Ephesians 3:20-21 – Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
“This doxology sums up the intent of the first half of the letter [of Ephesians]. We should praise God for his astounding work in Christ Jesus…[It] invites us to meditate on God, the One who is much more powerful than we anticipate. This is not an invitation to think up self-centered grocery lists of tasks for God to do…God does not fit the limitations of our expectations…Rather, it is a call to realize God’s unanticipated power to effect change in us, in keeping with the power already working in us…God is at work and eager to work in us to achieve his purposes for salvation.” [Snodgrass, Ephesians (NIVAC)]
The Holy Spirit’s power, Christ in us, the vastness of His love and power, the fullness of God filling us, and knowing that God is at work and eager to work in us His purposes, the “immeasurably more” is simply the norm for our Christian life together as the Church!
As we pray, let’s worship to, “Yours (Glory and Praise)” by Elevation Worship (Click here).
Prayer/Commitment: God our Father, the One who does immeasurably more then all we ask or imagine, according to Your power we will live and love to glorify Christ in our churches, ministries and families! In Jesus’ name Amen.
Ephesians 3:17b-19 – And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
“In experiencing Christ, Christians experience the fullness of God, his presence, and power. In experiencing that fullness they themselves are made full by Christ. That is, they partake of God’s own being and are made like him. This is an ongoing process.” [Snodgrass, Ephesians (NIVAC)]
The fullness of Christ is at work in you, and “out of his fullness we have all received grace in place of grace already given” (Jn 1:16). Out of Jesus’ grace we are filled with His love. Knowing this fullness comes as we participate in His grace, relying on the Spirit’s work of Christ in us in all that we do, say, and think. Fullness = Loving God and loving others.
How can you live in the fullness of God today and this upcoming weekend?
What ‘old’ ways of ‘filling up’ can you replace with intentional demonstrations of love toward God and those you interact with?
As we pray, let’s worship to “Fill This Place” by Red Rocks Worship (Click here).
Prayer: God our Father, may we know Christ’s love today, being filled to the measure of all your fullness in Him, and now at work in us. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Ephesians 3:17b-19 – And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge.
The vastness of Christ’s love for us is what we are “rooted in” and “established” or grounded upon. Another way to understand the magnitude of Christ’s love and power is this: “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom 8:38-39).
What cracks your conviction of God’s love for you? What ways wear you down and bring doubt or guilt into your thoughts about God’s powerful work in your life?
“Grasp” the vastness of Christ’s love and the Spirt’s power for you in those areas by spending time praying Ephesians 3:14-21 and declaring Romans 8:38-39 over your life when these moments begin to affect you. And then intentionally love – love God and love others.
As we pray, let’s worship to, “The Goodness of God” by Bethel Music (Click here).
Prayer: Our Father in Heaven, we bow our hearts and thank you for the magnitude of love we have in Jesus. I pray we will grasp this love and power today and love the Church, our missional groups, and our campus ministries with this love. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Ephesians 3:16-17a – I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith.
As Dwight Moody (1837–1899) was struggling with his own personal shortcomings, God met him one day in New York. He later wrote, “I can only say God revealed himself to me, and I had such an experience of his love that I had to ask him to stay his hand.” Christ does not make our lives easier. He makes our lives wonderfully harder as he cares for us with a love so great that we need strength to endure him. [Ray Ortlund]
When Christ ‘dwells’ He sets up His home and His ways. They can be so powerfully displacing that at times it hurts. But it is good…wonderful.
Have you experienced Christ in you in such a way that He overwhelmed your heart?
In what ways have you been resisting the powerful Presence of Christ in your life?
As we pray, let’s worship to, “Only Jesus” by Bethel Music (Click here).
Prayer: God our Father, we bow our hearts to You today, and we pray that out of Your glorious riches, strengthen us with power by the Spirit deep within us so that Christ may dwell in our hearts through faith. Father, we want Christ to flourish in us. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Ephesians 3:14-17a – For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith.
This prayer is so different than many of our typical prayers. We might tend to pray prayers that focus solely on our current situation. This is when we are simply asking God to change our circumstances and make our lives easier. There is a time for this kind of prayer. There is another kind of prayer that focuses on God changing us rather than Him changing our situation. This is how Paul prays. These are prayers where we are asking God to make us and those in the Church “complete in Christ.” [This] prayer often gets at the eternal prerogatives of God. We must, therefore, pray prayers that are aimed at this ultimate end. Otherwise our community is in danger of degenerating into, “God, would you please continue to make us more and more comfortable in every situation in our lives?” [Brad Watson, Ephesians: How Jesus Creates New People in a New World]
Using Ephesians 3:14-21, let’s pray for our Church, Missional Group, and Campus Ministries. And as we pray let’s worship to “Here I Bow” by Brian & Jenn Johnson (Click here).
Prayer: Our Father in Heaven, we pray that out of Your glorious riches, strengthen us with power so that Christ may dwell in our hearts through faith. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Ephesians 3:7 (NIV) – I became a servant of this gospel by the gift of God’s grace given me through the working of his power.
“Implicitly we think of ministry as our gift to God, but Paul thought of ministry as God’s gift to him. When we take that seriously, it changes our perspective. Ministry is not drudgery to be endured or something for which God owes us, and it is certainly not a job to be acquired or kept. Rather, ministry originates in and is the expression of God’s grace. Ministry is the free flow of grace from God through us to other people.” [Snodgrass, Ephesians NIVAC]
Let us ask God to turn our hearts once again, to have a fresh perspective on the gracious gift of ministry. Let us humble our hearts and thank God for calling us “servants of the gospel.” May we be filled with joy and hope once again as we seek to love this generation.
Let us worship to the song “Here I Bow” by Bethel (Click here).
2 Corinthians 5:17-20 (NIV) – Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation… And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us.
“When we come to Christ, we are all sent on His mission. We are new and have a new purpose. Christ reconciled us to Himself and we are a new creation. Our old way of finding identity and our broken ways of finding meaning are over. We are reconciled and ushered into a vibrant and living relationship with God. This is the gospel, that Christ has reconciled us to God through His death and resurrection and is making all things new – even us. We are recipients of the gospel, messengers of the gospel, and servants of the gospel. We cannot separate our identity in Christ from our purpose in Christ… [And] our renewed identity and purposes require some sort of expression of gospel-focused community on mission.” [Brad Watson, Ephesians: How Jesus Creates a New People in a New World]
Let us thank God our purpose is rooted in our identity in Christ. Because he calls us “ambassadors” we are also equipped to do the work of evangelism.
Let us worship to the song “Living with a Fire” by Jesus Culture (Click here).
Ephesians 3:2-3 (NIV) – Surely you have heard about the administration of God’s grace that was given to me for you, that is, the mystery made known to me by revelation.
“Trauma shapes us, but grace shapes us even more… God’s grace comes first and is always the foundational reality. Time may be required to deal with the damage caused or experienced, but the crucial fact is that our histories do not deserve ultimate defining force. To give something other than our past ultimate defining force is the first step to healing. Only God revealed in Christ merits being the ultimate defining force of our lives…God is in the business of restructuring identities for all willing to be changed… We are never so separated from God by our histories that we are precluded from our real selves, from being who we should be… This transformation of histories is the focus of Ephesians, an identity-formation document if there ever was one.” [Klyne Snodgrass, Who God Says You Are]
No matter what we have experienced in our past – good or bad – today, we can ask God for transforming grace to reign in our lives once again. Let us pray for God’s grace to bring healing and freedom so that we can live effectively as ministers and pastors of this generation.
Let us also worship to the song “Build My Life” by Housefires (Click here).
Ephesians 3:8-9 (NIV) – Although I am less than the least of all the Lord’s people, this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the boundless riches of Christ, and to make plain to everyone the administration of this mystery, which for ages past was kept hidden in God, who created all things.
“The mission of God flows from the love of God. The mission of God’s people flows from our love for God and for all that God loves. World evangelization is the outflow of God’s love to us and through us…We affirm that such comprehensive biblical love should be the defining identity and hallmark of disciples of Jesus. In response to the prayer and command of Jesus, we long that it should be so for us. Sadly we confess that too often it is not. So we re-commit ourselves afresh to make every effort to live, think, speak and behave in ways that express what it means to walk in love – love for God, love for one another and love for the world.” [The Cape Town Commitment: “We Love Because God First Loved Us”]
Let us take time to confess and recommit to loving God and to loving others. Let us ask God to fill us with his Spirit to help us make every effort to be like him and to walk in love because he first loved us.
Let us also worship to the song “More Like Jesus” by Passion (Click here).
Ephesians 3:6, 10 (NIV) – This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus…His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms.
When we become Christians, we are all sent on His mission. In fact, we cannot separate our identity in Christ from our purpose in Christ.
“Mission is not ours; mission is God’s. Certainly, the mission of God is the prior reality out of which flows any mission that we get involved in. Or, as has been nicely put, it is not so much the case that God has a mission for His Church in the world but that God has a Church for His mission in the world. Mission was not made for the Church; the Church was made for mission – God’s mission.” [Christopher Wright, The Mission of God]
Let’s take time to thank God for inviting us to live out his mission. He created us to be a new humanity to join with him in loving the world. This is our ultimate calling in the Lord.
Let us worship to the song “Mission’s Flame” by Matt Redman (Click here).