My daughter has a very special ability to say in ten minutes and a thousand words a story that would take me one sentence and less than a minute. You would assume she had inherited that skill from the author in the family, but no – that is a gift from my husband who can turn a “yes or no” question into a twenty-minute educational moment.

I happen to love a bullet point list, a straight answer, and very little fluff, which might explain why it took me several readings in various translations and at least one commentary to really dig into today’s Scripture. I have a feeling I might not be the only one who has those moments when reading the Bible. The apostle Paul is certainly not stingy with his words!

In fact, one of those commentaries I read noted that, in the original Greek, Paul’s letter goes non-stop from verse 3 to 14, for over 200 words! It is the longest single sentence in the New Testament (Layman’s New Testament Bible Commentary). The beautiful doxology (a short hymn of praise) reminds his audience not only to keep their focus on God but on all that has been done for us.

Before time began, God the Father chose us and developed a plan for our salvation, a plan born out of love that could only be accomplished through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, His Son. When you and I believed in Christ, we were set apart and our hearts became available for the Holy Spirit to reveal God’s wisdom and insight.

Paul reminds us of God’s promise in this opening section of Ephesians: absolute and complete deliverance of His people from all the consequences of sin. When we accept Christ as our Savior we receive redemption, forgiveness, grace, love, and a forever-home with God the Father who chose to adopt us. You and I are part of God’s incredible plan, recipients of the most amazing inheritance, chosen on purpose for a purpose.

“In Christ we too have been claimed as God’s own possession, since we were predestined according to the purpose of him who accomplishes all things according to the counsel of his will so that we, who were the first to set our hope on Christ, would be to the praise of his glory.” Ephesians 1:11-12 NET

“It’s 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 his eye on us, had designs on us for glorious living, part of the overall purpose he is working out in everything and everyone.” Ephesians 1:11-12, MSG

The blessing of Christ was always the planned pathway for God’s covenant promise to be fulfilled. It’s not just good news, but the best news! It’s the can’t-keep-it-to-yourself kind of news that you want to shout from the rooftops. The gospel is life-changing, hope-giving, promise-keeping, available-for-everyone news of the greatest gift we will ever receive! When I think about the people in my life who don’t know the kind of lavish love God wants to pour into their lives, I can start to understand Paul’s excitement. How could we ever keep this gift to ourselves?

Have you purchased your Everlasting Covenant journal yet? Not only will you find all of the daily reading passages and SOAP journaling pages, but you’ll have each of the daily devotionals in printed form–no need to check the app on your phone while working through your study!

Don’t forget, the new Bridge Reading Plan is only available in the printed journals! The Bridge is a two-week long reading plan designed to bridge the gap between two studies. In the Everlasting Covenant journal you’ll find the Bridge Reading Plan along with two weeks worth of SOAP journaling pages and daily Scripture reading! Don’t miss this! Starting with Everlasting Covenant the Bridge reading plan will walk through the entire Book of Psalms during 2021. This plan is found only in the study journals, so grab one today! You don’t want to miss out!

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Crystal Stine

Crystal Stine

Crystal Stine is the author of Holy Hustle, Quieting the Shout of Should, and the Holy Hustle Planner. She serves as the Communications and Online Director for her church and has a passion for using social media as a mission field to reach as many as possible for Christ. You can connect with Crystal online at, get a sneak peek of her first books through several YouVersion reading plans, or find her on Instagram @crystalstine. Crystal lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and daughter.

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