Monday, April 16, 2012

Going Deeper for the week of April 15

In Luke 24:49 Jesus promises, "I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high."  The power Jesus is talking about is of course the Holy Spirit.  But what is the Spirit's power like?

(Read Ephesians 1:1-23; esp. verses 15-23)

The apostle Paul begins the first 14 verses telling us all we have ("every spiritual blessing") in Christ.  We are chosen, predestined, loved, in Him we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins, God's grace, and wisdom to know and understand the mystery of His will.  We also have been marked with the Holy Spirit given as a deposit guaranteeing what is to come.  All good stuff!

Then in verses 15-23 he offers a prayer.  He begins by giving thanks as well as praying.  He offers 4 distinct prayers.

           1) I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the    
               Spirit of wisdom and revelation so that you may know Him better.
   I pray that ... the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know
           2) the hope to which he has called you.
           3) the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints,
           4) and His incomparably great power for us who believe.  

It is the fourth request where I would like to draw our attention in particular.  "His incomparably great power for us who believe."  Earlier in verse 13, Paul had said, "When you believed you were marked in Him (Jesus) with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit."  So it is logical to deduce that the incomparably great power to which Paul refers in his fourth request is the Holy Spirit.  But what is the Spirit's power like?

(Read verses 19b-21)

That power; the incomparably great power for us who believe; is the same power by which God raised Jesus from the dead!  It is also the same power by which God seated Christ in power "far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that can be invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come."

Now there is no other name which has as much power as Jesus, and through the Holy Spirit Jesus has given us this same power!

So the next time we find ourselves in a situation where we see God opening a door for us to share the good news about Jesus, we can find strength not in ourselves but in God's incomparably great power for us who believe!  I pray with Paul that you may know "His incomparably great power for us who believe" and that God will give you confidence to obey Him in faith when He calls.

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