Ephesians 3

 

SCRIPTURE:

3:1 For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles—

2 Surely you have heard about the administration of God’s grace that was given to me for you, 3 that is, the mystery made known to me by revelation, as I have already written briefly. 4 In reading this, then, you will be able to understand my insight into the mystery of Christ, 5 which was not made known to men in other generations as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to God’s holy apostles and prophets. 6 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.

7 I became a servant of this gospel by the gift of God’s grace given me through the working of his power. 8 Although I am less than the least of all God’s people, this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, 9 and to make plain to everyone the administration of this mystery, which for ages past was kept hidden in God, who created all things. 10 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, 11 according to his eternal purpose which he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord. 12 In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence. 13 I ask you, therefore, not to be discouraged because of my sufferings for you, which are your glory.

14 For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15 from whom his whole 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 saints, 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, forever and ever! Amen.

NIV

OBSERVATION:

Given the crazy prices of bread these days my wife and I decided to get a really good bread maker rather than pay $4.50 or more at the store.  Maybe this passage should be titled: ”Jewish Gentile Loaf”  Because it again emphasizes Jesus as the culmination of the Jewish faith and we’ve become a new form of the church containing everyone who accepts the gift of pardon Jesus died to give us. In this age it’s intended that God would act primarily through the church which is made up of you and me. We are the repositories of the Holy Spirit who is able to do far more then we ask or imagine according to the measure of faith allotted to us. 

APPLICATION:

This is a big call to action.  The call is to go to church because while we individual have the holy spirit and the gifts he provides this gift is meant to be shared with others.  We share our gifts when we come together in church and this again, a body of believers acting in concert with each other becomes the body of Christ himself and is, as a general might say, a force multiplier.  Never underestimate the power of a body of believers acting in faith because it’s more powerful then we can imagine. 

PRAYER:

Heavenly Father,

Help me to remember that the only perfect person was Jesus and that we can still somehow have a perfect church made up of very flawed and imperfect people. You gave us a measure of faith.  You gave us each other and when we share our faith and act together in unity there is nothing we can’t accomplish.  Other people are the source of our greatest challenges, and our greatest joys.  If ever the world needed an example of community and love ; it’s got to be now amid such an insular, drive thru society as ours.  Together we are the church and we can be your interment if only we show up and be part of the crowd.

In Jesus Name

Amen

S.O.A.P.      SCRIPTURE, OBSERVATION, APPLICATION PRAYER

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