Redeeming Life family,
I do this update to the website every week in order to share where we're headed, and also to encourage you to get into the material of the biblical text. We believe God's Word should be deeply meditated upon. I don't what your first introduction of God's Message to come on Sunday morning. I want you talking about Scripture in your Fellowship Groups. I want you praying about it. I want you to come ready to worship and praise God. God is speaking to us and it is my prayer that you hear his voice every day, not just on Sunday morning. Our text this week is Ephesians 1:15-23. It is a text that is moving me on your behalf. I want you to believe, be filled with hope, and readily say, "It is well with my soul."
Can you sing along with song without lying? It is true for you? Is it indeed well with you?
I am preparing to preach from Ephesians 1:15-23 in our series, "The New Normal." As I think about how this text moves us toward the normal God intends for our lives, I see two things. The first is for me, your pastor, and anyone who shepherds God's people (which includes many of you as leaders in our church or in your home). The second is for you.
You can see Paul's heart in this section of his letter. His profound compassion for the saints in Ephesus has bled all over the page. In verse 16 he said he did not cease to thank God for these people. He's said that in other letters and we can believe it; but look at the next verse. He prayed for them. But this was not an off-the-cuff, "I'm praying for you" statement. It is specific. Really specific. Paul wanted the saints to have hope. Real hope. Paul prayed that these believers would have effectual hope in the only one who can bring true hope. It is my prayer that you have this kind of hope because you see the glorious riches of our amazing God, who he is, and what he has done!
As a pastor, my 'New Normal' is a lifestyle of continual gratitude and prayer for you. On the other hand, you have a 'New Normal' too.
Paul is praying that the saints see something very specific and very real. That specific thing offers hope and when we see the reality of it, we are changed toward the New Normal. Your 'New Normal' comes by way of a spirt of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of God, which should give the eyes of your heart an enlightenment. That enlightenment is that you will know the hope of the gospel of Jesus Christ and how that gospel has afforded you an unfathomable inheritance. You also have an immeasurable greatness of power. All of which comes from God. Yet, the old normal, in which we are so prone to find comfort, offers no reason to hope. We live in fear. Nothing is well. Our eyes are on everything but God. We life by fear, the only real thing in our lives. If indeed Paul's prayer for you (and mine too) is that you should live in hope, than it might be possible that the Christian is not living in the hope of our Lord, instead living in something that is not well.
So I would like to encourage you to read Ephesians 1:15-23. I want you to know that I am praying for you. What exactly am I praying? I am praying this text and inserting your name into it. I would like to challenge you to do the same. Start with your own name. Then pray the same for me and other believers you know. If Paul was praying for the believers, that chances are good we need that same pray for us and our fellow believers today.
Do you really see the gospel? Do you really see the inheritance Jesus Christ as made possible for you? If you really see it, there is no fear. It is well.
How many Christians do you know that would struggle to sing, "It is well with my soul" today. Maybe, as God answers our prayers, more and more brothers and sister will have hearts that truly sing, "It is well with my soul." But if God is going to answer, then we need to pray.
I will see you on Sunday!