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"Awake: Part 1"
May 9, 2021
Bob Evans, Care Pastor
Happy Mother’s Day! Do not wait until it is too late to say thank you!
We cannot realize the depths of our mother’s love. How much more do we struggle with the extent of God’s love, grace, and blessings.
Paul prays that the “eyes of their hearts would be open.”
Heart: not just the mind or the feelings but the affections. What we cherish, value, seek, and desire!
Note also the prayer is not for a change of circumstances but for the Ephesians to know God.
Paul prays for three things:
Ephesians 1:18-19- "18 having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, 19 and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might..."
- “that you may know the hope of His calling...”
Hope is not a vague wish but certainty of future good.
Calling is an effective summons to belief with all the benefits of being a Christian in time and eternity. This call is lived out every day.
Ephesians 4:1- "I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called..."
Where are you looking for the ultimate source of good? If in this life only you will be continually despondent and defeated. God is not obligated to meet your definition of the good life!
2. “what are the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints”
Best interpretation, not what we get but what God gets!
Deuteronomy 7:6- "For you are a people holy to the Lord your God. The Lord your God has chosen you to be a people for his treasured possession, out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth."
Deuteronomy 14:2- "For you are a people holy to the Lord your God, and the Lord has chosen you to be a people for his treasured possession, out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth."
1 Peter 2:9- "But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light."
We are God’s “special treasure.”
Cynicism destroys this view of the church. Only grace enables you to overcome your pride.
Why does God love a wounded, broken, imperfect, stained and inconsistent bride? Because he intends on making us beautiful!!
Our desperate need is to believe Romans 8:1- "There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus."
3. "what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe...”
Our faith is no man-made activity. Two errors hinder our ability to see God’s power.
First, we do not grasp how desperately lost in our sins we were.
Nothing about our belief and our life in Christ is humanly natural.
Secondly, we rely on our own power to make life work.
But true power comes when we admit we are weak.
2 Corinthians 12:9- "9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me."
So leave worship today rejoicing in your weaknesses, for when you are weak, you are strong!!
- If you had trouble understanding the depths of your mother’s love, can you accept the fact that your children will not grasp your sacrifice and commitment? Can you see the parallel with how we are often blind to the depths of God’s love?
- What happens to people who put all their hope for future good on the circumstances in this life?
- How does our hope in God’s calling help us deal with the imperfections we face in this life?
- The Lord sees his church as his special treasure. He has a better view of the church than we do. Where have you been most cynical in church life, and how do you spiritually deal with that attitude? Explain why cynicism is actually a form of blatant pride. The only solution is to see your need for grace!
- What comfort or freedom does Romans 8:1 provide for you as a believer in Jesus?
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