Devotions for August 4, 2014

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Ephesians 1:3-14

All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ. 4 Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. 5 God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure. 6 So we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us who belong to his dear Son. 7 He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins. 8 He has showered his kindness on us, along with all wisdom and understanding.

9 God has now revealed to us his mysterious plan regarding Christ, a plan to fulfill his own good pleasure. 10 And this is the plan: At the right time he will bring everything together under the authority of Christ—everything in heaven and on earth. 11 Furthermore, because we are united with Christ, we have received an inheritance from God, for he chose us in advance, and he makes everything work out according to his plan.

12 God’s purpose was that we Jews who were the first to trust in Christ would bring praise and glory to God. 13 And now you Gentiles have also heard the truth, the Good News that God saves you. And when you believed in Christ, he identified you as his own by giving you the Holy Spirit, whom he promised long ago. 14 The Spirit is God’s guarantee that he will give us the inheritance he promised and that he has purchased us to be his own people. He did this so we would praise and glorify him.

DEVOTIONAL QUESTIONS

Q:If you have decided to give your life over to Christ, how does this new family, this new foundation, shape your identity? Does your identity in Christ declare your blessings from Christ? Are your blessings in life just things to brag about on social media, or are your blessings divine favor and protection?

Q:Are you so focused on your desired blessings that you forget to stop and thank God by remembering the blessings that you already have in Christ? What good comes from focusing on the things you lack, the opportunities that have passed you by, or the disappointments you’ve experienced? Do you believe that blessings of holiness, forgiveness, redemption, grace, and more are yours if you are in Christ Jesus?

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