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Monday, September 29, 2008

Ephesians 3

I'm studying Ephesians, and this is what I read this morning...one of my favorite passages ever. I'm re-memorizing it (which should be an oxymoron, I know, but I'm keepin' it real.) This passage is so rich, I have to share it.
Eph 3:14-21

14 When I think of the wisdom and scope of God's plan, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, 15 the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth. 16 I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will give you mighty inner strength through his Holy Spirit. 17 And I pray that Christ will be more and more at home in your hearts as you trust in him. May your roots go down deep into the soil of God's marvelous love. 18 And may you have the power to understand, as all God's people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love really is. 19 May you experience the love of Christ, though it is so great you will never fully understand it. Then you will be filled with the fullness of life and power that comes from God.

20 Now glory be to God! By his mighty power at work within us, he is able to accomplish infinitely more than we would ever dare to ask or hope. 21 May he be given glory in the church and in Christ Jesus forever and ever through endless ages. Amen.
NLT


I'm a fan of the NLT. I like the way it reads. Rusty calls it a girly Bible, but it's not! However when I study a passage, I read it in other versions as well. I like reading the Amplified, the NIV, and the NAS. They are more accurately and precisely translated, I believe.
The way this starts out..."When I think of the wisdom and scope of God's plan, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth." I love the awe you can hear in his pen, as Paul writes from prison. Are we awed by the wisdom and scope of God's plan? Are we awed that we are able to "come fearlessly into God's presence" (v. 12) who is the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth!? Thought God is close and an intimate friend, I never want to lose the awe of who He is and that He allows ME to come near to Him, that He would dwell in ME, that He would go to great lengths to save us, who never for an instant deserved Him.
"I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will give you mighty inner strength through his Holy Spirit."
This is a verse that I am praying for many of us right now. I have a friend who has suffered back to back miscarriages, a friend whose husband has left her, a family in our church whose tiny baby died, and the list goes on of unspeakable tragedies. Yet God's migthy inner strength never runs out. He has unlimited resources. We scrape the bottom of our well pretty darn quickly! In our flesh, we throw our hands up and shout "I'm done!" because our fleshly resources are scarce. But his resources, fully available to us for the asking of the Holy Spirit, are limitless. Why do we try on our own? He can fill us and fill us and fill us with mighty inner strength. What a good and loving God!
"And I pray that Christ will be more and more at home in your hearts as you trust in him. May your roots go down deep into the soil of God's marvelous love."
I love the poetry of how the NLT puts this, but I also like the NIV and Amplified. They talk about being rooted and established in love or secured strongly in love. Without love, it's all for nothing. The Gospel, the foundation of all we stand on, is love. Do people who are not believers see love in us? Our roots, the foundation of who we are as new creations, has to be love! I love the word picture of our roots continuously drawing up love from His soil.
"And may you have the power to understand, as all God's people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love really is. 19 May you experience the love of Christ, though it is so great you will never fully understand it. Then you will be filled with the fullness of life and power that comes from God."
His love is so great, we need His power to understand even a measure of it! We can't ever fully understand it! It's wide and long and high and deep. From out tiny, finite perspective, we can't totally get it. But when we get a taste of it, we are filled with life and power!
"Now glory be to God! By his mighty power at work within us, he is able to accomplish infinitely more than we would ever dare to ask or hope. 21 May he be given glory in the church and in Christ Jesus forever and ever through endless ages."
This is good...we serve a God who exceeds what our tiny imaginations can dream. Could I have dreamed up Rusty in a million years? Never! There are so many examples of this in our lives! They're only by HIS MIGHTY POWER AT WORK WITHIN US! Not by our own! We can't even dare to ask or hope for what He's capable of doing!
I fear sometimes we forget to give Him the glory. God forgive us! May He be given the glory in our lives! We exist for His own glory! As my dear friend would put it, we are glory-stealers. We try to steal His glory when He does more than we could dare to ask or hope for. Give God the glory today! Leave a comment (if anyone reads these long, Bible type posts) for what He's done in you! We need to practice more and more exhibiting constant thanksgiving and giving God glory for all He's done!

3 comments:

Frank Bennett said...

GLORY! To the One who sits on the Heavenly throne. Knowing the perfect will and plan for my life. GLORY! For giving me hope for tomorrow even when it is all so uncertain and for the inner strength that gets me to a new day. GLORY! For being with me in my sin and shame and loving me just the same. Glory! For giving us the opportunity to share of His great love to those around us in this free country. GLORY! For the Holy Spirit who is willing to live within us even though we are spiritually bankrupt and then gives us power to proclaim of His goodness. GLORY!
Suzanne

Arlene said...

Glory be to You God for restoring me, for forgiving me, and for being the best Father I will ever know. You've given me the most wonderful love, the most incredible friends, and a life I feel so undserving to have. Thanks for showing me unreal truths and using me to be your vessel!

lisasmith said...

Love this passage. Pray it for my family all the time! Pray God's grace is evident in my life all the time for all to see.