“Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus the Messiah. Praised be ADONAI, Father of our Lord Jesus the Messiah, who in the Messiah has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in heaven. In the Messiah, He chose us in love before the creation of the universe to be holy and without defect in His presence. He determined in advance that through Jesus the Messiah we would be His sons – in keeping with His pleasure and purpose – so that we would bring him praise commensurate with the glory of the grace He gave us through the Beloved One…so that we who earlier had put our hope in the Messiah would bring Him praise commensurate with His glory.”
What does it mean that we are to bring God “praise commensurate?” The definition of commensurate is “equal in measure or extent.” So the question becomes, equal to what? In verse 6, our praise is to be equal in measure with the glory of the grace God has given us in Christ and in verse 11, with His glory. In other words, our praise should be equal in extent to His works and His person. WOW! Is that a tall order or what? I immediately began to ask, “Who is capable of that?,” after all it seems just as hard as following His command to “Be holy, for I am holy.”
I think the key to giving praise commensurate is to find out what we have to praise Him for, and in Ephesians the Apostle Paul provides quite a list. So here are a few that I found, but feel free to add your own.
- We – you and I- have been chosen as His sons! Think about that for a minute. The God who spoke our world into existence, the God of every miracle listed in the Bible, and every miracle that isn’t, this same GOD has chosen you! And you’re not a servant or a slave, you have been chosen by Him as a son, a daughter simply for His pleasure. You have been chosen as a joint heir of Christ! Ephesians 1:4-5
- We are set free – our sins are forgiven! I don’t care who you are, we all have sinned and fall short of His glory in and of ourselves. That being said, because Jesus shed His blood, once we receive it, we are free from whatever has held us captive. It’s not just our sins, either. We are also set free from consequences of past failures and mistakes (see previous post A Horse Tale.) How awesome is it that the God of the Universe would so lavish us with His grace, His enabling power to overcome! Ephesians 1:7
- He has made known to us secrets! I love a secret, and I especially love being able to ponder mysteries as revealed by the Holy Spirit. This is an incredible thought, that God in all of His wisdom and insight trusts you and I with His secrets. I find it difficult to trust some people with my plans, but God has entrusted us with His. Ephesians 1:8-10
- You have an inheritance! Not only have you been chosen His child, but He has provided for us, not only in the now, but has prepared for your future! Remember the bumper sticker that stated, “I spent my kids inheritance.” Well, God isn’t doing that to you. It is set aside, and it has your name on it! Ephesians 1:11
- You are sealed by the Holy Spirit! What a reassuring thought that we are backed by the God of the Universe. He hasn’t left this job to anyone else, He’s taken it upon Himself to guarantee your inheritance. How amazing is that? Ephesians 1:13-14
These are just the first few mentioned by Paul in the first chapter of Ephesians, but if we can get a hold of these five and begin to praise Him accordingly in conjunction with everything else He’s done, we will reach praise commensurate! I challenge you this Christmas season to begin praising Him, and then to continue on throughout the year, allowing your praise to open up a new realm of worship unto you!