Glory to God in the church … and forever!

Paul: My response is to get down on my knees before the Father, this magnificent Father who parcels out all heaven and earth. I ask Him to strengthen you by His Spirit—not a brute strength but a glorious inner strength—that Christ will live in you as you open the door and invite Him in. And I ask Him that with both feet planted firmly on love, you’ll be able to take in with all followers of Jesus the extravagant dimensions of Christ’s love.
Reach out and experience the breadth! Test its length! Plumb the depths! Rise to the heights! Live full lives, full in the fullness of God.

God can do anything, you know — far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, His Spirit deeply and gently within us.

Glory to God in the church!
Glory to God in the Messiah, in Jesus!
Glory down all the generations!
Glory through all millennia! Oh, yes!

Do you think Paul was excited when he shared these words with the “faithful believers” (chapter 1) at the Ephesus church, or what?! I want that…. that enthusiasm for what God can do and wants to do in the lives of the faithful believers around me. I want this kind of joy and grace to sink down deep within my soul, but also come out through my words, attitudes, actions and life. This prayer for his friends and the little song he breaks into reflect the heart of Paul. He was experiencing the fullness of God’s love and grace and he desired all of his believing friends to know this kind of joy too.  He wanted them to know it so much, he constantly prayed it for them.

I have experienced God’s grace. I’ve experienced His love. I’ve experienced His faithfulness and His power. It’s what I really want for all the believers I know. But am I consistently praying it for our lives? For us to KNOW this kind of passion? I hope that someone is praying it for me because I want to live there … acknowledging God’s love and presence, living in His strength, bursting with joy in my heart that at any moment I’m able to authentically sing or shout Glory to God in the church!! Oh, glorious Father, I desire this kind of life for myself and Your church.

There are days I’m filled with eager anticipation for what God will do with, in and through His people. I’m filled with the God-kind of hope. That kind that is not just wishful thinking, but expecting it, looking for it, ready for it! BUT … there are those others. I’m defeated, discouraged, filled with dread, disappointed and disillusioned by people. My friend used to say to me, “I’m really good at being human.” 🙂 Aren’t we all? This same Paul said it well: “Who will rescue me from ME?!?” But then he says, “thanks be to God, through Christ Jesus…” So how do I find the way to live this glorious, resurrection life that Paul lived and wrote about. How does the church, the Christ-followers, live this on a daily basis? Paul’s joy jumps off the pages of scripture regularly. I WANT that… but I’m so darn good at being human. ARGH! I want the grace and peace of God poured into my life and filled to the brim and overflowing to others. But some days, there’s barely a ring in the bottom of the cup. There has been something in there, but it’s only a trace now. Glorious God, you came to give me life to the full, constant flowing rivers of joy. May I not give up on myself or Your people! Because IT’S YOU in me, that lives, works and moves.

Fill me, use me, empower me for Your work. Fill US. Use US. Empower US for Your work …. together to see the world come to know and love You as we do. Give me faith to believe in YOU to do it. Keep me praying. Keep me trusting and obeying. Keep me close to You, patiently waiting on Your work, and living in the Spirit as I wait.

Glory to God in the church! Glory to God in the Messiah, in Jesus!
Glory down all the generations!
Glory through all millennia! Oh, yes! 

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