Appropriate

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NOTE: This is Day Three of the devotional guide (Volume 1, Issue 2) of our church, Filinvest Community Christian Fellowship, for the message last Sunday, March 8, on Know How Much You Are Worth Part 1” (“Significance” series, a verse-by-verse study of the book of Ephesians).

Usually, we use the word “appropriate” to refer to something proper or suitable. But, according to the dictionary, there’s another meaning. The word is from a Latin word that means “to make one’s own.” So, “to appropriate” is “to take something for one’s own use.” 

We have heard stories of rich art collectors who, after searching far and wide for a rare artwork, found that they already have it in their possession. In the same way, there are Christians who feel there’s something missing in their spiritual lives. But we already saw in Ephesians 1:3 that God “has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing”. Colossians 1:10a also declares that “in Him [we] have been made complete” (NASB). So, all we have to do is to appropriate what God already gave us.

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We need to brace ourselves up and to realize that we are responsible for our thoughts, attitudes, and actions. We need to reckon on the fact that we died to sin’s reign, that it no longer has any dominion over us, that God has united us with the risen Christ in all His power, and has given us the Holy Spirit to work in us. Only as we accept our responsibility and appropriate God’s provisions will we make any progress in our pursuit of holiness. [1]
If we are struggling with a low self-esteem, then we have to take hold of the fact that “He made us accepted in the Beloved.” (Ephesians 1:6b, NKJV)  We should not try to be accepted by God. He already accepted us. Even if people reject us, God won’t. Somebody wrote, “There is nothing we can do to make God love us more and there is nothing we can do to make God love us less.” We can and should be secure in His acceptance of us.

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If we are haunted by guilt feelings for past sins or failures, then we have the assurance that “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses” (1:7a). That’s why Paul prayed that we would understand and experience the love we already received from Him.
And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. (Ephesians 1:18-19a, NLT)
In a word, appropriate.

Significant Step

As you look at the list of spiritual blessings you made based on Ephesians 1-3, reflect on how it applies to our present lives and which blessing you can appropriate now. 

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[1] Jerry Bridges, The Pursuit of Holiness (CO: Navpress, 1978, 1996, 2003). iBooks edition. Emphasis added.

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