One of my mom’s favorite rituals is what she calls “Happy Tuesday” presents. Giving in general is one of the many, many ways my mom expresses love, and a while back she decided that gift-giving shouldn’t be constrained to holidays or birthdays. So if she sees something she thinks will bless you, chances are you’ll receive it on a random Tuesday.
I’ve always thought my mom’s giving spirit is a crystal-clear reflection of God’s heart toward His children. There are plenty of people, both believers and non-believers, who assume God is among the capricious pantheon of cross-religious deities who take without giving and exist only to be worshipped and feared. But that’s not our Heavenly Father. He loves us as the perfect Dad: with discipline, delight, and even the giving of gifts.
Ephesians 1:3 sums up this giving side of God’s nature as it addresses what became of us when we confessed Jesus as Lord: “[…] The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in union with Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places…”
WOW! Because of our union with Christ, God has lavished on us EVERY spiritual blessing in the heavenly places! A portion of that refers to a future time—like the fullness of our salvation, for which we now have the gift of holy spirit as a “down payment” until it’s made complete—but there are current spiritual realities that were also sealed within us at the moment we became God’s own. The REV commentary lists a few of these blessings:
We have already seen that we were crucified with Christ, died with Christ, were buried with Christ, and were raised with Christ. Some of the other blessings that Ephesians lists as our having by virtue of being “in Christ” are: blessed in Christ (Eph 1:3); chosen in him (Eph 1:4); being the praise of the glory of God’s grace (Eph 1:6); redeemed (Eph 1:7); claimed as God’s possession (Eph 1:11); sealed with the promised holy spirit (Eph 1:13); raised up and seated in the heavenlies (Eph 2:6); created (Eph 2:10); made near (Eph 2:13); created into a new man (Eph 2:15); being built into a sanctuary of God (Eph 2:21, 22); Gentiles are fellow heirs, fellow members, and fellow partakers of the promise (Eph 3:6); and, forgiven (Eph 4:32). All of these blessings and more are by virtue of us being “in union with” Christ; part of his Body.
All of this became our individual spiritual reality when we came into union with Christ! And God continues to bless us in ways seen and unforeseen, to the praise of His glory. What better way to prove that we are cherished, important, and beloved of God than that He has given us so many gifts at the moment we believed, lavishing us with these gracious things from redemption and forgiveness to holy spirit power and the titles of HIS CHILD, and SAVED.
Happy Tuesday to us!