I pray also that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe." -Ephesians 1:18
Have you ever had one of those days? I have them pretty often, really- days when I feel insignificant. Days when I feel insecure, unworthy, like a walking failure. I hear the lie that hits me hardest- "You're not good enough." And man, sometimes that lie feels so close to the truth.
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In Ephesians 1, Paul tells the church in Ephesus that he's praying for them- and praying for some very specific things. I think that these things are important for us to pray over our own lives and the lives of those around us. First, Paul prays that they would know the hope to which God has called them. Next, that they would know the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints.
Which, to me, sounds like a bunch of nice flowery words.
Let's break it down.
We've been promised every spiritual blessing, and we have also been promised a future in eternity with Christ. But that's not what this verse is about. This verse isn't talking about my riches or my inheritance.
Honestly, that's the first place my mind went. Because really, I'm selfish and I would like all the verses to be about me.
But really, this part of the verse is about God's inheritance.
It's a weird thing to think about. God made all the things, so He gave an inheritance to... well, Himself. Which is kinda hard to understand. But stick with me here.
What do we know about worldly inheritances?
Inheritances are usually pre-planned (in a will, for example). An inheritance is completely unearned- it's more like a gift. Those who receive an inheritance have a relationship with the giver.
And typically, an inheritance is gained through death.
A worldly inheritance is often money, something significant (we inherited paintings Zeke's grandma made, for example), or property. God's inheritance is different.
God's inheritance is us.
"God's glorious inheritance in the saints." The saints- that's us. His Church, His chosen people, the ones He's adopted into His family. As a believer in Christ, we are God's glorious inheritance. Us.
How incredibly humbling and overwhelming.
Paul wants the church in Ephesus to know that as believers in Christ, we are pre-planned, that we're in relationship with God, that we are gained through the holy, sacrificial death of Christ. And we did nothing to earn it. We don't deserve it. I don't deserve it.
God speaks these truths into my life in His word:
I am fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:13-14) for God's glory (Isaiah 13:6-7).
I am God's handiwork, and I'm significant to Him (Ephesians 2:10).
I was chosen, according to His pleasure and glory (Ephesians 1:4-5).
I am holy and blameless, through nothing that I earned or accomplished (Ephesians 1:4).
I am righteous (2 Corinthians 5:21) and am not condemned (Romans 8:1).
I am worth dying for (John 3:16 and Hebrews 12:2).
I am a great delight to Him (Zephaniah 3:17 and Isaiah 62:3).
What Paul is saying here is that he's praying that the church in Ephesus (and all believers, truly) would have our eyes opened to our incredible value to God.
We didn't earn it, we don't deserve it, but there it is. God thinks I have value, even when I don't. Even when I screw up, even when I fail, even when I doubt my own worth. And I do that a lot.
That lie I hear? The one that tells me I'm not good enough?
It hits me so hard because there's a hint of truth in it. On my own, I'm not good enough. I never could possibly be good enough. I'm human and fallen and sinful. I cave to temptations. I let my temper get the best of me.
But God loves me so much that He sent His Son to die for me. To die. For me. So it's not about me any more. I have worth because God says I do.
I am good enough, because Christ is enough, and he lives in me.
May our eyes be opened to that- we are of incredible worth to the One who made us, to the One who loves us more than we can understand.