3. God’s plan for us
Ephesians 1:4 “Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes.” (NLT)
This is the first of many spiritual blessings that I have been given (see verse 3). I was chosen by God. And God’s choice was because of His love and Jesus’ sacrifice for me.
I know that God does not view time the way I do. I don’t understand how this works, but the Bible clearly states that God knew me and chose me before the creation of the world. God had a plan for me. He loved me. God’s heart (His attitude, feelings, desires) was loving toward me. Apparently, this was His original intent in creating humans. He made us to glorify Him and enjoy Him forever, as I was taught in Sunday School as a child. And this verse makes it clear that God chose me in Christ. My relationship with Christ (being a believer and follower of Christ) is specifically involved in God’s choice of me. I can’t begin to understand all the implications of this statement (Did He choose me because He knew I would accept Christ as my Savior or did I accept Christ because God had already chosen me??). But what is clear to me at this point is that God knew me before I was born; He knew all the faults, weaknesses, sins I would have, all the times I would follow my own way instead of His. Yet He chose me to be spiritually reborn and changed into a new creature when I believed in His Son. And therefore, God could see me as being holy and without fault.
My take-aways from this passage: 1) God’s love for me is unconditional; my love for myself is not; I love myself less when I do or think things that I know are not pleasing to God. I suppose it’s good that I am aware of my faults (while also aware that I have blind spots – additional faults that I do not see). Based on this passage, I find that I am less forgiving of myself than God is. I want to grow in understanding how I can be aware of my faults and yet not let that awareness adversely affect how I relate to God and others and feel about myself. God sees me through grace as being without fault because He sees Christ in me. 2) I will pray specifically that God will help me see myself as He sees me, and express my gratitude for His love.
Father, I am so glad that you loved me even before I was born and that You still love me. I am amazed at the grace You have given me, that You see me as without faults because of Christ. Your love is truly unconditional! Please help me to fully believe that and live like I believe it. Amen