Dr. Randy Carlson
For those of us who follow Christ, it’s important to understand “why” we choose to live intentionally. If we take the book of Ephesians and split it into two halves, the first three chapters is the orthodoxy of our faith – our position in Christ. It’s all about God’s intentional love for us. Then in Chapter 4, moving to the last three chapters, Paul turns in a different direction. He ends the first half of Ephesians saying, as a result of everything I just said in the first three chapters, here is how I want you to live your life (paraphrased). We’ll look at the first three chapters in this blog and the last three in the next one.
When we talk to our children, we often focus on what we want them to do. Maybe we need to spend a little more time talking about why what we want them to do is important. Take the opportunity to tell them why – “I want you to grow up and honor God.” “I want you to grow up and be a good father, someday.” Let’s look at three reasons we should choose to live intentionally.
- We should choose to live intentionally because of God’s intentional love for us.
How do we know that God loves us? Here are four ways He demonstrates His love to us:
- The God of the universe chose you. In the grand scheme of things, God had a plan for you, and He chose you. Just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, (Ephesians 1:4 NKJV).
- He adopted you. Something about adoption is powerful thing. To understand that God actually adopted you and me into his kingdom, into his family, lets look at the next verse. Having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will (v.5). Every time I read that verse, I realize the great gift that it really is – the God of the Universe chose to adopt you and me, and bring us into His kingdom.
- He redeemed you. In Him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace (v. 7). This is powerful.
- He gave you the Holy Spirit. In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise (v. 13). God uses the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, to build our lives and to allow us to really function in the world in which we live today.
- Another reason why we live intentionally is because God gets the glory. When we live intentionally in Him, all the glory is His.
Here are three examples of how He gets the glory:
- He made you alive. In you he made alive who were dead in trespasses and sins (Ephesians 2:1). That means we were dead spiritually and He made you alive.
- He saved you by grace. For by grace you have been saved through faith and that not of yourselves. It is a gift of God not of works lest anyone should boast (v. 8-9).
- He made you for good works. We talk about the difference between being work-oriented. It’s clearly that God has made us to be about doing good works. For we are his workmanship created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them (v. 10).
- We should live intentionally because God said so. When Daddy says so, Daddy means it, right?
- He made gentiles fellow heirs. He reached out to include all of us and allowed us to choose to be grafted in to become part of the Kingdom. Paul said, The gentiles should be fellow heirs of the same body and partakers of his promise in Christ through the Gospel (Ephesians 2:19).
As we get up every day, the thought of being intentional with our lives should not be a burden but a blessing. It becomes our intentional response to God’s intentional love. The next time you see a passage with a command of how we’re to live, remember, God always has a reason for it – because He loves us.
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