The letter to the church at Ephesus was written to a community of Christ followers by Paul. Paul was writing to shape their identities in the gospel. He was so excited about writing to them about Jesus that he started his letter with a single, huge, sentence that contains seven verbs: blessed, chose, destined, bestowed, lavished, made known, and gather up.
to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. (Ephesians 1:6 ESV)
This fourth “rocket verb” is a tough one to translate. That’s why it is translated differently: favored, freely given, blessed, bestowed… The dynamic of what Paul is trying to say in regards to the grace is dramatic. It’s like someone telling a story where they were so embarrassed that they “died a thousand deaths.” In this case Paul is so overwhelmed by God’s grace that he’s saying we’ve been graced a thousand graces.
God is under no compulsion to give us this grace. He does so freely and he does so in an overwhelming way. God’s “glorious grace” has been freely given and this was done in the “Beloved.” Who is this Beloved? He is Jesus. In Jesus we are given grace. It cost him dearly but costs us, nothing.
When we grasp that grace that has graced us grace a thousand times it frees us to not seek the approval of others.
What would your day to day look like if you weren’t chasing down the approval of other people?