← back to list

Oct 09, 2022

Count Your Blessings

Count Your Blessings

Passage: Ephesians 1:3-6

Speaker: Patrick Lafferty

Series: Song & Dance - The Gospel Melody that Moves in Ephesians

Keywords: love, praise, eternity, predestined, glory, chosen, holy, blessing, adopted, blameless

Two things diminish our soul: despondency and complacency. The former darkens our hearts; the latter makes us indifferent to our hearts. Paul launches into his letter with a litany of claims that we’re meant to see and know as blessings. It’s the belief in and embrace of those blessings that are most able to console our despondency or confront our complacency. We have to recover the song of our heart. Paul begins that song here in Ephesians 1.

Readings & Scripture

PREPARATION: Psalm 145:1-3, 21
LEADER: I will extol you, my God and King,
and bless your name forever and ever.
Every day I will bless you
and praise your name forever and ever.
Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised,
and his greatness is unsearchable.

PEOPLE: My mouth will speak the praise of the LORD,
and let all flesh bless his holy name forever and ever.

LEADER: The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
3 He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness
for his name’s sake.

Psa. 23:4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.

Psa. 23:5 You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD

ALL: Thanks be to God.

CENTRAL TEXT: Ephesians 1:3-14
Blessed be the God and Father of the Lord Jesus Christ who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in Him before the foundation of the world that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love, he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace with which he has blessed us in the beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, 8 which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight 9 making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ 10 as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.

Eph. 1:11 In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, 12 so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. 13 In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.

LEADER: Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever..

ALL: Amen!



  • Deuteronomy 7:7-11
  • John 1:12
  • Romans 8:29-30
  • Colossians 1:22
  • Hebrews 4:16
  • Hebrews 9:14 / 1 Peter 1:19
  • Hebrews 12:14


  1. Can you remember the first time, or the first person, you heard say “Count your blessings”? Honest answers only: what’s your first thought when hearing that age-old axiom? If, perhaps, you view it as a quaint, even threadbare recommendation, why might it be a crucial practice–and especially in the darker moments?
  2. What are several implications–thoughts or actions that follow–from believing that God’s blessing of choosing us occurred before we existed?
  3. From the sermon we claimed love comes in manifold forms–both gentle and severe. Name several expressions of those varied forms.


InView Media 10.09.22 Album


  • What greater tribute could be paid to religious faith in general and to their [slaves] religious faith in particular than this: It taught a people how to ride high to life, to look squarely in the face of those facts that argue most dramatically against all hope and to use those facts as raw material out of which they fashioned hope that the environment, with all its cruelty, could not crush. . . .this was a sung faith [which] enabled them to reject annihilation and to affirm a terrible right to live. Howard Thurman
  • If you follow the Sunday morning religious programs on TV you come to understand that God can be experienced only as nature, flesh, energy, tangible image. And since no preacher dares show us God in the form of a bearded dummy, or as a Disneyland robot, God can only be found in the form of natural force, joy, healing, youth, health, economic increment.’ . .  . ‘Where is the MYSTERIUM TREMENDUM. .  . the holy, numinous, ineffable God?’”  Umberto Eco
  • The Glory of God is a man fully alive. Irenaeus, Against Heresies
  • “Then the lion said — but I don’t know if it spoke — You will have to let me undress you. I was afraid of his claws, I can tell you, but I was pretty nearly desperate now. So I just lay flat down on my back to let him do it. The very first tear he made was so deep that I thought it had gone right into my heart. And when he began pulling the skin off, it hurt worse than anything I’ve ever felt. The only thing that made me able to bear it was jut the pleasure of feeling the stuff peel off.  You know — if you’ve ever picked the scab of a sore place.  It hurts like billy-oh but it is such fun to see it coming away. Eustace in C.S. Lewis’s The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
  • Imagine a person totally committed to your best interests, devoted to seeing you flourish, fighting for you against all enemies, determined to eliminate everything destructive from your life, attentive to every detail of who you are, never thinking of himself at all but only you.  That is Jesus I relation to us all—sacrificial in his life sacrificial in his death. Fleming Rutledge