walk in the word
14For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, 16that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. 20Now 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. –Ephesians 3:14-21
Today’s passage is a classic doxology (words of praise) from the New Testament. Paul is about to take it up a notch, stretching language to try to describe what is ultimately indescribable—the glory of God. How do you put the brightness of the piercing light of God’s presence and the weight of His character into words when there’s nothing we can compare Him with? God is always way more than whatever thought we might have of Him! And yet Paul’s words point us in the right direction.
Paul begins, “Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think . . .” That phrase, “God can do more than we ask or think,” does apply, I believe, to all that we pray about, but by context the strongest application is about God doing (one translation says) “exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think” related to the church. Notice v.21, “to Him,” (that’s Jesus Christ, the One does more than we ask or think), “to Him be glory.” Where? “In the church.” To God, the Father “be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
The church is the place where the glory comes down. Church is to show off how awesome God is. That’s why it says, “to Him be glory in the church.” The church is the place of Christ’s glory. It doesn’t matter whether it’s your neighbor coming to Christ or your marriage being healed, or your son being transformed—all these trickles of glory fill up little thimbles, and then we bring our thimbles and pour them out together in praise as the Church. We’re not big time. The sum total of all that we’re doing is tiny compared to all that God’s doing, yet we get to dump our small efforts in the ocean of God’s glory.
Is that ocean deeper or greater because of our praise? That should be revolting to the heart of anyone who understands that the church is ultimately about the glory of Jesus Christ and nothing else. The church is the place of Christ’s glory.
Prayer: Unto You, Father, may the glory always be given—for it will! Remove from me any desire to try to claim for myself glory that rightly belongs to You. Thank You that so much that brings You glory elevates my life, gives me hope, and draws me into closer fellowship with others who are seeking Your glory! Your name, Jesus, is glorious! In Jesus, name, Amen.
brought to you by change partners