Ephesians 1:3-14 (NRSV)
Verse 3Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, Verse 4just as he chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless before him in love. Verse 5He destined us for adoption as his children through Jesus Christ, according to the good pleasure of his will, Verse 6to the praise of his glorious grace that he freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. Verse 7In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace Verse 8that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and insight Verse 9he has made known to us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure that he set forth in Christ, Verse 10as a plan for the fullness of time, to gather up all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth. Verse 11In Christ we have also obtained an inheritance, having been destined according to the purpose of him who accomplishes all things according to his counsel and will, Verse 12so that we, who were the first to set our hope on Christ, might live for the praise of his glory. Verse 13In him you also, when you had heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and had believed in him, were marked with the seal of the promised Holy Spirit; Verse 14this is the pledge of our inheritance toward redemption as God's own people, to the praise of his glory.
Most of us are rather comfortable with the idea of God blessing us. But someone once asked me, how is it possible for us to bless God? Good question! We too often take for granted God’s everyday blessings of food, clothing, and shelter—probably even more so the spiritual blessings given in the Christ-gift: adoption as God’s children, redemption, forgiveness, grace, wisdom, and an eternal inheritance. Wow! So again, how can we possibly bless God? In this season of gift giving, it is good to remember two important responses when a present is received. Express thanks to the giver. Open the gift and enjoy it. These same responses bless God. With a grateful heart for our adoption in baptism, we will seek to live our lives in ways that glorify him. We will see others the way God sees us—with eyes of love to serve and care for them. In giving of ourselves we bless God.
Blessed God, not only do you give us everything we have, in your Son Jesus, you give us what we most need. We are grateful and ask you to help us as we seek to bless you with our lives. Amen.