Ephesians Chapter 3 ends with a powerful benediction to Paul’s prayer for the Ephesian believers. He eloquently tells them and us about God, who He is, and His power as seen in Christ and the church. God’s is: glorious, omnipotent in power, provides us with His indwelling Holy Spirit, has power that endures for eternity and has a plan that lives from generation to generation.
Ephesians 3:20-21 “Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. 21 Glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen.
What comfort do you receive from reading these words? I am encouraged even in these difficult times that our God is bigger than any virus, is Sovereign over heaven and earth now and in the future. Hebrews 13:8 “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” God is able to do even greater things than which we could even think to ask Him to do in our lives for Him. 2 Corinthians 9:8 “And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work. “ God does not give us His Holy Spirit to indwell us without reason and purpose. John 3:16 shows us God’s purpose “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” Romans 5:3-5 shows the Holy Spirit at work in our lives for a purpose. “Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance,4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope,5 and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” God loves us and desires that our character be refined and matured.
Use Paul’s words today as you pray. Stand on the hope you have in Jesus, the power of His Spirit to lead and guide you, and God’s unfailing love for you. God has a purpose for you, for your life and He desires that you know Him and live and grow in His love. His love is transforming for now and into the future. Because Christ died on the cross and rose from the dead, we have His indwelling Holy Spirit to empower us with His love for His glory and our good.
Reach out to others today, however you can, and let God’s transforming love flow through you to them in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Today we celebrate the birth of the Christ. His birth was foretold by the ancient prophet Isaiah in Isaiah 9:6 “For unto us a child is born…” The place was foretold in Micah 5:3 “But you Bethlehem…”. He came to earth that day born as a human child, yet one who would lead a sinless life and die to save us from our sins. We believe that only God’s Son, Jesus, could satisfy Holy God and bring us back into relationship with God. Isaiah foretold in Isaiah 53:5 “But He was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him.” So where does that leave us? If we believe He was born miraculously as a man who was both fully human and fully God, and He was able to die to save us from our sins, what more is there for us to believe? He is coming again. 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18 “For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage each other with these words.”
As we celebrate Jesus’ birth, we need to remember the story does not end in the manger or at the cross. The story of the redemption of mankind will end with us living with God for eternity. Just as His first coming was heralded by angels so will His second coming. Just as His first coming was miraculous, awesome and breathtaking so will His second coming be worthy of King Jesus when we meet Him in the air.
What do these events say about God? God is eternal. God exists outside of time. He is not measured by anything. We measure time by the movement of the planets and stars, which God created. God has always been and always will be. No one is like Him. We are not eternal because we have a beginning and an end. Because God is eternal, He can give us eternal life. David described God in Psalm 90:2 “Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the earth and the world, form everlasting to everlasting you are God.” John wrote in Revelation 4:8 “Holy, holy, holy is he Lord God Almighty, who was, and is and is to come.”
With our finite minds, the eternality of God is difficult to grasp. However, we can be assured that God is who He says He is and will do as He has planned for eternity. Jesus is the one who holds the key to our eternal life. John 4:13-14 Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” Come to Him this Christmas and be filled with His eternal blessing. Look past the manger, past the cross and look forward to His return!