Accepted and Included (Ephesians 1:1-14)

The Apostle Paul addressed this letter not only to the Ephesians but also to the faithful in Christ Jesus. He began by opening up some of the wonderful truths about our hope in and with Christ in the heavenly places.

• That, in this place we are blessed with every spiritual blessing (v.3).

That we were chosen in Him (Christ) before the foundation of the world and according to the good pleasure of His will, means we are predestined as sons by Jesus Christ. In Him we have redemption through His blood and forgiveness of sins. But then Paul adds that it is according to the good pleasure of God’s will that we have been accepted in the Beloved.

As humans, we all like to be accepted and included, whether it be at school, at work, in the church or even in the home. If we ever find ourselves to be in a situation where we are ‘the odd one out’ then it can be a very uncomfortable feeling. Can you imagine how it is for some people who are perhaps different in some way. Maybe they have autism or are Downs syndrome or are disa-bled. How do we react in their presence? Do we shrink away because we don’t know how to approach or interact with them or do we reach out to them in friendship?

If we remember that the Lord doesn’t look at the outward appearance but rather at the heart, it will help us to do the right thing. Despite the ugliness of our sin, the Lord has accepted us – warts and all!

He has made us accepted by His cleansing grace and mercy. He has even given us privileged places as members of His Body the Church.

When we reflect on this, it should give us the eyes to see and hearts to care about those around us who are feeling alone and ignored.

Contributed by Graeme Abbott