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. (NIV)
As a teenager I was a little less than the perfect child. I did have a very small encounter with the police while in high school. When my dad found out, he made it very clear that I would never again drag the family name through the mud. It was stated in no uncertain terms that all the children in the family would hold to good Christian values and principles “or else.”
While studying in Bible College this phrase that Paul uses in Ephesians 1 really caught my attention; “to the praise of His glory.” To understand that glory is due to God alone and to hear Paul say that we, the redeemed of the Lord, are intended to be to the praise of His glory certainly helps us to know we are valued by God.
It is completely the work of God through Jesus Christ that affords us the opportunity to have salvation and the hope of an eternity with Jesus. At the same time scripture is clear that there is an expectation to walk in the way of Jesus and to be like him. As a matter of fact, we are called to be holy as God is holy (1 Peter 1:16).
As much as we try, we cannot match the holiness of God in our own lives. So how do we possibly meet God’s standard and be “to the praise of His glory.” God’s love is so all encompassing that His grace, His amazing grace covers us. Can you imagine that our sin is forgiven from the past, in the present and even into the future? If we walk in humility and an attitude of repentance, we walk in his grace and we are “to the praise of His Glory.”
God in heaven, let nothing stand between us in praising and worshiping you in your grace and glory. We ask this through the power of the Holy Spirit, in Jesus’ name. Amen.