Today’s Scripture Selection: Ephesians 1:4

“For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight.”

Are you perfect?

Are you blameless?

Are you a particularly holy person?

You might not think so.

Yet Scripture says those who would follow Christ are called to do – and be – just that.

Talk about a tall order.

That’s why it takes grace – a gift from God – which we receive though we haven’t “earned” it.

And only through God’s acts of grace in our lives can we approach anything that looks perfect or blameless or holy.

Still, I believe it is a key part of what healing and wholeness are all about.

Our world judges things, and people, very harshly.

And there are many times when, for one reason or another, we feel as if we can’t possibly “measure up.”

So, how wonderful it is, that the God who loves us as His own reaches down, shows us, nurtures us, provides for us a way to become the holy people God intends us to be.

It isn’t about achievement.

It’s about receiving a wonderful gift, prepared for us, and all those who will accept it, even before the creation of the world itself.

Isn’t that amazing?

Prayer: Lord, thank you, for providing a way for healing, growth, wholeness, and holiness.  AMEN.

By Paul Simrell

The Reverend Paul W. Simrell has served for over thirty years in a variety of congregational and institutional settings. He is a recognized minister with standing in the Virginia region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada and is nationally endorsed by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for specialized ministry in both pastoral counseling and chaplaincy. Ordained in 1982, he has served congregations in Kentucky, Texas, Florida, and Virginia. He currently serves as the pastor of Elpis Christian Church, a small, historic congregation located just a few miles west of Richmond, Virginia. Elpis is the Greek word meaning “expectant hope.” He also serves on the associate clinical staff of the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care, Richmond, Virginia, both as a pastoral counselor and a ministerial assessment specialist, specializing in executive, clergy and relationship coaching. He is a graduate of the University of Florida and Lexington Theological Seminary and has done advanced clinical training in chaplaincy and pastoral counseling at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky, Children’s Medical Center and Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas and the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care in Richmond, Virginia. He is a Certified Pastoral Counselor, an ACPE Practitioner, and a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors. He is a Certified Facilitator of the Prepare-Enrich relationship assessment and skills-building program and served as a volunteer chaplain for over twenty years with the CJW Medical Center campuses in Richmond, Virginia. His avocational interests include playing the piano and drawing. He is very happily married to his wife Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell, a free-lance writer, who is also a Certified Facilitator for the Prepare-Enrich program. Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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