I commend these to you for further reading. Remember - these words name what God sees in us, what He is calling us into being. I invite you again to ask for more of His Spirit that the eyes of your hearts might be enlightened.
I also reproduce below the notes and the spoiler warning the text of the letter I referred to from Three Billboards Outside Epping Missouri. (I used the way Chief Willoughby calls out the better nature he sees possible in Officer Dixon as a way of understanding in part what Paul is doing in Ephesians 1)
The notes were to guide me, they are not the message in total - that will be available on the church website next week, and available to download by clicking here
Ephesians Chapter 1
Verse 1 - You are holy, you are faithful
3 - Blessed in heavenly realm with every spiritual blessing in Christ
4 – Chosen to be holy & blameless
5 – destined to be God’s child
6 – freely given God’s grace
7 – Redeemed from the enemy
8 – God’s grace is lavished on you
8-9 To you God has revealed what was a mystery – His will
11 – Chosen and predestined
12 – a sign of God’s glory that causes praise – the people who give praise for what God has done
13 – included in Christ
Receivers of the message of truth
Witnesses of the gospel
Marked and sealed by the Holy Spirit
14 -Guaranteed an eternal inheritance
Pauls prayer – in the light of all this!
Thanksgiving for them
That they: a) receive the Spirit of wisdom and revelation (we need this, even though we are already sealed and marked)
b) Would know God better
c) would have the eyes of their hearts to be enlightened so they can know i) the hope they are called to, ii)the riches that his holy people are inheriting, iii) his power that is for those who believe.
(This power is: the power that raised Jesus, is far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked for all time!),
iv) that God has placed everything under Jesus feet, v) that Christ is head of the church, vi) that the church is the body of Christ, and vii) the church should be fully him as he fills it.
The text below is from a scene in the film Three Billboards Outside Epping Missouri. It is a movie that contains very strong language, and deals with very difficult themes. I'm not endorsing the language used in the movie, but it is a very powerful film. Please don't watch it with your family then complain I didn't warn you - it is not suitable family viewing! If you plan to see this movie then you need to know that the text below contains a massive spoiler. You should probably stop reading now!
A letter from Chief Willoughby (played by Woody Harrelson) to Jason Dixon (played by Sam Rockwell)
Jason Dixon is a violent, bigoted and thoroughly unlikeable character. He’s the butt of jokes, and is seen by most people as a destructive idiot.
Chief Willoughby is dying, and after his death several people receive letters from him. Here’s the letter Officer Dixon received:
Willoughby: Jason, Willoughby here. I'm dead now, sorry about that. There's something I wanted to say to you that I never really said when I was alive. I think you've got the makings of being a really good cop, Jason, and you know why? Because, deep down, you're a decent man. I know you don't think I think that, but I do, dip****.
I do think you're too angry though, and I know it's all since your dad died and you had to go look after your mom and all, but as long as you hold on to so much hate, then I don't think you're ever going to become, what I know you want to become - a detective. 'Cause you know what you need to become a detective? And I know you're gonna wince when I say this, but what you need to become a detective is love.
Because through love comes calm, and through calm comes thought. And you need thought to detect stuff sometimes, Jason. It's kinda all you need. You don't even need a gun. And you definitely don't need hate. Hate never solved nothing, but calm did. And thought did. Try it. Try it just for a change. No one'll think you're gay. And if they do, arrest 'em for homophobia! Won't they be surprised! Good luck to you, Jason. You're a decent man, and yeah you've had a run of bad luck, but things are gonna change for you. I can feel it.