January 15, 2018 • Life for Leaders
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.
Do you feel blessed by God? I expect some Life for Leaders readers will quickly say, “yes, more than I could ever deserve.” Others, especially those going through difficult times, might hesitate. Perhaps you know in your head that God has blessed you, but, right now, you don’t exactly feel blessed. Our text today offers reassurance and hope. God has blessed you, not just a bit, but abundantly.
In our translation, Ephesians 1:3 uses two forms of the word “bless.” God “has blessed us… with every spiritual blessing.” In the original Greek of this verse, however, there are three words from the Greek root eulogy—that means “bless.” Thus, this verse could be translated more literally, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ” (1:3).
There you have it. God has blessed us with “every spiritual blessing in Christ.” You and I are, indeed, abundantly blessed. But we might be confused by some of the language in this verse. It says that God has blessed us “in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing.” Doesn’t this suggest that our blessings from God will only come later, when we are in heaven? No, actually. You see, in Ephesians, the “heavenly realms” refers not to the place we go after death but rather to a reality in which God and Christ are active both now and in the future. When we put our faith in Christ, though we live on earth, we also begin to live now in the “heavenly realms” (see 2:5-6). Moreover, in this life, we begin to experience the “spiritual blessings” of God, that is, the good things that come through the mediation of the Holy Spirit.
The rest of Ephesians 1:3-14 will spell out in much greater detail the nature of some of these blessings. This passage will remind us of divine blessings we might forget or overlook. Even if we’re going through difficult times, we have still been blessed beyond measure, and we have countless blessings yet to come.
If you are in a season of life when things are going well, perhaps your business is flourishing or your family is healthy or you’re just feeling great about your life, remember that you are being blessed. The good things of your life are coming from God and his glorious grace. So, while you enjoy these blessings, be sure to say “thank you.”
Something to Think About:
How is God blessing you in this season of your life?
How has God blessed you in the past?
How do you expect God to bless you in the future?
Something to Do:
Take some time to write down ways in which God is blessing you now. Thank the Lord for his goodness to you. If it’s appropriate, share with someone close to you how God is blessing you.
Gracious God, how good you are to us! How you have blessed us! Thank you especially for the blessings of being saved by your grace, of knowing you intimately through Christ, and of being adopted into your family.
Help us, Lord, to pay attention to all the ways you are blessing us. May our attentiveness lead us to a place of gratitude, recognizing how good you are to us. Give us eyes to see your blessings even if we are going through a hard time.
All praise be to you, God of all blessing. Amen.
Explore more at the Theology of Work Project online commentary:
Best of Daily Reflections: Is Faith the Key to Being Blessed by God?
Dr. Mark D. Roberts is a Senior Strategist for Fuller’s Max De Pree Center for Leadership, where he focuses on the spiritual development and thriving of leaders. He is the principal writer of the daily devotional, Life for Leaders, and the founder of the De Pree Center’s Flourishing in the Third Third of Life Initiative. Previously, Mark was the Executive Director of the De Pree Center, the lead pastor of a church in Southern California, and the Senior Director of Laity Lodge in Texas. He has written eight books, dozens of articles, and over 2,500 devotions that help people discover the difference God makes in their daily life and leadership. With a Ph.D. in New Testament from Harvard, Mark teaches at Fuller Seminary, most recently in his D.Min. cohort on “Faith, Work, Economics, and Vocation.” Mark is married to Linda, a marriage and family counselor, spiritual director, and executive coach. Their two grown children are educators on the high school and college level.
Thanks for this good word this morning, Mark. I wonder if our perspective changes, if instead of “looking for blessings”, we were to answer God’s daily question: “Do you know that I love you?” So many times, I think we equate blessings with good things happening to us, but in many ways, I just want to know that God loves me,—to really know that I am loved by God — regardless of what I experience each day. Now that’s a blessing.
Jonathan, yes, indeed! Thanks for your comment.