Focus on Faith Devotional
By Dr. J. B. Morris
Dec. 12, 2017 at 4:34 p.m.
"Praying for GLE"
This passage is a prayer for the Ephesians (and us) that God might continue to bless them in every spiritual blessing, in Ephesians 1:15-23. Paul is praying for nothing less than that they will grow ever closer to God, daily experiencing the depths of God's power and grace in Christ.
Pray for Growth- Paul is also saying that being a Christian is a life of eve growing and being nurtured in the knowledge and grace of God. We are becomers, growing in our walk with God through Christ in our understanding of what it means to be the people of God: in our understanding of what it means to be the people of God: in our power to live out the mission God has given us in Christ. Paul prays for all of this for the Ephesians, though he seems to have never met them. He had "heard of" their faith. He knows them by reputation. They are a body of believers who truly loved God and one another.
Pray for grow in Love- The Ephesians also love other Christians outside their own circle, "Love toward all the saints." There is a tendency in the church sometimes to think that charity begins and ends at home. I see this sometimes around budget time when there is a strong feeling that we should keep our money "here at home." Our Lord is exalted, the King of all the earth, which is an important part of what ascension means. Our Lord loves the whole world and so should we. When any church turns in completely on itself, neglecting to give, to love beyond its own community, it begins to die. But even a church that is poor in terms of material things becomes wealthy spiritually when its heart is open to the needs of others beyond its own four walls.
Pray for grow in Empowerment- Paul then talks about the power of God. This is seen clearly in the resurrection and exaltation of Christ (v. 20). Just as God raised Christ form the dead, so God raised Christ now to sit over all the earth as Lord and King, with all peoples and all spiritual forces under his feet, that is, under his command and authority. It is an echo of some of the last words of Christ in Matthew: "All power is given unto me in heaven and earth" (28:18).
Christ is also head of the church, Paul reminds them. The church is his body and he serves as the head. The head directs and controls the body. The love and power of God flow through us, so that we experience the "fullness" of Christ. The church has the awesome privilege and responsibility of being filled with Christ. This is what empowers us, what gives us our purpose, our reason for being.