Sunday 10:30 am – Part 1: God has more for you! Ephesians 1:15-23
Jesus, the Shepherd, personally knows His sheep and His sheep know His voice. The enemy is out to destroy the sheep, you. Abundant life comes from knowing and following Jesus. Abundant life does not exempt you from problems. Psalm 23 tells us we may go “through the valley of the shadow of death”, a very dark place. You’re not exempt but you’re protected. Know that you’re a sheep of the Shepherd. Press into His presence. Be utterly dependent on Christ! And know you are unconditionally loved by Christ. He laid down His life for you!
Sunday 6:00 pm – Part 2:
Jabez was named by his mother, something that normally didn’t happen in Jewish culture. Likely his father was gone (left or died) and unable to name him or bless him. Jabez was miserable and in pain. As a general truth, hurting people hurt people, and Jabez had been deeply hurt. He cries out in desperation to the God of Israel (Jacob). Jacob grew up in a dysfunctional home (favoritism, lying & hatred). Jacob always took matters into his own hands until he wrestled with God (Genesis 32:22-32). In the wrestling, God made him face his pain and blessed him with a new name (Israel). Jabez prayed for a seemingly impossible blessing from God. Jabez wanted God’s hand on him like a body guard. He prayed for the pain in his life to be removed. God granted that request. For us, when our wounds are healed we still remember them, but they don’t hurt any more!
Monday 6:30 pm – Part 3:
Is your faith a fire that burns in you? In heaven, will Jesus say He had more for you? You’re a unique person and there’s work that only you can do. Loving others and living by faith is Christianity 101 (Ephesians 1:15), but there is more. Paul prays the Ephesians will have “the Spirit of wisdom and revelation” to know Christ better. Wisdom is being able to understand spiritual truth and to be able to apply it to life. Revelation refers to things you don’t understand until God shows/reveals it to you. God’s Spirit gives us wisdom and insight. This wisdom will always follow the Bible and the Spirit will help you apply it to life because we have the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 1:18-2:16).
Tuesday 6:30 pm – Part 4:
You are rich in Jesus and you’re an heir now. The Bible calls believers “saints”, not sinners. Saints can sin, but your core identity isn’t a sinner, it’s a saint. You have the power of Christ’s resurrection in you. This doesn’t mean you are powerful, it means that God in you is powerful. You have life in you, and you can speak that life into hopeless and desperate people. There are hurting people all around you and you have the power to give them hope. Don’t assume people know where to find hope and meaning. When you have Christ, don’t think you have nothing to offer!