To Know the Fullness of All His Blessings in Jesus

Our great God, “the Father of Glory” (Eph. 1:17), magnifies Himself through the lavish gifts of grace He pours on His people through Jesus Christ!  And He designs for His people to KNOW HIM in greater and greater ways, and to KNOW the fullness of all His blessings in Christ.  This is the essence of the Christian life:  to know God, and to live in the full hope, wealth, and power of all His glory in Jesus.

 

To grow in this knowledge is how the Apostle Paul prayed for believers, and so should we pray for one another:

 

“…I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, 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, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might…”  (Eph. 1:16-19)

 

Oh beloved, God wants us to know and live in the fullness of our identity, security, and ability !  What a great privilege and responsibility God has given us to be “making supplication for all the saints” (Eph. 6:18), and to “speak the truth in love” (Eph. 4:15) to one another.  May God help us to keep doing so….

 

“…until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ…”  (Eph. 4:13)

 

Praying for you, and with you,

Greg

The Importance of Prayer

The importance of prayer in the lives of God’s people cannot be overstated.  God has designed prayer to be the vital means by which His power is appropriated for the daily demands of “walking worthy” as His beloved children.  In his letter to the Ephesians, Paul models the importance of prayer (Eph. 1:15-23; 3:14-21), and he exhorts the ongoing practice of prayer (Eph. 6:18-20).  Prayer is indispensable!

 

Dr. James Rosscup, from The Master’s Seminary, has written an excellent article entitled “The Importance of Prayer in Ephesians”  (you can find it here).  I’ve mentioned this article before, but it’s so good I want to commend it to you again.  Dr. Rosscup highlights how prayer is inseparable from victory in spiritual warfare (Eph. 6:10-20), simply declaring:  “The closet is crucial to the combat.”  (pg. 69)

 

Beloved, prayer is a great gift and kindness from our sovereign God!  Even as Paul was incentivized to pray in view of God’s rich blessings in Christ (Eph. 1:3-14), we should be as well.  And as we keep growing in the individual and corporate practice of prayer, so we’ll sing with King David:

 

Blessed be the Lord,

Because He has heard the voice of my supplications!

The Lord is my strength and my shield;

My heart trusted in Him, and I am helped;

Therefore my heart greatly rejoices,

And with my song I will praise Him.  (Ps. 28:6-7)

 

Seeking Him with you, and for you,

Greg

Psalm 111 (ESV)

1 Praise the Lord!
I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart,
    in the company of the upright, in the congregation.
Great are the works of the Lord,
    studied by all who delight in them.
Full of splendor and majesty is his work,
    and his righteousness endures forever.
He has caused his wondrous works to be remembered;
    the Lord is gracious and merciful.
He provides food for those who fear him;
    he remembers his covenant forever.
He has shown his people the power of his works,
    in giving them the inheritance of the nations.
The works of his hands are faithful and just;
    all his precepts are trustworthy;
they are established forever and ever,
    to be performed with faithfulness and uprightness.
He sent redemption to his people;
    he has commanded his covenant forever.
    Holy and awesome is his name!
10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom;
    all those who practice it have a good understanding.
    His praise endures forever!

But Take Heart

This past week, the United States Supreme Court began hearing arguments regarding the legalization of same-sex marriages in all fifty states.  A ruling from the court is expected sometime in June.

 

There are many significant implications which will flow from the court’s decision, and many sober things for God’s people to consider.   Among these, we could be witnessing the rapid erosion of religious liberty in our country.  This could certainly lead to more overt and intense persecution against Christians.  We ought not be surprised if such is the case, for God tells us that, “…all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted…” (2 Tim. 3:12).

 

Whatever may unfold in our culture, we know that as Christians we’re to be prepared to “…make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect…” (1 Pet. 3:15).  Just last Sunday, while I was still in Haiti, a Canadian unbeliever I had occasion to meet asked me, “is your church welcoming of gays and lesbians?”  Now there’s a conversation starter!  I’ve no doubt all of us will receive more and more such questions.

 

These are matters we need to talk and pray about more in days ahead.  For now, I encourage you to read a couple of recent articles that provide some insight and perspective.

 

 

Beloved, the Lord Jesus promised that “In the world you will have tribulation.  But take heart; I have overcome the world.”  (Jn. 16:33)  May we live joyfully, confidently, and soberly in this great eternal hope, eagerly telling others how they can know this hope as well.

 

Looking forward to being with you this Lord’s day, as He wills!

 

Grace,

Greg