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easy to forget

by Dennae Pierre Published Aug 17, 2011

My oldest son is turning ten in a few weeks, but the countdown to his birthday began a few days after his 9th birthday. Now that the countdown is only a few weeks away, he has been talking incessantly about who would be at his birthday party, what types of food we would have, what kind of toys he would get, and all the needed supplies to turn our living room into a life-size planet from the Star Wars universe.

Our family has had a pretty consistent conversation loop as the birthday party plans unfold. Our son starts talking about his party, our daughter rolls her eyes and says, “Oh no, not again!” and I share in his excitement, but warn him about the dangers in being greedy or covetous followed by a speech about how blessed he is to even get a birthday cake, never mind a party. I try to remind my children on a daily basis that eating three times a day is a luxury, but my words often feel as though they fall on deaf ears.

This morning my son brought up his birthday party, but started in a different place. “Mommy, I was praying about not being greedy. I don’t want to be greedy, I used to have nothing, but now God’s given me everything. But sometimes it is just so hard to remember that I don’t deserve to have fun all day and a room full of toys.” Handel’s Messiah’s, “Hallelujah” chorus broke out in my thoughts as I saw a glimpse that the Spirit was slowly working my words into his heart.

Oh, how I understand my son’s conflicting realities! So easily I forget the darkness, the despair, the loneliness, and the hell that was before me when I entered this world. I belonged to the father of lies. I was a rebel of God and I served the prince whose agenda is to steal, kill, and destroy. But then God adopted me.

It is because I forget where I came from that I can so easily skim over Ephesians 1 and move on with my day as though it did not impact every second of my life.

Paul paints a picture for us of what our life is like now that we have been adopted by God in Ephesians 1.

Because God loved us:

-we have been blessed with every spiritual blessing (v. 3)

-we are holy and blameless because he chose us before he even began creating (v. 4)

-we are adopted, to the praise of his glorious grace! (v. 6)

-we are benefactors of the riches of his grace: redemption by his blood and the forgiveness of our sins (v. 7)

-we have been revealed the mystery of God’s will (v. 9)

-we have obtained an inheritance (v. 11)

-we have been sealed with the promised Holy Spirit (v. 13)

Paul goes on to say that it is for those reasons that he praises God for the Ephesians. Because all of the above is true, Paul can then go on to pray:

-for a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Jesus

-for the eyes of  hearts to be enlightened, that we would know the hope with which we were called (v. 18)

-that we would know the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints (v. 18)

- that  we would know what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe (v. 19)

We need to pray the second list in Ephesians 1 so that we have the eyes to see and understand Paul’s first list.

Far too often we approach suffering, conflict, disappointment, and loss forgetting all about what changed the moment we were adopted in Christ. If we remember how our life changed as a result of Christ’s bloody sacrifice then everything in our life gets put into a gospel perspective.  Suffering becomes bearable because we have been blessed with every spiritual blessing. Conflict becomes temporary, because the mystery of God’s will has been revealed to us.  Disappointment becomes meaningless, because we are holy and blameless. Loss becomes temporary, because we have obtained an inheritance.

On the other hand, far too often we approach success, desires, and happiness forgetting all about what changed the moment we were adopted. If we remember our life before Christ then our inheritance makes our successes seem insignificant, our desires seem petty, and our longing for happiness gets replaced by thankfulness for breath.

The reality of being rescued from the Prince of Darkness by the sacrifice of the King of Kings should completely alter the way we think about every aspect of our life. But God knows that it is easy to walk around with a heart disconnected from our mind, forgetting what we have been given. That is why Paul prays for the Ephesians to have “the eyes of their heart enlightened” so that they would remember the riches they have inherited in Christ Jesus. May we also never forget!

  • Joeltlaing

    This was wonderful, Dennae! This puts so much of my disappointments and set-backs into a greater perspective. Thank you for writing this.

  • Kiara

    Amen! Thank you for this important reminder, Dennae.

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