Updated: Jan 18, 2019
Here’s an image I have of when my boys were little—maybe they were six and four around that time. They would stand in front of a mirror, shirts off, with their arms bent upwards, flexing their biceps. It was a contest to see who had the bigger biceps, presumably determining who was the stronger of the two. Those of you who raised boys know that everything is a competition.
What I distinctly remember is one time thinking that while they wanted to look strong, my desire for them was that they would be strong. Strength is not about looks—it’s about an inner drive, a natural persistence, an innate understanding of our limits, and a willingness to test those limits. Strength is a resolve to overcome, a passion for what is right, a desire to succeed in a way that benefits all. Strength is having integrity, being able to be counted on, and bringing energy and enthusiasm wherever needed. That’s what I wanted for my boys.
The passage I’ll be preaching from this Sunday is Ephesians 3:14-21. I refer to it as a Pastor’s Prayer for His People. Paul was expressing his hope and prayer for the Christians at Ephesus, much like when I hoped for strength for my boys. This passage is a glimpse into the heart of Paul who so desperately wanted for all Christians to experience the best life possible that one could have in Jesus Christ.
So what did Paul pray for the Christians at Ephesus? First, he prayed for an internal strength that can only be derived from the Spirit of God. Second, he prayed that Jesus Christ would be in the center of their hearts, instilling them with a sense of God’s presence that would shape everything they thought, said, or did. Thirdly, he prayed that their lives would be lived out of a deep foundation of love for God and for one another. Simply put, Paul prayed for strength, for peace, and for love.
As your pastor, Paul’s words resonate with me and describe the heart I have for you. My desire is for you to be strong enough to face life with confidence and courage, to know the peace that passes all human understanding, and to experience God’s love in such a way that it makes you a more loving person toward others. Join us this Sunday as we explore more of this text and discover that, “We Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet!”