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The Fathers Love Letter To You
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Ephesians 1:3

HOW TO RECOGNIZE GOD'S BEST BLESSING

Intro: Webster defines "Blessed" as, "Of or enjoying happiness. Specifically enjoying the bliss of Heaven." It carries the idea of that which "brings pleasure, contentment, or good fortune." Simply stated, it is that state of being that we all want to enjoy.

We all like blessings don't we? There isn't a person in this room that does not enjoy a blessing! And, certainly, we are a blessed people!

But, when it comes to this matter of blessings, we often view them in the wrong light. Most often, we think of blessings as being those things that are physical and material in nature. For instance, if everyone in our household is well, we consider ourselves blessed. If there is money in the bank and the bills are paid, we say we are blessed. If we are living in a nice home and driving a good car, we equate that with blessing. And, I would have to agree that those things are blessings from the Lord.

However, what happens when a loved one is stricken with a dread disease? Did we cease to be blessed? What happens when we drive junk cars and our house is falling apart? Did we lose the blessing of God? What happens when there is no money and we can't pay the bills? Does that mean that somehow the Lord has stopped blessing us? The answer is no! Or problem is that we tend to look at blessings in regard to how they benefit us materially, and certainly God does bless that way.

What we fail to remember is that these kinds of blessings are temporary at best! That car will die one day. That money will find a place to be spent. That home will rot and decay. Your health will eventually decline. What we need to know is that the real blessings of the Lord are not material or physical. The real blessings of God are spiritual in nature, and these spiritual blessings will never be taken away from us!

Even when everything else is gone, has broken down or has been spent, we will still possess the best of God blessings! There are three little thoughts in the last part of this verse that teach us the valuable lesson of How To Recognize God's Best Blessing. I would like to point those out to you this evening.

Now, by way of introduction, notice how this verse begins. It begins with a note of praise for the Lord! Paul exalts the Lord for his greatness. He tells us that our Heavenly Father "hath blessed us". I want you to notice that these words are in the aorist tense, which is equivalent to the English past tense. At some point in the past, God blessed us! Not only are they past tense, but they are also in the active voice. This means that those blessings that we received at some point in the past continue this evening and will continue on into the future. In other words, I have been blessed, I am being blessed and I will be blessed! It may not feel like it, and all the facts may be stacked against it being true, but it is true nonetheless!

Well, if I have these great blessings, I want to know more about them, don't you? Thankfully, this verse, and those that follow it in this chapter, give us the information we seek. Let's notice these truths as we discover How To Recognize God's Best Blessing.

I.    THE QUANTITY OF THESE SPIRITUAL BLESSINGS

A. The quantity of these spiritual blessings can be summed up in one little word found in verse 3. It is the word "ALL". That word tells us that in the Lord ,we find every single thing we need to live the Christian life.

B. You see, God has held nothing back from His children. When He saved us, He gave us everything we needed to serve Him. We have everything we need right now to be content, to be successful, to be obedient, to be useful to the Kingdom and to be happy in Jesus!

C. When you and I got saved, we got everything Jesus had to offer us! We got it at that very moment, there is nothing else!

II. THE QUALITY OF THESE SPIRITUAL BLESSINGS

(Ill. Paul describes these things as "blessings in heavenly places." This means literally means that these blessings are things that originated in heaven. They are not earthly blessings, but they are heavenly blessings! In the most literal sense, they are "Heavenly Things!" With that in mind, it will help us all to learn just what these heavenly things are. We are told in verses 4-14.)

A. V. 4 He Speaks Of Foreknowledge - This verse deals with the matter of election. For some reason, God, in His wisdom, chose me before the world was formed. He knew me before He formed me in my mother's womb and He had already determined that I would be in His family. I cannot explain election and all the ramifications of it, but I am still going to rejoice in it! One of the greatest spiritual blessings we enjoy as saved people is the fact that we were chosen in Christ by the grace of God, Rom. 8:28-31. (Ill. He loved me even though He knew all about me. What a blessing!)

B. V. 5 He Speaks Of Family - This verse tells us that we were adopted into the family of God. That is, at the moment of salvation, you and I became the children of God, 1 John 3:2. We are His sons and daughters with all the rights and privileges that come to any child born in to the family, Rom. 8:17. (Ill. The Father brought me into His family and made me His child. What a blessing!)

C. V. 6 He Speaks Of Favor - This verse reminds us that we are "accepted" by the Father! When we received Jesus, we were reconciled to the Lord! There was a time when we were outcasts and aliens, Eph. 2:12, but now, in Jesus, we are approved by the Father! We have been brought near to Him by the blood of Jesus, Eph. 2:13. We used to be on God's hit list, so to speak, but now, we are on His list of favorites! This means that God is literally pleased with us! A lot of Christians waste a lot of time trying to do what Jesus did when He died on the cross - please the Father! (Ill. The Father is pleased with me, because I wear the righteousness of Christ. What a blessing!)

D. V. 7a Freedom - This verse tells us that we have been "redeemed". There are three Greek words in the New Testament that are translated "redeemed." This particular one means to "release a captive after the payment of a ransom price." It carries the idea of purchasing a slave and then immediately turning that slave loose. This is what Jesus did for us! He paid the price, 1 Pet. 1:18-19; John 19:30, and then He set us free, Luke 4:18! (Ill. Jesus died for me, saved me by His grace and delivered me from the captivity of sin. What a blessing!)

E. V. 7b Forgiveness - This verse goes on to tell us that we have received forgiveness of our sins. I don't know about you, but that means something to me! I was a wretched man when Jesus saved me, but at the instant of salvation, every single sin in my past, my present and in my future was forever forgiven! (Ill. Psa. 103:12; Isa. 38:17; Isa. 43:25; Jer. 50:20; Micah 7:19; Col. 2:13-14; 1 John 1:7) (Ill. We have been forgiven of all our sins! What a blessing!)

F. V. 11-14 Future - Verse 11-14 speak of three more spiritual blessings that manifest themselves as we go through life into the future.

1. V. 11 Our Destination - This verse speaks of our heavenly home! Every child of God has a home awaiting them in Heaven, John 14:1-3. This home is glorious beyond compare, Rev. 21:4; 1 Pet. 1:4. (Ill. We have a home in gloryland! What a blessing!)

2. V. 12 Our Consecration - This verse refers to the new manner in which we are to live our lives after we come to know the Lord Jesus as our Savior. The fact is, we are changed by salvation, 2 Cor. 5:17. An experience that does not produce change, both inwardly and outwardly, is not a valid salvation experience. When He saves us, He begins the process of making us more like Him! (Ill. He give us life and enables us to live a new life! What a blessing!)

3. V. 13-14 Our Preservation - These verses remind us that when we were saved, we were sealed with the Holy Spirit, Eph. 4:30. He is the "earnest money". This means that He is the down payment that secures us for eternity. The Holy Spirit is the Lord's promise that what He began at the moment of salvation, He will continue until we are home in Heaven, Phil. 1:6; 2Tim. 1:12. (Ill. If you are save, you are sealed! If you are sealed, you are secure, John 10:28; 1 Pet. 1:5. If you are secure, then you can rest and rejoice in that truth. Thank God, in Jesus we are saved to the "uttermost" - Heb. 7:25! What a blessing!)

III. THE QUALIFICATION FOR THESE SPIRITUAL BLESSINGS

A. The last two words of verse 3 tell us what a person must do to enjoy all of these spiritual blessings. That one thing is to be "in Christ"!

B. The only way for anyone to enjoy the spiritual blessings of the Lord is for that person to be saved by the grace of God. At the moment of conversion, you are placed into the body of Christ, 1 Cor. 12:13. You get "in Christ"! When this happens, you are made a partaker of all the spiritual blessings of the Lord.

C. Are you in Jesus this evening? You ask, "How can I know preacher?" The answer is found in 1 John 5:1-2; 13. Does this describe you? If so, then rejoice, for you are blessed with "all spiritual blessings in Christ." If not, you can be saved by coming to Jesus by faith and by receiving Him into your heart and life. Then, you can begin to enjoy all the Lord has to offer.

Conc: When you and I look at our blessings from the Lord's perspective, I think we would all have to say this evening that we are indeed blessed! God has provided us with blessings that are beyond description and beyond measure as to their value. I think we just need to learn to praise the Lord for His blessings. We need to learn that what we often think of as blessings really aren't. Too often the real blessings of life are those spiritual things that we always have, no matter what else is happening around us. The real blessings of life are the things that never change and that never fade away. We are blessed! No matter what else is happening, if you are saved, you are blessed abundantly! I think we ought to thank Him for those blessings!



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