Immeasurable Greatness

Thanksgiving and Prayer

For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might. Ephesians 1:15-19

Isn’t that just the most healing, powerful collection of words you’ve taken in to your mind in a long time? If you breezed over it or if you mind is full of everything you have to do today just stop and make some space for this beautiful scripture. Give it room to breathe in your heart before you move on.

As I sit down to write to you again friends, I want to just be in this word with you today rather than comment on it. When I take this one in, I hear Him saying, just listen…don’t speak. So instead of processing or contextualizing today, I just want to live in it together.

 Verse 15-16: “Because I have heard of your faith and your love….I remember you in my prayers and I give thanks for you” Our faith is not just an inward commitment to a specific creed but a live and active trust in God’s plan. When our faith is outward, people will “hear” of it. Paul thanks the Ephesians for the love the show through action, the outward manifestation of their faith.

Verse 17: “The spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him”A spirit of wisdom. With each and every decision I make Lord, give me the spirit of your wisdom. Help me to revel, truly revel in the knowledge of you and your character. Give us the wisdom Lord to live in community and to build love in our relationships with one another.

Verse 18: “the hope to which he has called you and the riches of his inheritance” He has called us to hope. He does not call us to despair, not to worry or carry burdens. That is so powerful if you let it really soak in. God calls us to hope. That alone gives us the opportunity for a total shift in our perception. He calls us to hope, he promises that faith in Him brings the knowledge, the awareness and the eventual manifestation of our inheritance with Him. No matter how dark our current situation, he calls us out of the spirit of darkness.

Verse 19: “immeasurable greatness”a specific reminder of God’s activity in our lives. He establishes and defines us. We are redeemed not by what we have done but by what God has done. Far above place, far above power, far above time…immeasurable.

Choose to have a great week.

 

 

Rooted in His Love

Today’s Readings: 1 Kings 6, Ephesians 3, Ezekiel 36, Psalm 86

Today we find Paul again in Ephesians 3 writing from prison. I did some reading about Paul’s experience and learned that he was under house arrest in Rome while he awaited trial. In the very first verse he describes himself as “a prisoner for Christ.” He goes on to say that he is a prisoner on behalf of the Gentiles. This short phrase is so easy to skip over but I think it is really significant. What does it mean to us to be prisoners for Christ? To me, that means putting Jesus before all other things. That means dying to myself in order to put him first as he put me first on the cross. Paul goes on to explain to the Ephesians that they should not lose heart over his suffering. He says,

“To me, though I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles, the unsearchable riches of Christ, and to bring to light for everyone what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God who created all things.” (Ephesians 3:8-9)

 What would it look like if I committed to bringing light to everyone and shared the plan! Even though he was under arrest, Paul maintained his faith that God was in control of everything. When I think of this in context of my life today, it gives me such comfort to know that God is in control. Then I think about the possibility of sharing that message with others. I know, sometimes we feel hesitant, we don’t know if it’s the right time or place to share the hope and promise of Jesus. Paul shows us through example that we too can gain strength by sharing the message in our times of weakness.

Paul goes on in Chapter 3 to pray for spiritual strength. I love this moment and these words. It reminds me that each of us are named, each of us are absolutely cherished in His heart.

“For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith-that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and the length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ….” (Ephesians 3:14-19)

Did you read that? Did you take it in? Rooted and grounded in love! How many times this week can we repeat that sacred text to ourselves in times of worry or anger or fear. We are truly rooted and grounded in God’s love. So rooted that we may have strength to comprehend his love for us. Paul wants us to see that God’s love for us is multidimensional. It isn’t just at church, not just at home in our Bible or our daily devotional. God’s love for us fills all the spaces. Paul calls us as Christians to go to Him. He reminds us that God truly wants to hear from us.

Today’s message is so simple but to me it is so foundational. We can do better than survive each day. We can thrive in the knowledge of his love for us. We are rooted in Him; nothing can separate us from our grounding in Christ Jesus.

God, thank you for your words, help us to find our strength, to comprehend your all-encompassing love for us. Amen!