When we pray, do we expect that God will answer beyond what we can imagine, or just up to as much as we can imagine? When we think about what the best in life can be, do we believe that there could be even better than that? And more importantly, do we believe that God loves us enough to actually wants to give us that better life? Because if not, we spend our lives pursuing second best, and living lives limited by our own limited and often damaged imaginations. God wants more for His people. He wants us to understand and experience… glory.
What if God decided to list out those He considered Most Likely to Succeed? Would I be on that list? Would you? Some of us probably doubt it. His requirements are too severe. His expectations are too high. But Ephesians seems to say that God loves to take those of us that no one would choose as having much potential and doing some of His greatest work through us. Look at Paul. He saw himself as the “least of all of God’s people.” Least likely doesn’t seem to be an issue for God…
There are two kinds of walls; those that keep people hostile and separated, and those that keep people safe and together. Ephesians says that Jesus came to tear down the first kind, and build up the second. So, what are the things that build up our walls of hostility towards one another? How might Jesus be working to tear those down? And how are we doing in cooperating with Him in that project?
God’s grace is always first. The only reason we can accept God’s gift of life is because He offered it… first. So, God’s gift and the love He gives it with are the starting point for everything we now are and do. We are recreated in Him with a brand new foundation of nothing but grace. And that changes everything.
Have you ever struggled with seeing God in your life? Do you know what it means to have hope? Of course, we all do but what if you could finally see what God has in store for you and what it means to be a rich and glorious inheritance? Would it change your daily life? Your year? Your life? Come and listen to our next installment in the series, Eyes Wide Open to find out!
What is God’s purpose for my life? This is a question that many of us ask. Usually, we are looking for details like what career I should choose, where I should live, or who I should marry. In Ephesians, we find that God’s greater purpose for our lives has been that we live together as a community that reflects His love and kindness toward each other. Let’s look this week at how much God has invested in this project of life together called the Church
Pictures are important. They sum up how we see and go at life. Our picture of life in Christ is important, too. Often, we think of it like winning a lottery. But it is more like an orphan on the street being brought into a family. The blessing is not that we have everything for ourselves, it is that we are surround by a community, a family, who love us and will not let us fall or fail. We are called to be more than just Christians. We are called to be the Body of Christ.
When we don’t have a clear picture of God’s unimaginable love for us and His unending pursuit of us, we fear and distrust Him. When we fear Him, we do not give ourselves to His guidance and care and never see His good purposes fulfilled in our lives. We desperately need to see the stunning and unexpected Big Picture of our God; His power, His goodness, and His love for each one of us!
How many times do we feel like outsiders when it comes to God’s story? But isn’t it interesting how regularly God invites some of the most unexpected people into some of the most important parts of His story… even outsiders. That’s why we see a very elderly couple, a teenage girl, shepherds, even foreign magi in the center of the story of Jesus’ birth at Christmas. So, has God invited us, even those of us who feel like outsiders, into the center of His story as well? Let’s find out together…