December 12, Wednesday

Devotional Thoughts for Today

“Beyond Our Imagination”

Ephesians 3:14-21 (ESV)

For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15 from whom every family[c] in heaven and on earth is named, 16 that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being,17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. 20 Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

I recently decided to restudy Experiencing God by Henry Blackaby for my own personal realignment. One major theme that the author tries to get across is that after seeing where God is working, we need to join in with what He is doing. Blackaby points out that our best effort does not even come close to what God can do; in fact, it would be naïve to think that we are able to dictate our future. Sure, we might be able to control a few factors in our lives, but the truth is that millions of variables are completely out of our control. For instance, consider the following factors that we don’t control: who our parents are and what they are like, our upbringing, the neighborhood in which we grow up, the education opportunities we have, the health factors, even the political landscape of the area where we live. All this to say: We may want to do many things, but ultimately, it is God who is able to do far more in and through our lives than we are able to imagine.

Paul continues with this letter by letting the church know that it is our Father in heaven who strengthens and sustains us, and He is the one who actually shows us the fullness of the love of Christ. Paul may be the one teaching and instructing, but ultimately, he prays on behalf of the Ephesian believers that God would help them to understand this glorious love. No doubt Paul is a great apostle, but, as a mere man, he can only take them so far; it is God who is going to reveal the fullness of His presence and His love to the church. Paul knows this, and therefore, he is confident that the church in God’s hand will prevail.

When you think about the struggles in your life, are you quick to pray and bring it into God’s hands? Or are you quick to turn to others for advice? Do you acknowledge God’s presence and His activity, or are you trying to make things right by yourself? May this passage serve as a reminder that we have a God who is able to do far more than we can think or do, and may it cause us to draw near to Him, especially in times of struggle, so that we may remain in His perfect peace and love.

Prayer: Father God, I want to know the love of Christ that surpasses all knowledge. Though I am quick to take matters into my own hands, help me to be one that trusts that You are a God who is able to do far more than I could ever imagine. Give me the faith to live out my life with that understanding. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.

Bible Reading for Today: Proverbs 13


Lunch Break Study

Read Psalm 81:10-12 (ESV): “I am the Lord your God, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt. Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it. 11 But my people did not listen to my voice; Israel would not submit to me. 12 So I gave them over to their stubborn hearts, to follow their own counsels.”

Question to Consider

  1. What did the Lord do for Israel in the past? What was He promising to do for them now?
  2. How did Israel respond to the Lord’s offer of granting them great favors?
  3. What was the consequences of Israel’s response?

Notes

  1. God already had miraculously led the Israelites out of Egypt without their help. Not only that, the LORD allowed Israel to plunder the Egyptians on their way out to enrich them. Moreover, God promises to continue to bless them, filling their mouths and providing for them.
  1. Inexplicably, Israel refused to listen to God’s voice and would not submit to His leadership.  That’s human nature—we quickly forget all that God has done for us.
  2. God gave them over to their stubborn hearts, and as they followed their own counsels, we see how it led to aimless wandering and death in the wilderness.

Evening Reflection

What is one thing you innately believe you can do by your own strength? Perhaps it is dealing with your finances, or maybe it’s a relationship in your life that you need to give up to God. Whatever it is, surrender it to the Lord and trust that He can do far better with it than you can by yourself.

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