The After Action Report :: Ephesians 1:1-4
Overflow, Sunday I preached the first message of our new series Who We Are from Ephesians 1:1-4. You can listen to...
Sunday I preached the first message of our new series Who We Are from Ephesians 1:1-4.
You can listen to the full message here!
I gave some context and took a look under the hood of Paul’s greeting in vs. 1 and 2.
Then we jumped into Sunday’s big idea: We are zealous—living out of overflow!
Paul starts one LONG sentence that ends in verse 14, without any real punctuation. Ol’ boy was excited! We should be too.
We spent the remainder of the time unpacking Paul’s various uses of the word “blessing.” It’s a word that is taken for granted, passed over, and even abused too often within the church scene.
Verse 3. “Blessed” = “The praiseworthy God”
Get this: he has chosen to bless us!
So what does that “bless” mean when turned towards humanity? This word when used of humans is a state of being; here’s the sense given in my greek grammar: to invoke (or enact) divine favor, often implying a positive disposition of kind actions toward the recipient.
Did you get that?
So let’s get real.
Close your eyes, or at least get your eyes off of your surroundings, and focus for a second.
Fill in the blank to this sentence for yourself: “When God thinks of me he feels_________.”
Is your feeling in step with the truth of God’s word? Jesus follower, God looks at you with a disposition of favor. Get over yourself and latch onto that!
“Every Spiritual Blessing”
Let me give you the sense of the word blessing here as it’s defined (again in my greek grammar): a present given as a sign of gracious kings to promote the livelihood of the recipient; especially with a giver characterized by joyful generosity.
So God is enacting his favor towards us by giving to us a present that promotes our new life!
The phrase “every spiritual blessing” is used here to indicate that because we don’t need to wonder about God’s disposition towards us, we don’t need to wonder about his willingness to provide for our spiritual needs. In fact, he has already provided all the spiritual resources that we need and more in Christ.
We don’t need to ask; we need to appropriate. What’s the difference? The difference is time. This life is fleeting. Some of us will spend far too much time dinking around with spiritual resources in the name of humility. The problem is that the word humility is often used to disguise pride in today’s church. No matter the motivation, we are unable to display the glory of the gospel with that disposition of quietly asking for a gift that’s already been given (as though we don’t already have access). Give a kid a shopping spree to Toys R Us. Does he calmly walk with his mother and ask “may I have that?” Only those who are fearful stay out of the water on a hot summer day… you get the idea, those who have access and are able plunge in.
He has chosen us to bear his name and become like him. We are to be holy. Holiness is godliness. However, most of us think of arriving at holiness by subtraction, but in fact, we arrive at holiness by addition.
Stewarding God’s gracious love well is NOT conserving it.
In this economy, stewarding the resource of God’s love well means that we use it extravagantly!
That’s the only way to highlight its richness effectively. How do you prove that an account can’t be overdrawn? You spend, baby, spend!
This week, find a way to graciously give at least three times. Remember that the best gifts are often free. Begin each day by reminding yourself of the extravagant gracious love of God and ask yourself how you can freely give that love away to those around you.
Share how God equips you, inspires you, and fulfills you in this with your friends.