Lent – Day 39: Friday, 2 April
14 For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 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, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge – that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
20 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, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
“For this reason …” – the words Paul had written just prior to these were a plea that the people of the Church in Ephesus should not be discouraged – Paul had suffered many things for them.
Let’s unravel this amazing prayer of Paul’s. You might think that Paul is praying for the members and their own personal growth, but his prayer is about the growth and development of the whole fellowship through each member being strong and playing his or her part.
He asks for the Holy Spirit to strengthen them with power, Holy Spirit power. This is a gift from God’s treasure-house that will enable them to know Christ both in their personal lives and their corporate life. Paul also asks that they may comprehend the love of Christ in its fullness, and so may be fit to burst (we individually cannot contain the fullness of God within ourselves, nor even our fellowship).
Does the life of our Church fellowship look like this? Do I live this same faith-filled, Holy Spirit empowered, worshipping, adoring, overflowing life? If you put forward the argument that the (human) powers that be are not leading you in that direction, there’s no reason why you still can’t personally live like that, and perhaps, your life of witness, praise and holiness may start to seep out to others. Don’t get grumpy. There are Christian brothers and sisters in North Korea who are locked away for their faith, who can only huddle together in stinking toilet facilities – it’s the only place they are not so zealously watched – and whisper their words and songs of worship lest a guard hear them.
Now to him (Father God) who is able to do … Can you complete this? Could you attempt to learn the whole passage above? You learn it, and God will use it.
Is a toilet facility a fit place for worship?
Is a cross fit for a King?
Father God, today we remember that your Son died at the hands of those he came to save. The Eternal One who came to earth carried the sins of all those he’d created and, as his last breath faded, became the Lamb that took our sins away for ever. Thank you, Father God, for sending your Son. Thank you, Jesus, that you became like us and by your blood brought us home. Thank you, Holy Spirit, that you now work in us who call on Jesus’ name. I worship you, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.