In six short chapters, the Book of Ephesians instructs us on how to please God as His unified body of believers. The first chapter provides us with the ample motivation and hope that we can be successful in that task.
Read or reread the first chapter looking for all the things that God has done for or to those who have accepted Christ. I will give you some hints where to look: 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11, 13, 14.
Quite an amazing list of blessings!
The world tends to look at believers as missing out. They look at what we might choose to put off from our lives and consider our “religion” to restrict us. Sadly, there are times that we as believers buy into that backward thinking as well. God has given us so much! His Grace is just so amazing! Another claim that the world has for believers is that we use God as a crutch. Think through this list again – does this sound like limping through life? Pardon the connotations, but God is no crutch – He is a Performance Enhancer!
Now lest we get too full of ourselves over these great attributes please look again at a few more verses for the following preposition “according to”: 5, 7, 9, 11, 19. God did these things because it was all about His grace; it was all about His will; it was all about His power! It was not about us.
Paul pulls back the veil of his prayer life as he expresses his top requests on their behalf (16-23). He does not list physical, financial, or emotional needs – He zeros in on their need to better understand the God Who has done all these wonderful things for them. As you look over that prayer, what stands out to you? Here’s one. Consider the description of the exaltation of Christ and then drop into that great sea of awesomeness His willingness to use us as His body!