from Maurice

Whether life is mundane, stressful, happy, or sad, we need to constantly remind ourselves of the grand heavenly truths in which our earthly lives are embedded. As you ponder this week’s Fighter Verse, let it sink into your heart and continually encourage you by reminding you of the Gospel — of the blessings you have in Jesus Christ:
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places (Ephesians 1:3 ESV)

The key word here is “blessing.” It appears three times (“blessed be,” “has blessed,” and “blessing”) in just this one verse. The simple message is this: we bless God because He has blessed us. We love Him because He first loved us, see. We didn’t initiate towards Him; He began the chain of blessing.

To “bless” is to give “good words.” Like the “good news” (Gospel). It is to praise. God the Father is the ultimate object of praise and adoration, and the ultimate object of the Gospel. He has spoken “good words” to us (blessed us); these “good words” carry the power of the one who spoke light itself into existence. In other words, He has lavished us with many gifts, as only the true patron can.
How are we blessed? In the next verses, Paul will describe many of these blessings. But even in this introductory verse we see some amazing blessings. Put yourself into this verse to personalize God’s amazing gifts to you:
  1. He is the “Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” God gave you Jesus as your master! So say it with me: “I have Jesus.”
  2. We are not far away from Jesus. As the body of Christ, we are incorporated into Jesus. We are literally “in Christ.” We aren’t just “near” to Jesus, but we are in Jesus, the everlasting source of all life. “I am in Christ.” Let that sink in, comforting and strengthening your heart.
  3. Because God is the “Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,” and because we are now “in Christ,” it follows that “God is my Father.” You have been given the very sonship of Jesus Christ; the relationship that defines the Father and the Son now defines the Father and you.
  4. In Jesus, we have EVERY spiritual blessing. As Paul wrote elsewhere, all of God’s promises are “yes” in Jesus (2 Corinthians 1:20). Think about it: you’re about to face a difficult situation or temptation. For example, let’s say you were just cut off by a car on the highway, and you’re tempted to road rage. Or maybe you’re anxious about getting up and speaking in front of a bunch of people. What would it look like in your life if, instead of fretting about that situation, you stopped and affirmed that power and victory are already yours in Jesus? What if you asked Jesus to give you the power, fully believing He has given it and will give it? After all, all things are yours in Christ. So say it with me: “I have EVERY spiritual blessing.”
  5. We cling to the thin skin of a tiny mote of dust spinning through space. We are insignificant, nothing. But in Christ, we are anchored to a power and a kingdom that stretches beyond the cosmos. Our power and our gifts come from the source unfathomable. “I have the kingdom of Heaven.” His kingdom is our kingdom; His blessings are your blessings.
  6. Because our blessings are “spiritual” and because they’re in the “heavenly places,” you CANNOT lose them. They aren’t physical things that can be burned up or stolen or lost. No, your inheritance is secure. It does not depend on you or your self-effort, but on the very goodness of God poured out through the Gospel. We will be blessed in the “by and by.” Say it with me: “I cannot lose God’s blessings.”
QUESTIONS TO ASK EACH OTHER:
  1. How often do you praise God for the blessings He has given you?
  2. Which of the blessings mentioned above is most encouraging to you right now? Why?
QUESTIONS TO ASK CHILDREN:
  1. It’s often hard to do the right thing. For example, it can be hard to obey your parents or to tell the truth. But Ephesians 1:3 tells us that we have every spiritual blessing in Jesus. This means that we shouldn’t rely on ourselves to do good, but on Jesus. How can we do that?
  2. God gave us Jesus. Why is that special? Could we spend some time together “blessing” (praising) God for giving us Jesus?
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