that person, but God doesn’t care for the easy way of doing things, he went through a lot of great effort to make relationships right.

Through Jesus we have been shown the great lengths that God would go to in order to fix a relationship. He could have taken the easy way out and just wrote us off and let us self destruct.

The master of relationship repair made us right with him and we should be willing to go out of our way to fix the broken relationships that we have in our life. We are his representatives to the rest of the world so they will come to know the God of fixed relationships. He isn’t impersonal, he is relational, and he wants us to be the same.

Thank you Lord for making the relationship right between you and I. Help me to be busy showing people that relationships matter, especially the relationship with you that is possible only because of Jesus.

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The guarantee of our inheritance

Ephesians 1:13-14 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.

The gifts of God are irrevocable (Romans 11:29). His promises can be trusted and He’ll never break a single one. This is true of every prophesy and every promise given in the Old Testament and every truth spoken in the New Testament as well.

For those of us who are a bit more on the skeptical side, God did not leave us without a guarantee of our inheritance. When we first put our trust in Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of our sins and He rescued us and redeemed us, we also received the promised Holy Spirit (Acts 1:8). He’s now living in us and through us and He’s the guarantee we have for all the blessings that will come.

Never do we have to wonder if we’ll be blessed by God in the ways that He’s promised. Never do we have to speculate. He will come through, always. We may not see everything revealed right now, but in time it will all be made clear.

 

We have obtained an inheritance

Ephesians 1:11-12 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.

God’s promises are going to be fulfilled.  There’s no chance, none whatsoever, that He’ll go back on anything He’s promised.  You and I have been granted an inheritance, and just like an inheritance would be from an earthly family member, it’s documented.

From eternity, before there was such a thing as time, the Father had a plan for those whom He would love and call to be His own. To the adopted sons of God, there is an inheritance that includes everything that a true son would be entitled to.

The Son of God obtained for us this right to be called sons of God (John 1:12) ourselves. Now we’re coheirs with Him (Romans 8:17), sharing in every blessing. This hope we have that we’ll receive this inheritance brings glory to the Lord. Those blessings that we cannot see today, we’ll see later, when we can better understand and better enjoy. He’ll see to it. He’ll fulfill every promise.

 

The mystery of His will

Ephesians 1:9-10 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.

The one really liberating thing about following God is knowing that He can be trusted.  He’s had this master plan from before time even began and He’s working it out.  He set things in motion and to this day the stage we find ourselves on in life is still part of the story.

Along the way, God will reveal to us the mysteries of His will, but never too much and never at the wrong time.  We’re often so quick to question Him and demand to know what’s going on, but to be honest if we really knew it all we wouldn’t be able to handle it.  His ways are not our ways and His thoughts are not our thoughts (Isaiah 55:8).

When it all plays out, this grand plan of His, all things will come together as they must. The timing will be perfect and the outcome will be just as it should.  The momentary afflictions we face in this life will seem like nothing in comparison to the glory that will be revealed at that time (2 Corinthians 4:7).

Take heart, trust in the Father to bring things to completion. And remember, He loves you.

Lavished upon us

Ephesians 1:8 which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight

Out of the abundance of all that He has (which is everything), God lavishes upon us His blessings.  He’s a loving Father who cares for His children and wants to bless them.  And He does it in all wisdom and insight.

That means that even though the all-knowing God who lives outside of time and knows everything before it happens has knowledge of our sins and disobedience, He chooses to bless us anyway. A better word than “chooses” is “chose,” because before He even created the world He had already chosen how to bless you.

He knew the choices you’d make and the sins you’d commit against Him, and still He chose to love you and bless you, to redeem you and forgive you.  If that’s not grace, then what is?  If that’s not worth your thanks, then what is?