Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.
Friend to Friend
Unless you are a baseball fan, married to one, or mom to one, you probably haven’t heard of Matthew Joseph White. He signed with the Cleveland Indians in 1998, the Boston Red Sox in 2002, and the Colorado Rockies in 2003. But it is not his baseball career that captured my attention.
In 2003, Matt had an aunt who needed to go into a nursing home. She didn’t have the funds to make the move, but she did have a piece of land in his home state of Massachusetts. So Matt agreed to pay her $50,000 for the 45 acres of mountain real estate, which gave her enough to enter the nursing home and get the care she needed. (I love him already!)
Matt’s original intent was to build a home on the property, but found the ground too hard. When he called a surveyor to inspect the acreage, he discovered treasure lying beneath the rocky soil. The land was solid Goshen stone, a type of valuable mica. Approximately 24 million tons of mica schist rock, worth about $100 per ton, had been resting on the mountain for thousands of years. The estimated worth of Matt’s land? Two point five billion dollars.
When my husband read me Matt’s story in a sports magazine, my mind immediately went to the truth of what we have in Christ. Most of us are sitting on a mountain of precious promises and don’t even know it. Goshen stone may be valuable, and I am tickled pink that Matt made the discovery. But followers of Christ are sitting on a treasure worth even more. Jesus is the Rock, and God has already paid the excavation costs. The title deed has your name on it, and you simply need to take hold to access your glorious inheritance.
Being in Christ comes with many benefits. You are a dearly loved, completely accepted, totally forgiven, uniquely chosen child of God. And because you have been adopted into God’s family, you are now heir to a plethora of precious promises.
For starters, when you exhale your last breath on earth, you will inhale heaven for all eternity. There is no other promise that comes close in comparison. But there’s more, so much more. That’s what we’re excavating in the pages of this book.
Paul wrote, “We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God that we may understand what God has freely given us” (1 Cor. 2:12). So stop and pray with me for just a moment. “Dear Lord, I pray that You will open my mind to comprehend all that you have given me. Help me to let go of preconceived notions and small-minded thinking to take hold of all that You have for me. In Jesus’s name, Amen.”
Did you pray? Did you mean it? Let’s keep going! As you read the following words, take note of the verb tense in each sentence.
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will—to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.
In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding, he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.
In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory (Eph. 1:3–14 emphases added).
Did you see it? Paul is describing blessings and promises you already have. Every single one of those verbs are in past tense. You don’t need to earn them. You don’t need to wait for them. You simply need to take hold of what is already yours. You’ve already got what it takes to live bold.
God made the deposit in your safe-deposit box before the creation of the world, fashioned the key in the shape of a cross, and gave you access the moment you believed.
Father, forgive me for living like a spiritual pauper rather than a child of the King. Help me to let go of my scarcity mentality and take hold of the riches of my inheritance. Help me to take hold of the precious promises. And Lord, I know this isn’t about money or the treasures of this world. Oh, your precious promises go so much deeper than anything this temporary world has for us. Open my eyes to see what is important…the blessings You have given me.
In Jesus’ Name,
Now It’s Your Turn
Print out today’s devotion. Get out a pen, and mark every verb in Ephesians 1:3-14. (I’ve made it easy and put some in italics.)
Another option: If you’re a gal like me who takes notes in her Bible, consider marking these verbs in your Bible.
Your challenge for today is to take hold of the fact that they are in past tense. You’ve already got it!
More from the Girlfriends
Today’s devotion was taken from my new book, Take Hold of the Faith you Long For: Let Go, Move Forward, Live Bold. A mediocre, mundane faith is not what you were made for! In Take Hold of the Faith You Long For, I reveal the most common reasons we get stuck in our Christian faith, living less than what we had hoped. I show you how to break free of all that holds you back, move forward with all that God promises, and live the adventurous faith of bold believing. It’s time to leave behind feelings of inferiority, insecurity, and inadequacy that hold you hostage and take hold of the mountain-moving faith God intends. Let’s uncover untapped sources of confidence and courage, and see how to move from simply knowing the truth to actually living it out boldly. It’s time to TAKE HOLD of all that Jesus has already taken hold of for you and placed in you! Click on the book cover to download a sample chapter and view a quick video. And if you’re looking for a new study for your women’s group or individual study, Take Hold includes a Bible Study guide in the back. Also, you’ll find out about some free gifts with each purchase.