I just really love Ephesians - Paul's letter to Ephesus... it's really speaking to me as I read it this time...or I mean, God is speaking to me through it this time; but I'm going to try keep the journaling on it to a minimum. I just wanted to briefly write about Ephesians 1:9 -12
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 hope in Christ, might be for the praise of His glory.
These verses are just FULL of wisdom and Truth to me. The first part, the fact that He's so all-knowing and all-powerful and can make every decision we make turn out right...is just so awesome. It takes so much pressure off our days doesn't it? Our job then is just to do whatever we can to be Christ-centered and lead by the Spirit...the focus isn't on any decisions we do or do not make - God will work all that out. Our focus is just to be with God, getting closer to Him daily, allowing Him to give us wisdom and discernment to live a spirit-guided life. Even when we mess up, which we will, a lot...our decisions don't ruin His ability to use us. For more on this, check out this post.
The 2nd part of this verse -- just absolutely sums up and clarifies our defining purpose as christians. In order that we, who were the first to hope in Christ, might be for the praise of His glory... To exist for the praise of His glory. To bring praise and glory to God. Our lives are purposeful, there is meaning.
Verse 9 and 10, And 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 will have reached their fulfillment - to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ.
The mystery of His will is that we were created for His pleasure. His will is for all of us to be under Him, glorifying and praising Him. He loves us so much and He wants us to love Him and to forever praise Him..... so He had to send Christ. Our sins were separating us from God and He didn't want that. So He sent Christ to take away all of our sins - the Bible says He took the iniquities....meaning all aspects of the sin - the blame, the shame, and the consequences of them (the consequence was that He had to be temporarily separated from God) so that we could not be condemned to hell.
Hell, I believe, is more of a spiritual place than a physical like we tend to think.... I believe Hell is just to be eternally separated from God - and God doesn't want that. He wants us to choose Him and to love Him and so He sent Christ so we would be given that chance. Christ gives us the chance to love God, to choose Him. Christ was separated from God so that we wouldn't have to be. When we do choose Christ and choose God, we are then a child of God. There is no separation between us - we are part of the body. Our lives then have meaning have purpose and no matter what we do - if we've chosen Christ --- God works out everything in our lives for His glory, because we chose to be part of the body.