Praise of God's Glory
1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God,
To the saints who are in Ephesus and are faithful[a] in Christ Jesus:
2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Spiritual Blessings in Christ
3 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, 4 just as he chose us in Christbefore the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless before him in love. 5 He destined us for adoption as his children through Jesus Christ, according to the good pleasure of his will, 6 to the praise of his glorious grace that he freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. 7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace 8 that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and insight 9 he has made known to us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure that he set forth in Christ, 10 as a plan for the fullness of time, to gather up all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth. 11 In Christ we have also obtained an inheritance, having been destined according to the purpose of him who accomplishes all things according to his counsel and will, 12 so that we, who were the first to set our hope on Christ, might live for the praise of his glory. 13 In him you also, when you had heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and had believed in him, were marked with the seal of the promised Holy Spirit; 14 this is the pledge of our inheritance toward redemption as God’s own people, to the praise of his glory.
“I live for ___!” How would you fill in the blank? I can think of several ways to finish off this sentence. I live for church camp-for the combination of kids, nature, horses, God. I live for the moments when someone I care about shows love toward me. I live for the times when I truly feel the presence of God.
Some would say that they live for their spouse of their kids. Some would say that they live for the moment of victory or for the moment when their hard work is honored. Right now, some are living for the time when they can hug a loved one that they have been missing. For the phone call telling them they can return to work.
Many would say that they are living for the time when a person is not distrusted-or worse-because of their skin color. Others would say that they are living in suspension until they can return to school or college.
There are many reasons to live. This passage points to the most important reason for us to live: We are to live for the praise of God’s glory (Vs 6, 12, 14). So what exactly does that mean?
To me, it means that I am living my best life when all that I do is focused on giving God the glory. The things that American culture values-power, success, financial security-are not the things that give God glory. In fact, God is glorified in our weakness.
Thus the people who protest the death of George Lloyd and other people of color “take a knee” they say straight up that they are not going to overcome racism with power nor with hatred nor with strength. They are going to overcome racism even though they are weak, powerless, outcast. They are going to do this by the power of God. As those predestined to bring God glory, they are willing to risk tear gassing, being shot straight on with rubber bullets that are meant to bounce off something before hitting a person’s vulnerable flesh. How can you live today so that God’s grace is glorified? How can you proclaim God’s power and grace in your life so that your actions inspire others to praise the Glory of God? This is no small task. It is a calling that God places upon each of us who call God Father. May we all be faithful to that calling today.