Explore the Bible Lesson for September 1: Rejoice
August 19 2019 by Dayton Hartman, lead pastor, Redeemer Church, Rocky Mount

Focal Passage: Eph. 1:3-14

“These are for you,” I said as two little boys gasped and giggled with joy. “We can have all these?” my oldest son asked. “Yes, before you were even born, I had been saving them for my sons.” They reached into the open box and pulled out Michael Jordan, Ken Griffey Jr., Brett Favre, Wayne Gretzky and many other 1980s-90s trading cards from my childhood. 

Elated, they began feverishly looking for cards that were shiny or unique looking. Each time they pulled out a card they liked, they would ask me, “This is for us, too?” I would laugh and continue reassuring them, “Yes, all of it is for you.” 

The notion that before they were born, I planned to give them something that was very valuable to me, boggled their young minds. 

The Apostle Paul tells the Ephesians that, “... before the foundation of the world, [God planned for you] to be holy and blameless in love before him” (Ephesians 1:4b). In eternity past, God set into motion a plan to demonstrate love toward sinners. 

Paul continues, “He predestined us to be adopted as sons through Jesus Christ for himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace that he lavished on us in the Beloved One” (Ephesians 1:5-6). While some Christians are startled by the word, “predestined,” the most shocking word is actually “adopted.” 

In eternity past, God began working toward the salvation of sinners and not just their salvation, but their adoption into His family. 

Before the world began, God has been planning to give you something. He has eagerly awaited the moment you would receive it and experience the joy of His gift. He has given us His Spirit (Ephesians 1:13), He has sealed us for the day of redemption, and He has lavished grace upon us (Ephesians 1:6), so that in Christ, for ages to come, He can give us all things. Our only response ought to be childlike humility in which we are overwhelmed by not just the Gift, but the love and intention of the gift giver.

8/19/2019 1:46:38 PM by Dayton Hartman, lead pastor, Redeemer Church, Rocky Mount | with 0 comments

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