May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you grace and peace (Ephesians 1:2).
Yesterday we looked at how God’s grace plans for our future. We were made for a reason and we were saved for a reason. God equips us for that plan by giving us many gifts – gifts that change us into the person He planned for us to be all along. Let’s look at the gifts mentioned by Paul in the first two chapters of Ephesians.
Ever since I first heard of your strong faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for God’s people everywhere, I have not stopped thanking God for you (Eph. 1:15-16a).
Faith and love – these two gifts are often mentioned together. When we walk in God’s plan for our life, we naturally begin to love those around us more and more. Perhaps you noticed these are both fruits of the Spirit. When we are connected to the vine (John 15), the Spirit does a work in our lives and we begin to produce fruit – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Gal. 5:22-23).
I pray for you constantly, asking God, the glorious Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, to give you spiritual wisdom and insight so that you might grow in your knowledge of God (Eph. 1:16b-17).
I see a few gifts from God in this sentence. First of all, let’s look at prayer. Have you considered recently how blessed we are to have a God who wants to hear from us and who wants to give us what we ask for? The gift He wants us to ask for so that He can give it to us generously (James 1:5) is spiritual wisdom and insight. He has a plan for our lives and desires to equip us with the wisdom we need to walk in that plan.
There is one more gift I see here – growth. God’s plan includes the blessing of growing in our relationship with Him, growing in our faith, and growing in our knowledge of God. This growth occurs when we know God personally and experience Him daily. It is so much more than an intellectual knowledge of our Creator. When we walk in God’s plan for our life, it is a relationship where God walks with us each step of the way.
I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the confident hope he has given to those he called – his holy people who are his rich and glorious inheritance (Eph. 1:18).
The gift of hope is one of my favorites. Let’s look at what the next chapter says about this hope God gives us:
Don’t forget that you Gentiles used to be outsiders…You were excluded from citizenship among the people of Israel and you did not know the covenant promises God had made to them. You lived in this world without God and without hope. BUT NOW you have been united with Christ Jesus. Once you were far away from God, but now you have been brought near to him through the blood of Christ (Eph.2:11-13).
Thank God that He brings us from a state of hopelessness to a confident hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. When we walk in God’s plan for our life, we don’t see aimless wandering but we see that God has a plan for our life – one full of hope for the future (Jer. 29:11).
I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe in him. This is the same mighty power that raised Christ Jesus from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God’s right and in the heavenly realms (Eph. 1:19-20).
When we walk in God’s plan for our life, there is power. The same power that raised Jesus to life is available to us today. You probably already knew this but did you catch in verse 19 that He also wants to give us understanding of the incredible greatness of God’s power. I think that is a gift from God I have only scratched the surface of. Lord, give me a greater understanding of just how powerful you are so that I can walk in your plan with confident hope knowing that this power is available to me.
God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us all along (Eph 2:8-10).
When we walk in God’s plan for our life, we walk humbly knowing that we deserve none of the lavish gifts He bestows. It is by grace that He loves us; it is by grace that He saves us; it is by grace that He walks with us in a specific plan for our life.
When we walk in God’s plan for our life, the Spirit produces faith and love along with all the fruits that are naturally produced from His presence. When we walk in God’s plan for our life, we pray to Him, asking for spiritual wisdom and insight, and we grow in our knowledge of who God is and what His plan for our life is. When we walk in God’s plan for our life, we experience a confident hope in our future. When we walk in God’s plan for our life, we pray for an understanding of the incredible greatness of God’s power available for us who believe in Him. When we walk in God’s plan for our life, we see ourselves through the eyes of God – a Masterpiece He has created for a purpose and saved for a purpose.