The Worship Quote of the Week for (05/15/2001):

The Glory of God
Believe it or not, today's WORSHIP QUOTE is a single sentence from the Greek
New Testament. This is from Paul's great exposition on God's grace found in
the first chapter of Ephesians. Here it is from Eugene Peterson's THE
MESSAGE. [Thankfully, this and other English renderings don't even attempt to
put this into one sentence.] Notice the worship-rich sections I have put in
all caps.

THE GLORY OF GOD (Ephesians 1:3-14)
HOW BLESSED IS GOD! AND WHAT A BLESSING HE IS! He's the Father of our Master,
Jesus Christ, and takes us to the high places of blessing in him. Long before
he laid down earth's foundations, he had us in mind, had settled on us as the
focus of his love, TO BE MADE WHOLE AND HOLY BY HIS LOVE. Long, long ago he
decided to adopt us into his family through Jesus Christ. (What pleasure hi
took in planning this!) He wanted us to enter into the celebration of his
lavish gift-giving by the hand of his beloved Son.

Because of the sacrifice of the Messiah, his blood poured out on the altar of
the Cross, we're a free people-free of penalty and punishments chalked up by
all our misdeeds. And not just barely free, either. Abundantly free! HE
THOUGHT OF EVERYTHING, provided for everything we could possibly need,
letting us in on the plans he took such delight in making. He set it all out
before us in Christ, a long-range plan in which EVERYTHING WOULD BE BROUGHT
TOGETHER AND SUMMED UP IN HIM, everything in deepest heaven, everything on
planet earth.

It is in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for. Long
before we first heard of Christ and got our hopes up, he had an eye on us,
had designs on us for glorious living, part of THE OVERALL PURPOSE HE IS

It's in Christ that you, once you heard the truth and believed it (this
Message of your salvation), found yourselves home free-signed, sealed, and
delivered by the Holy Spirit. This signet from God is the first installment
on what's coming, a reminder that we'll get everything God has planned for

--Ephesians 1:3-14 from Eugene Peterson's THE MESSAGE: THE NEW TESTAMENT IN
CONTEMPORARY ENGLISH, Colorado Springs: NavPress, 1993. ISBN 08910-97287

Have a great week,

Chip Stam
Director, Institute for Christian Worship
School of Church Music and Worship
Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
Louisville, Kentucky