Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Ephesians 1:18-21 (Click here to read All of Ephesians 1)
I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe.
That power is like the working of his mighty strength, which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come.
I once heard a story of an old widow who struggled immensely in the last years of her life. After her husband had passed, she lived her days always wanting but never having. Because money was scarce, she chose to stay at home everyday in order to save her pennies. She wore the same clothes and ate the same simple meals. She was a lonely widow, left with nothing and nobody.
One day a concerned neighbor decided to help this widow by offering to clean her home. As they cleaned, the neighbor came across an old tattered envelope with the old widow's name written across the top. As they opened the envelope, inside was revealed the information regarding a multi-million dollar account that was in the old widow's name. Her husband had left it for her 20 years earlier before he had passed. All this time she had lived a life of starvation...yet all this time, she had riches at her fingertips.
I find this story suiting to start out this series, for two reasons. First, the book of Ephesians alone is a large treasure found among the pages of God's word. It's easy to be missed, but inside its pages is a priceless knowledge and wisdom to us as believers. Secondly, the book of Ephesians is themed as a reminder to the church of the strength and treasures we have in Christ. Treasures that may otherwise go unnoticed and unused.
The first chapter of Ephesians is written by the Apostle Paul from Rome as he is awaiting a final decision regarding his life. He had been imprisoned and on house arrest for preaching God's word. And even in his chains he never lost sight of the treasures he had in Christ Jesus.
This letter was a reminder to his dear friends in Ephesus that the only things they truly needed were already in their possession. This letter was a cry for them to open up their eyes to the glorious riches that they had.
What's ironic about this is that Ephesus was known to be one of the richest cities in all the world. Materially, it was an economic plethora of riches. The people were not lacking physical riches...but through their material riches they had missed their inheritance of true riches, spiritual riches.
Strange...sounds much like you and I living in America today.
Though the entire first chapter is dedicated to all the glorious gifts and riches we possess in Christ, my heart found itself taking refuge in verses 18-21. The treasure of Christ's power.
POWER. The average human being doesn't really associate with this word. I, for one, tend to see myself as powerless in many aspects of my life. There always seems to be situations, relationships, and circumstances that are many times out of my control. But power is not defined as control. Rather, power is defined as the ability to do something. But my favorite definition of power is this: The source of energy used to operate a system.
The source of energy. According to Ephesians, that source is within us. The ability to "do something"...in fact, the ability to do anything is at our disposal because of the power of Christ living within us. The same power that raised Christ from the dead is at work in our average, mundane, everyday lives. Just think about that statement for one second.
Power to speak. Power to affect lives. Power to heal. Power to be healed. Power to live. Power to change. Power to bring change. Power to break free. Power to thrive rather than to "just get through". Power over our sin. Power over our selfishness. Power over our depression, our addictions, our worries and our pain. Power over our relationships, our circumstances, and our situations.
We have an unlimited bank account of power, with limitless checks at our disposal...yet for some reason, we choose not to use this precious gift. We choose to try and make it on our own. We choose to live as millionaires...dying of starvation.
May God save us from ourselves. May God open our eyes as Paul prayed for the Ephesians, to see the power that we already possess...and to live in it.
Grace and peace to all of you.
Incredible song By Hillsong United:
"The Same Power that Conquered the Grave Lives in Me":
To learn more about the Ephesians 7 Day devotional tour click here.
Lessons Learned by Debra Fileta at 8:28 PM