“I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation as you come to know him, so that, with the eyes of your heart enlightened, you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance among the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power for us who believe, according to the working of his great power.” (Ephesians 1:17-19, NRSV)
Who is Jesus, and what difference does he make in our lives? This question confronts any believer who didn’t walk through the Galilean countryside with the historical figure of Jesus, listening to him teach and preach. For the most part, we inherit our knowledge of Jesus from those who have gone before us. Yet, Paul in Ephesians is expressing a hope that we can have a deeper connection with Jesus that is more than facts or mere knowledge.
Paul describes his hope for us in four ways:
That we receive a spirit of wisdom and revelation that builds on what we already know about Jesus—it’s not “what we know” but “what we do with what we know.”
That with the wisdom and insight God provides that we may grow hopeful in fulfilling our purpose in the Kingdom of God. Expect to do great things for God!
That we may grasp the real value of the faith that we have inherited. A discerning spirit is needed because although we can inherit knowledge, faith must be our own experience.
That we may realize just how powerful we are to change the world when we align ourselves with Jesus and the work he is doing in the world. The current generation needs us to faithfully serve God by coming alongside Jesus and joining in with what he’s doing today.
Apart from an active and engaging relationship with Jesus, we can do nothing of any significant value. When we connect with Jesus and allow Him to guide us in every aspect of our lives, we experience hope and bring hope into the world. Our ultimate allegiance is not to a nation, an idea, or a dream, but to a person—Jesus Christ, our Lord and King. May we allow Jesus to reign in our lives so that we may bring hope to the world through our faithfulness.
P.S. We are continuing to receive pledges for the 2021 ministry year. As expected, with the disruption of the COVID-19 pandemic, pledges are coming in at a slower pace than usual. We are grateful for the commitments we have received, and we are encouraged by the strength of these pledges for 2021 compared with this year. If we can assist you as you consider your giving for 2021, please call on us. Contact the church office to make a pledge or request a pledge card. Thank you for your support and generosity!