Verses 5 and 9 of Ephesians 1 talk about God’s “good pleasure”; things that make God happy. The things listed here that make God happy surprise me. What would you do if you were all powerful, all knowing, and could be present everywhere? What would make you happy if you had the power of God?
I’d want to go to Hawaii or Alaska or someplace really beautiful.
I’d want a 1968 Comaro and a 2015 Dodge Challenger.
I’d want to eat ribs and steak and chocolate every day.
I’d want to fly a P-51 Mustang.
I’d want to… it’s all about me, isn’t it?
If I had the power of God I’d be selfish, horribly selfish.
The things God lists here that make Him happy are exactly the opposite. God doesn’t list things that would make His life easier or are designed to give just Him pleasure. God lists things here that are completely outwardly focused, the opposite of selfish.
Verses 5 and 9 tell us that what is written here made God happy; it was done according to His good pleasure. The word there for good pleasure literally means happiness. All these things listed here made God happy and, notice, none of them are centered on Him, but on us.
God chose us. Before the world began Jesus knew you and me. He knew our faults and strengths, what we would look like, what inspires us, what frightens us, and what breaks our hearts. He chose us to be His. He knew all about us and wanted us. God’s plan for saving the world was laid out even before the world was created.
God adopted us. Not only did God choose us, He adopted us as His sons and daughters. God made us a part of His family even promising us an inheritance; a part of all that He owns. We are members of the royal family of the universe!
God set us free. God set us free from the evil, hate, greed, lust, and anger that ruin our peace in this world. He gives us His Holy Spirit so that we can overcome these things in this life. He promises to set us free from all these things for all eternity as well.
All these things were God’s pleasure to accomplish for us. They are completely selfless. Let’s respond to His selflessness with a selfless love for Him in return,
Rob Morton is minister of First Christian Church Middlesboro. Contact him at [email protected]