Wednesday, December 5, 2012

And you too

Blessed be God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
who has blessed us with all the spiritual blessings of heaven in Christ.

Before the world was made, He chose us, chose us in Christ,
to be holy and spotless, and to live through love in His presence,
determining that we should become His adopted sons,
through Jesus Christ, for His kind purposes,
to make us praise the glory of His grace,
His free gift to us in the Beloved,
in whom, through His blood, we gain our freedom,
the forgiveness of our sins.

Such is the richness of the grace
which He has showered on us
in all wisdom and insight.
He has let us know the mystery of His purpose,
the hidden plan He so kindly made in Christ from the beginning
to act upon when the times had run their course to the end:
that He would bring everything together under Christ, as Head,
everything in the heavens and everything on earth.

And it is in Him that we were claimed as God's own,
chosen from the beginning,
under the predetermined plan of the One who guides all things
as He decides by His own will;
chosen to be,
for His greater glory,
the people who would put their hopes in Christ before He came.

Now you too, in Him,
have heard the message of the truth and the good news
of your salvation,
and have believed it;
and you too have been stamped
with the seal of the Holy Spirit of the Promise,
the pledge of our inheritance
which brings freedom for those whom God has taken for His own,
to make His glory praised.

May the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, give you a spirit of wisdom and perception of what is revealed, to bring you to full knowledge of Him. May He enlighten the eyes of your mind so that you can see what hope His call holds for you, what rich glories He has promised the saints will inherit and how infinitely great is the power that He has exercised for us believers.

This you can tell from the strength of His power at work in Christ, when He used it to raise Him from the dead and make Him sit at His right hand, in heaven, far above every sovereignty, authority, power, or domination, or any other name that can be named, not only in this age but also in the age to come. He has put all things under His feet, and made Him, as the ruler of everything, the Head of the Church, which is His Body, the fullness of Him who fills the whole creation.

This, then, is what I pray, kneeling before the Father, from whom every family, whether spiritual or natural, takes its name:

Out of His infinite glory, may He give you the power through His Spirit for your hidden self to grow strong, so that Christ may live in your hearts through faith, and then, planted in love and built on love, you will with all the saints have strength to grasp the breadth and the length, the height and the depth; until, knowing the love of Christ, which is beyond all knowledge, you are filled with the utter fullness of God.

Glory to Him whose power, working in us, can do infinitely more than we can ask or imagine; glory be to Him from generation to generation in the Church and in Christ Jesus for ever and ever. Amen.

Ephesians 1:3-14, 17-23; 3:14-21 Jerusalem Bible

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