Wednesday in the First Week of Ordinary Time

Ephesians 1:6

To the Praise of His Glorious Grace

As I ran out of room in the last devotion, I have to take this verse by itself, which is fine and well given the topic.

But we have to pick up the preceding verse: “He [the Father] predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of His will, to the praise of His glorious grace, with which He blessed us in the Beloved (emphasis added).”  Did you hear that?  The Father predestined us…to the praise of His glorious grace.  He did not predestine us first and foremost that we may be saved, or so that we may live in heaven with Him for all eternity.  Oh, these were no doubt factors in His foreordination of us, but they were not the most important factors.  God’s own glory is God’s greatest concern and everything—EVERYTHING—must ultimately serve that primal purpose. 

To some this might make God sound like the great celestial narcissist, making everything about Himself.  Aren’t we told not to do this?  Is this not the essence of sin?  Centering on self, putting self ahead of everyone and everything else?  How does God get away with it?  Well, quite simply, because He is God, and the difference between Him and us cannot be overstated.  He is the greatest and best of all beings.  Making everyone for Himself and His purposes is to make everyone for their very best and most fulfilling life.  To have created us for some other purpose, some other thing, would have been to condemn us to an eternity of second best.  In essence, we would be no better than the brutes which live, eat, reproduce, and die; or like the plant kingdom, for that matter—the purpose of our lives being simply to be eaten or destroyed by something else.

God had something greater in mind for those He created in His image—and then redeemed after the image of His Son—and that was and is to know Him and enjoy Him forever.  He is God.  He cannot help but to glorify Himself, His name, His attributes, His holiness.  And out of His magnanimity He asks (well, demands) that we join Him in this praise of Himself—the One who made us for Himself—for to do so is our highest work, our greatest purpose, our supreme attainment in this life and the next.  St. Augustine said, “Thou hast formed us for Thyself, and our hearts are restless till they find rest in Thee” (Confessions I.I.1).  Predestined to the praise of His glorious grace—I can fathom no better purpose so to be chosen.

Author: The Reformed Baptist

My name is Stephen Taylor, ordained Baptist minister of eighteen years pastoral experience with a Ph.D. in Historical Theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Better than that, I am married to a godly woman, Karla, who has been very patient with me since 1989. I have two daughters, both of whom I homeschooled for extended periods of time, who became godly young women, and who ran off and married godly young men, all of which is very proper. The oldest daughter has even seen fit to bless me with a grandson and a granddaughter, and my youngest daughter with a grandson, all three of whom are bundles of exceeding joy. As you can see, I am quite blessed. This website is dedicated to helping people grow in the wisdom and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ through the gift of writing that the Lord has given to me. It is specifically about helping His people grow in godliness, the theme you see repeated above. I write devotions with this aim and hope that they might be of some help to God’s people. Full disclosure: I am of a Reformed bent, meaning that my understanding of Scripture is primarily informed by the Reformers and their successors of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. However, as a student of church history and theology, I strive to remain true to that teaching handed down once for all unto the saints through every age of the Church. I like to think of myself as a “catholic” Christian, as the Reformers thought of themselves. At any rate, feel free to read, pray, and contact me if you wish, or correct me if need be. As you can see, I tend to follow the church year. Of course, I make no special claims about these devotions. I know very well that others have written better and plumbed the depths of God’s word with greater insight. But if my musings help someone draw closer to the Lord, well then, I have my reward. Blessings to you and may the God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ speak to you that word which He knows you especially need to hear. Grace & peace, Stephen Taylor

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