Spiritual Blessings; November 28, 2020

Ephesians 1:3 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.

Sometimes the Bible writers were forced to use very general terms, because if they were genuinely specific, they would have had to write and write and write. As John said, “Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.” (John 21:25) This verse is certainly an example of that. He goes on from here through verse 14 trying to express some of the blessings referred to, but it’s all so rich and interconnected that people have struggled with it ever since it was written. Paul tried, but even Peter said, “His letters contain some things that are hard to understand.” (2 Peter 3:16) Sometimes we just have to go with the general terms and let the Holy Spirit “fill in the blanks,” so to speak. The point here is that God holds nothing back from those who come to Him through Christ. As long as we are walking with Christ by the Holy Spirit we keep discovering more and more of the blessings Paul is talking about, but the full, ultimate revelation of them won’t come until we are before God’s throne, with nothing in the way between us and Him. We tend to be very focused on the physical, and so sometimes we complain bitterly when God is in the process of giving us a spiritual blessing! We recognize material blessings and are often envious of those with abundant finances, when James tells us, “Listen, my dear brothers: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him?” (James 2:5) Solid faith is a greater treasure than a financial fortune, but we have great difficulty accepting that when our faith is still weak.

I have never been in a position of material wealth, but God has always met our needs. As a child, my parents’ missionary salary was hardly large, even though we seemed wealthy to our neighbors in immediately post-war Japan. As an adult I have never wallowed in cash, but one of my faith declarations is, “By the grace of God I have sufficient financial resources, because it is written, “My God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19) There are times when I am tempted by the material, but I think I genuinely desire the spiritual blessings Paul talks about here more than anything tangible. Actually, sometimes the presence of the Lord is so strong it just about is tangible! That is a treasure that no earthly fortune could buy.

Father, thank You for meeting all my physical needs, just as You have promised. (Matthew 6:33) Thank You even more for Your spiritual blessings that make everything else fade into insignificance. May I be an open channel for Your blessings to flow through me to others, meeting their needs of all sorts and drawing them to You, for their salvation and Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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