Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will — to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding. And he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillment– to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ. In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, in order that we, who were the first to hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory (Ephesians 1:3-12).
Four times in this passage there is a reference to God having a plan for us:
- “he chose us,”
“he predestined us,”
“he purposed,” and
“we were also chosen.”
Four times we are given His plan for us:
- “to be holy and blameless in his sight,”
“to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ,”
to make known
- “the mystery of his will,”
- “that we …might be for the praise of his glory.”
He chose us. We were chosen. He has a plan for us.
We know what it means to be chosen. As children we were chosen to be on a team, we were chosen to participate in a school play, or we were chosen to be in the spelling bee. Later we were chosen to be someone’s boyfriend or girlfriend, we were chosen to be a speaker at graduation, or we were chosen to be in a social club. Then, as adults we are chosen to be a marriage companion, we were chosen to be a partner in business, or chosen to lead an organization. All of those have their place, but none of them compare to being chosen by God to bring Him glory and praise.
As I go through life, I find that there are still times when I’m waiting to be chosen. Sometimes it’s when I’ve applied for a job that I’m interested in. Sometimes it’s when I’m at a social gathering, looking for someone to engage in conversation. Sometimes it’s when a committee is being formed or a group is gathering to work on a project.
Even today, these moments can be nerve-wracking.
Will I be chosen?
But we can be assured that we are chosen by God. He chose us because He has a plan for us. He did not choose us to sit the bench. He did not choose us to stand in the wings. He did not choose us so we could sit around and twiddle our thumbs wondering why we were chosen. He chose us with a purpose, for a purpose, and with a plan for us.
He chose us to make a difference in the world. He chose us to do good works. He chose us to love people and share His love with them. He chose us to serve people. He chose us to worship Him. He chose us to live abundant lives. He chose us to demonstrate His mercy and compassion to people who are hurting. He chose us to shine His light into the darkness. He chose us to reveal the mystery of the cross. He chose to receive His love.
He chose us with a plan.
God has a plan for you.
Did you know that?
He wants you to live His plan for you.
God created you. He has a plan for your life.
Celebrate His plan!
Follow His plan. Enjoy His plan.
For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do (Ephesians 2:10).
Delivered at In The Garden, Trinity Episcopal Church on Capitol Square, Columbus, OH 15 July 2012