Read Ephesians 1:1-23
Over the course of the past several days, our Bible reading selections have been largely intended to equip you to affirm others. We have trained our thoughts on helping you to express value to others for who they are and what they do. I hope you have embraced the opportunity and are experiencing growth in your ability to express this value.
We would be amiss, however, if we somehow ignored the fact that each of us also yearns to hear words of affirmation. Each of us longs to know that we are valued for who we are and what we do. But I have some bad news. Inevitably, each one of us will be disappointed at times in life because we did not receive the affirmation for which we were longing. Our boss, family member, friend, neighbor may not always express it when we really want it. If we are not careful, then, we will allow that to somehow impact our own self image. We will begin to think less of ourselves. “Maybe I am not so good at that after all.” “Perhaps my investment doesn’t matter as much as I had hoped!” You see, our personal identity can suffer.
At times like those, we must remember that our true identity is found in Christ. It is He who expresses ultimate value over us. In fact, from today’s reading we should have felt that value in that:
- We are blessed with every spiritual blessing (v. 3)
- He has chosen us from eternity past (v. 4a, 11a)
- He predestined us in love (v. 4b, 11b)
- He found pleasure in adopting us as sons (and daughters) (v. 5)
- He has redeemed and forgiven us (v. 7)
- He has lavished grace on us (v. 8)
- We exist for the praise of His glory (v. 12)
- We are sealed with the Holy Spirit (vv. 13, 14)
- We have been raised and seated with Christ (vv. 19, 20)
- We are no longer subject to Satan’s power (vv. 20-23)
Each of those represents a statement of value and affirmation that empowers us to maintain an appropriate identity…even if the human accolades never come.