In HOPE

 

 

 

  In HOPE 9.13

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David Timms  

 

 

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 Prayer for Today

Father, open my eyes to your glorious blessings. Remove the fear that blinds me and the self-obsession that distracts me. Help me to loosen my grip on what is seen and embrace the unseen more tightly. I honor you for every spiritual blessing you've poured out for me. Amen.

Scripture 

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places through Christ." (Ephesians 1:3)

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“God has blessed us with every spiritual blessing
in the heavenly places through Christ." 
~ Ephesians 1:3

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Different Blessings

In an old Frank & Ernest cartoon, Frank tells the parson, "I'm tired of blessings in disguise. If it's all the same to you, I want one I can recognize immediately."

We've probably all felt that way.

When we lose a job or take a pay-cut, we don't need spiritual blessings; we need financial answers.

When the test-results come back and we have a malignant growth, we don't want lofty spiritual thoughts; we want our health back.

When we see our spouse at the end of each day and they're as cold as ice or as fiery as hell itself, we don't want theologizing; we'd be grateful for a flicker of peace and calm, or tenderness.

Spiritual blessings -- such as those Paul describes to the Ephesians -- sound fascinating but we generally want something practical; something to help our bank accounts, our bodies, or our relationships.

Of course, when the wheels get loose on our wagon, we might pursue spiritual blessings, but usually with the hope to convert them into material ones.

Yet, the apostle Paul declares that the Lord has blessed us with every spiritual blessing. And he considers these definitive and life-grounding. They matter more than any other; more than food, shelter, health, or wealth.

Our constant focus on material blessings ("God has blessed me with a spouse and children and a home and a job and food and finances, etc") betrays our inattention to the deeper, richer, more sustaining spiritual blessings.

Our spiritual ups-and-downs will only subside when we finally embrace these "spiritual blessings" as the foundation for our lives. These blessings include terms like "chosen, holy, blameless, adopted, redeemed, forgiven, graced, and loved." (See Ephesians 1:3-8) Nothing matters as much.

One of the great deficiencies in the walk of faith for many of us is our blindness to these blessings -- the spiritual blessings -- and our preoccupation with material well-being.

"Every spiritual blessing" belongs to us -- everything we need most; for all times and all time. May they form a firm foundation in each of our lives.

In HOPE –

David

 

 

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I'm always happy to explore these issues further.

You can find back issues of "In HOPE" (2005-2009) at http://www.hiu.edu/inhope/ .

David Timms serves in the Graduate Ministry Department at Hope International University in Fullerton, California. "In HOPE", however, is not an official publication of the University and the views expressed are not necessarily those of the Administrators or Board. "In HOPE" has been a regular e-publication since January, 2001.