Posts Tagged ‘Ephesians 3:14-21’

March Forth on March 4th—one more reminder

March 4, 2020


Today’s date speaks a command—March Forth—on March 4th. The two words form an imperative sentence that encourages us to march forth into victory. . . today!

In a previous blog post, I discuss this unofficial holiday that has been created by Deborah Shouse, noted writer, speaker and creativity coach, who invites individuals to march forth into their lives, take on new experiences, and celebrate their accomplishments. Most remarkably, I am currently teaching an online writing course with a grammar component for North Carolina College of Biblical Studies.

This blog post is a revision of one of the original entries posted on March 4th. In looking at the Bible, we find a similar expression to “march forth” in Psalm 68:7 (Amplified Bible):

O God, when You went forth before Your people, when You marched through the wilderness—Selah [pause, and calmly think of that]!—

We find a related verse in Psalm 45:4

In your majesty ride forth victoriously in the cause of truth, humility and justice; let your right hand achieve awesome deeds.

Now thanks be unto God who always causes us to triumph in Christ and makes manifest the sweet savor of His knowledge by us in every place. (1 Corinthians 2:14)

In the military we hear the command “Forward March. “Forward “ is the preparatory command whereby the individual shifts weight to the right foot before stepping out smartly on the left foot with on the command “march.”

As believers we find that we can follow the command to “Forward March” in four areas: Family Life, Finances, Favor, and Faith:

Forward March in Family Life, as we recognize that God places the solitary in families and gives the desolate a home in which to dwell (Psalm 68:6), and we pray the prayer of Ephesians 3:14-21

14 For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15 Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, 16 That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; 17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; 19 And to know the love of Christ, which passes knowledge, that you might be filled with all the fulness of God. 20 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, 21 Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.

In addition, we “Forward March in Finances”:

God’s desire for His people is health and well-being:3 John 2 Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers. The blessings of the Lord makes us rich and adds no sorrow with it. We are blessed that we might be a blessing.

Moreover, we also Forward March in Favor:Where sin did abound, grace (favor) did much more abound.—We are blessed and highly favored in the Lord.

2 Corinthians 9:8 tells us:

And God is able to make all grace (favor) abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work.

Finally, we Forward March in Faith, as we move from—Faith to Faith—Victory to Victory. We follow in the footsteps of faithful Abraham, our Father, the father of Faith. Like Abraham, we walk by faith, not by sight. (2 Corinthians 5:7)

Romans 4:20-21 describes the “Father of Faith” in this way:

He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, 21 and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform.

And so, we march forth on March 4, 2020, as we “Forward March” in four areas: Family Life, Finances, Favor, Faith.

An appropriate song to close out this blog entry is “Moving Forward” by Israel Houghton:

Power of God at work in us

July 9, 2018

Ephesians-3-20-21

The Verse of the Day for July 9, 2018 is the benediction from the prayer found in culminating verses of Chapter 3 of Ephesians:

Ephesians 3:20-21

Now to Him who is able to [carry out His purpose and] do superabundantly more than all that we dare ask or think [infinitely beyond our greatest prayers, hopes, or dreams], according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations forever and ever. Amen.

That powerful prayer reveals our Heavenly Father’s intent toward believers that they might demonstrate  the exceeding greatness of God’s power or ability recorded by Paul in those two verses which shine as crowning jewels in that exquisite revelation of God’s ability. Verse 19   precedes the powerful declarative statement, reminding believers of God’s desire that we might experience the fulfillment of all that He intends us to be:

The Fullness of God

To know the love of Christ which passes knowledge;

that you may be filled with all fullness of God

Ephesians 3:19

 

In wisdom God gives power to loose and to bind,

To enlighten souls and open eyes of the blind.

All the promises of God are “yes and amen.”

God’s Word is true today, just as it was back then

When Christ first spoke the truth to those with ears to hear.

We walk in the spirit of love and have no fear.

We have been empowered by the spirit of might.

To serve the Lord, to please Him is our soul’s delight.

Secure, knowing nothing can snatch us from His hand,

We shall know fulfillment of all that God has planned.

Filled with all the fullness of God that we might see:

The riches of the glory of this mystery.

We walk by faith and not by sight, for we now know

God sealed us by a covenant, and it is so.

Every day we confront challenging circumstances that seek overwhelm our souls, but we must remember that we are powerful people. Literally we are full of power, the same power that raised Jesus Christ from the dead. There is no greater power, and by exercising that power, God is able “to do superabundantly more than all that we dare ask or think [infinitely beyond our greatest prayers, hopes, or dreams], according to His power that is at work within us,

The opening phrase of verse 20 brought to mind the expression that “God is able,” which in turn caused me to think of the lyrics to this song:

He’s able, He’s able, I know He’s able,
I know my Lord is able to carry me through.
He’s able, He’s able, I know He’s able,
I know my Lord is able to carry me through.
He healed the brokenhearted and set the captive free,
He made the lame to walk again and caused the blind to see;
He’s able, He’s able, I know He’s able,
I know my Lord is able to carry me through.

With this awareness of who God is in mind, we acknowledge that no matter how challenging and insurmountable any situation may appear to be, we recall that nothing is too hard for God, who reminds us: “I am the God of all flesh. Is there anything too hard for me?” In fact, the old gospel song reminds us,

“Got any rivers you think are uncrossable?

Got any mountains you cannot tunnel through?

God specializes in things called impossible,

And He will do what no other power (Holy Ghost power) can do.

We close with the magnificent benediction from Jude, a further reminder that God is able:

24Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,

25To the only wise God our Savior, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, now and ever. Amen.

We conclude as Shannon R. Linville offers Ephesians 3:14-20 as a Scripture Song:

God is able

June 6, 2018

Jesus Christ offered a reminder to his followers that “We ought always to pray and not to faint.” The Verse of the Day for June 6, 2018 unfolds one of the most powerful expressions of God’s desire for His people in the form of a prayer at the end of chapter 3 of Ephesians. Let us take a close look at the entire passage in the New Living Translation:

Ephesians 3:14-21:

14 When I think of all this, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, 15 the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth. 16 I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. 17 Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. 18 And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. 19 May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.

The powerful prayer culminates with a benediction expressing the extent of God’s ability to accomplish His will by means of the power He has placed in those who believe according to working of His mighty power.

Ephesians 3:20-21 (NLT):

20 Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. 21 Glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen.

This closing passage shines as crowning jewels in that exquisite revelation of God’s ability. The opening phrase of verse 20 brings to mind the expression “God is able,” a phrase found in the lyrics to this Children’s Ministry song:

He’s able, He’s able, I know He’s able,
I know my Lord is able to carry me through.
He’s able, He’s able, I know He’s able,
I know my Lord is able to carry me through.
He healed the broken-hearted and set the captive free,
He made the lame to walk again and caused the blind to see;
He’s able, He’s able, I know He’s able,
I know my Lord is able to carry me through.

Sometimes in the midst of very trying circumstances that seem to overwhelm us with their magnitude, we are strengthened and encouraged by the Word of God and by examples of those like Daniel and others who exercised astounding faith, reaping the benefits of their strong convictions. Without question, Daniel came to recognize that, indeed, “God is able.”

Many times when we think about Daniel, the Hebrew children and others, we fail to realize that they were real people who faced real dangers. Just as we do also, they faced stressful situations that could overwhelm them and cause them to doubt God’s ability to come to their rescue. A teaching on Daniel and his companions inspired this response which also uses Ephesians 3:20, as part of its introduction:

God is Able

If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king
Daniel 3:17

Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us,
Ephesians 3:20

God is able to do far above all we ask or think.
Life’s greatest challenges will not prevail, but they will shrink.
Although threatened on every hand, we refuse to back down.
In the midst of what seems to be defeat, we will still rebound.
If we have to, we will walk on water and will not sink.

Surrounded by disaster, even at the very brink
Of total defeat, so the enemy would have us to think.
Though he confronts and tries to intimidate, we stand our ground:
God is able.

We have learned that God’s Word and God’s will are always in sync,
That His Word nourishes and sustains us more than food or drink.
Our confident trust in God is nothing less than profound,
As we rise untouched, not singed, even from a fiery showdown.
Renewed in the spirit of our minds, we can now rethink:
God is able.

Like Daniel in the den of lions, we sometimes find ourselves in desperate, seemingly impossible situations from which we cannot extract ourselves on our own. When we think of situations like that of Daniel, we must always remember the King’s response when God delivered Daniel:

Daniel 6:27

He [the God of Daniel] delivers and rescues, and he works signs and wonders in heaven and in earth, who has delivered Daniel from the power of the lions.

As we close this blog entry, another magnificent benediction from Jude comes to mind, a further reminder that God is able:
Jude 24-25 (NLT):

24 Now all glory to God, who is able to keep you from falling away and will bring you with great joy into his glorious presence without a single fault. 25 All glory to him who alone is God, our Savior through Jesus Christ our Lord. All glory, majesty, power, and authority are his before all time, and in the present, and beyond all time! Amen.

We add the finishing touch with this song from Hillsong to reinforce the message “God is Able”:

March Forth on National Grammar Day–March 4th

March 4, 2018


The fourth day of March is the only day of the year expressed as an imperative sentence given as a command: March Forth! Created by Deborah Shouse, noted writer, speaker and creativity coach, this unofficial holiday invites individuals to march forth into their lives, take on new experiences, and celebrate their accomplishments. In addition, National Grammar Day is also celebrated on March 4.

Sponsored by the Society for the Promotion of Good Grammar, this annual event points out that “On National Grammar Day, we honor our language and its rules, which help us communicate clearly with each other. In turn, clear communication helps us understand each other—a critical component of peaceful relations.”

Mignon Fogarty, of “Grammar Girl’s Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing” fame, comments:
“Language is something to celebrate, and March 4 is the perfect day to do it. It’s not only a date, it’s an imperative: March forth on March 4 to speak well, write well, and help others do the same!”

Most providentially, Dr. J will begin teaching an English Grammar course at Carolina College of Biblical Research in Fayetteville, NC on Tuesday of this week. As students of the Bible, we find an exhortation to “march forth” in the Amplified Bible in Psalm 68:7:

O God, when You went forth before Your people, when You marched through the wilderness—Selah [pause, and calmly think of that]!—

Psalm 45:4 also uses another similar expression:

In your majesty ride forth victoriously in the cause of truth, humility and justice; let your right hand achieve awesome deeds.

Today is a day that speaks a command—March Forth—on Sunday, March 4th we will follow the command of the Lord and march forth into victory . . . today.

Now thanks be unto God who always causes us to triumph in Christ and makes manifest the sweet savor of His knowledge by us in every place. (1 Corinthians 2:14)

In the military we hear the command “Forward March. “Forward “is the preparatory command whereby the individual shifts weight to the right foot before stepping out smartly on the left foot with on the command “march.”

A previous blog post points out that as believers we find that we can follow the command to “Forward March” in four areas: Family Life, Finances, Favor, and Faith:

Forward March in Family Life, as we recognize that God sets the solitary and places them in families, and we pray the prayer of Ephesians 3:14-21:

14 For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,

15 Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named,

16 That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;

17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love,

18 May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height;

19 And to know the love of Christ, which passes knowledge, that you might be filled with all the fullness of God.

20 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us,

21 Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.

In addition, we “Forward March in Finances”:

God’s desire for His people is health and well-being:

3 John 2:

Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.

The blessings of the Lord makes us rich and adds no sorrow with it. We are blessed that we might be a blessing.

Moreover, we also Forward March in Favor

Where sin did abound, grace (favor) did much more abound.—We are blessed and highly favored in the Lord.

2 Corinthians 9:8 tells us:

And God is able to make all grace (favor) abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work.

Finally, we Forward March in Faith, as we move from—Faith to Faith—Victory to Victory.
We follow in the footsteps of faithful Abraham, our Father, the father of Faith
Like Abraham, we walk by faith, not by sight. (2 Corinthians 5:7)

Romans 4:20-21 describes the “Father of Faith” in this way:

20 He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, 21 and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform.

And so we march forth on March 4, 2018, as we “Forward March” in four areas: Family Life, Finances, Favor, Faith.

A most appropriate song to close out this blog entry is “Moving Forward” by Israel Houghton:

To him who is able

July 9, 2017

Revised and re-posted, the Verse of the Day for July 9, 201 actually comes from the benediction of the prayer found in the culminating verses of Ephesians chapter 3:

Ephesians 3:20-21 (NKJV)

Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us,
Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.

The Amplified Bible offer this rendering:

20 Now to Him who is able to [carry out His purpose and] do superabundantly more than all that we dare ask or think [infinitely beyond our greatest prayers, hopes, or dreams], according to His power that is at work within us, 21 to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations forever and ever. Amen.

The closing lines reveal our Heavenly Father’s intent toward believers that they demonstrate the exceeding greatness of His power or ability recorded by Paul in those two verses which shine as crowning jewels in that exquisite revelation of God’s ability. The opening phrase of verse 20 brought to mind the expression that “God is able,” which in turn caused me to think of the lyrics to this song which originally was taught to children:

He’s able, He’s able, I know He’s able,
I know my Lord is able to carry me through.
He’s able, He’s able, I know He’s able,
I know my Lord is able to carry me through.
He healed the brokenhearted and set the captive free,
He made the lame to walk again and caused the blind to see;
He’s able, He’s able, I know He’s able,
I know my Lord is able to carry me through.

Sometimes in the midst of very trying circumstances that seem to overwhelm us with their magnitude, we must be been strengthened and encouraged by the Word of God and by examples of those like Daniel and others who exercised astounding faith, reaping the benefits of their strong convictions. Without question, Daniel came to recognize that, indeed, “God is able.” Many times when we think about Daniel and the Hebrew children, we fail to realize that they were real people who faced real dangers. Just as we do also, they faced stressful situations that could overwhelm them and cause them to doubt God’s ability to come to their rescue. A teaching on Daniel and his companions inspired the following poem which also uses Ephesians 3:20, as part of its introduction:

God is Able

If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us

from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us

out of your hand, O king.

Daniel 3:17

 

Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us,

Ephesians 3:20

God is able to do far above all we ask or think.
Life’s greatest challenges will not prevail, but they will shrink.
Although threatened on every hand, we refuse to back down.
In the midst of what seems to be defeat, we will still rebound.
If we have to, we will walk on water and will not sink.

Surrounded by disaster, even at the very brink
Of total defeat, so the enemy would have us to think.
Though confronted and intimidated, we stand our ground:
God is able.

We have learned that God’s Word and God’s will are always in sync,
That His Word nourishes and sustains us more than food or drink.
Our confident trust in God is nothing less than profound,
As we rise untouched, not singed, even from a fiery showdown.
Renewed in the spirit of our minds, we can now rethink:
God is able.

Like Daniel in the den of lions, we sometimes find ourselves in desperate, seemingly impossible situations from which we cannot extract ourselves on our own. When we think of such situations like that of Daniel, we must remember the King’s response when God delivered Daniel:

Daniel 6:27

He [the God of Daniel] delivers and rescues, and he works signs and wonders in heaven and in earth, who has delivered Daniel from the power of the lions.

As we close this blog entry, another magnificent benediction from Jude comes to mind, a further reminder that God is able:

24Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,

25To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, now and ever. Amen.

Shannon Linville offers A Scripture Song based on Ephesians 3:14-21, the prayer from which the Verse of the Day is taken:

As we pray: Ephesians 3:14-21

June 7, 2016

Ephesians-3-21

The Verse of the Day for June 6, 2016 is part of a powerful prayer that God inspired Paul to write for the “Saints at Ephesus and to the faithful in Christ Jesus,” which would include all followers of the Lord Jesus, including you and me. The heart of the prayer is drawn from Ephesians 3: 17-19, but verses 14-16 introduce the prayer and verses 20-21 close out the prayer in this manner:

14 For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,

15 Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named,

16 That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man:

16 May He grant you out of the rich treasury of His glory to be strengthened and reinforced with mighty power in the inner man by the [Holy] Spirit [Himself indwelling your innermost being and personality]?

17 May Christ through your faith [actually] dwell (settle down, abide, make His permanent home) in your hearts! May you be rooted deep in love and founded securely on love,

18 That you may have the power and be strong to apprehend and grasp with all the saints [God’s devoted people, the experience of that love] what is the breadth and length and height and depth [of it];

19 [That you may really come] to know [practically, through experience for yourselves] the love of Christ, which far surpasses mere knowledge [without experience]; that you may be filled [through all your being] unto all the fullness of God [may have the richest measure of the divine Presence, and [e]become a body wholly filled and flooded with God Himself]!

20 Now to Him Who, by (in consequence of) the [action of His] power that is at work within us, is able to [carry out His purpose and] do superabundantly, far over and above all that we [dare] ask or think [infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, hopes, or dreams]—

21 To Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations forever and ever. Amen (so be it).

In addition to this awesome expression of God’s desire for His people, we find a similar prayer in Ephesians 1:15-20, revealing Paul’s petition to God on behalf of fellow believers. In fact, the Church Epistles of Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, Thessalonians and elsewhere in the New Testament provide a rich display of God’s intentions with regard to prayer. Such passages of Scripture can be used to construct what Graham Cooke calls “crafted prayers,” whereby believers use the Bible to construct specific targeted prayers that can be used individually or corporately. Cooke describes such prayers as being so designed that those who pray them will know the joy of always getting you prayers answered,

As We Pray

We give thanks to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,

as we pray always for you,

Colossians 1:3

During these dark times, we focus on the Kingdom,

Established and grounded on a sure foundation.

As we diligently pursue Godly wisdom,

New paths of this Apostolic Reformation

Unfold as the sun rises on the horizon.

Even in turbulent times, we must stay the course.

Aware of consequences of each decision,

We look to God our Father, bountiful resource.

As we renew our minds, we are transformed and change:

With a “kingdom mindset” we now see with new eyes.

Beyond past narrow limits our view is long-range.

We number our days with each sunset and sunrise,

As the Word commands: pray without ceasing, night and day,

Knowing that God always fulfills his will, as we pray.

We close with a Scripture Song based on the prayer so lyrically and  powerfully expressed in Ephesians 3:14-20:

March Forth on March 4th

March 4, 2015

march-4-blue_thumbnail0

The fourth day of March is the only day of the year that is a expressed as an imperative sentence given as a command: March Forth! An Examiner.com article discusses this unofficial holiday that has been created by Deborah Shouse, noted writer, speaker and creativity coach, who invites individuals to march forth into their lives, take on new experiences, and celebrate their accomplishments.

A similar expression to “march forth” is found the Amplified Bible in Psalm 68:7:

 O God, when You went forth before Your people, when You marched through the wilderness—Selah [pause, and calmly think of that]!—

Psalm 45:4 also uses a similar verb::

In your majesty ride forth victoriously in the cause of truth, humility and justice; let your right hand achieve awesome deeds.

Today is a day that speaks a command—March Forth—on March 4th. Today we will follow the command of the Lord and march forth into victory. . . today.

Now thanks be unto God who always causes us to triumph in Christ and makes manifest the sweet savor of His knowledge by us in every place. (1 Corinthians 2:14)

In the military we hear the command “Forward March. “Forward” is the preparatory command whereby the individual shifts weight to the right foot before stepping out smartly on the left foot with on the command “march.”

As believers we find that we can follow the command to “Forward March” in four areas: Family Life, Finances, Favor, and Faith:

Forward March in Family Life, as we recognize that God sets the solitary and places them in families, and we pray the prayer of Ephesians 3:14-21

14For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,

15Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named,

16That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;

17That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love,

18May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height;

19And to know the love of Christ, which passes knowledge, that you might be filled with all the fulness of God.

20Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us,

21Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.

In addition, we “Forward March in Finances”:

God’s desire for His people is health and well-being:

3 John 2

Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.

The blessings of the Lord makes us rich and adds no sorrow with it. We are blessed that we might be a blessing.

Moreover, we also Forward March in Favor

Where sin did abound, grace (favor) did much more abound.—We are blessed and highly favored in the Lord.

2 Corinthians 9:8 tells us:2

And God is able to make all grace (favor) abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work.

Finally, we Forward March in Faith, as we move from—Faith to Faith—Victory to Victory. We follow in the footsteps of faithful Abraham, our Father, the father of Faith. Like Abraham, we walk by faith, not by sight. (2 Corinthians 5:7)

Romans 4:20-21 describes the “Father of Faith” in this way:

20 He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, 21 and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform.

And so we march forth on March 4, 2015, as we “Forward March” in four areas: Family Life, Finances, Favor, and Faith.

An appropriate song to close out this blog entry is “Moving Forward” by Israel Houghton:

God is able. . . more than able

July 9, 2014

Ephesians-3-20-21

One of the most powerful expressions of God’s desire for His people is found in the prayer of Ephesians 3:14-21 (King James Version):

14 For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,

15 Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named,

16 That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;

17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,

18 May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height;

19 And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.

20 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,

21 Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen

The Verse of the Day for July 9, 2014 is the benediction from that prayer found in culminating verses of the chapter:

Ephesians 3:20-21 KJV

Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,

Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.=

That powerful prayer reveals our Heavenly Father’s intent toward believers that they might demonstrate the exceeding greatness of God’s power or ability recorded by Paul in those two verses which shine as crowning jewels in that exquisite revelation of God’s ability. The opening phrase of verse 20 brought to mind the expression that “God is able,” which in turn caused me to think of the lyrics to this song:

He’s able, He’s able, I know He’s able,
I know my Lord is able to carry me through.
He’s able, He’s able, I know He’s able,
I know my Lord is able to carry me through.
He healed the broken hearted and set the captive free,
He made the lame to walk again and caused the blind to see;
He’s able, He’s able, I know He’s able,
I know my Lord is able to carry me through.

Sometimes in the midst of very trying circumstances that seem to overwhelm us with their magnitude, we must be been strengthened and encouraged by the Word of God and by examples of those like Daniel and others who exercised astounding faith, reaping the benefits of their strong convictions. Without question, Daniel came to recognize that, indeed, “God is able.” Many times when we think about Daniel and the Hebrew children, we fail to realize that they were real people who faced real dangers. Just as we do also, they faced stressful situations that could overwhelm them and cause them to doubt God’s ability to come to their rescue. I heard a teaching on Daniel and his companions, and it inspired this poem which also uses Ephesians 3:20, as part of its introduction:

God is Able

If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us

from the fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of

your hand, O King.

Daniel 3:17

           

Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly

above all that we ask or think, according to the power

that works in us,

Ephesians 3:20

 

God is able to do far above all we ask or think.

Life’s greatest challenges will not prevail, but they will shrink.

Although threatened on every hand, we refuse to back down.

In the midst of what seems to be defeat, we will still rebound.

If we have to, we will walk on water and will not sink.

Surrounded by disaster, even at the very brink

Of total defeat, so the enemy would have us to think.

Though confronted and intimidated, we stand our ground:

God is able.

 

We have learned that God’s Word and God’s will are always in sync,

That His Word nourishes and sustains us more than food or drink.

Our confident trust in God is nothing less than profound,

As we rise untouched, not singed, even from a fiery showdown.

Renewed in the spirit of our minds, we can now rethink:

God is able.

 

Like Daniel in the den of lions, we sometimes find ourselves in desperate, seemingly impossible situations from which we cannot extract ourselves on our own. When we think of such situations like that of Daniel, we must remember the King’s response when God delivered Daniel:

Daniel 6:27

He [the God of Daniel] delivers and rescues, and he works signs and wonders in heaven and in earth, who has delivered Daniel from the power of the lions.

As I close this blog entry, another magnificent benediction from Jude comes to mind, a further reminder that God is able:

24Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,

25To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, now and ever. Amen.

We add the finishing touch with a song to reinforce the message than God is not only able, but “He is more than able”:

 

Talk about a powerhouse prayer

June 6, 2014

Ephesians 3--16

That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God. Ephesians 3:17-19 KJV

Re-posted from last year’s entry, the Verse of the Day for June 6, 2015 is part of a prayer that God inspired Paul to write for the “Saints at Ephesus and to the faithful in Christ Jesus,” which would include all followers of the Lord Jesus, including you and me. Verses 14-16 introduce the prayer in this manner:

14 For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,

15 Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named,

16 That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;

As Chapter 3 of Ephesians unfolds, Paul mentions the concept of “the mystery.” In a previous blog entry related to the mystery as revealed in Colossians 1:27, I note that Dr. Mark Hanby refers to “the mystery of the one body,” as part of the “progressive revelation of God”—reflected in God’s desire for a dwelling place, displayed in Tabernacle in the Wilderness (first dimension) leading to Solomon’s Temple (second dimension), and culminating in the Temple of the Living God, the body of Christ (third dimension).

Derived from the Greek word musterion translated “sacred secret,” the essence of “this mystery” is that Jews and Gentiles would be united in one body, the Body of Christ. This “great mystery” was hidden in Christ before the foundations of the earth. Had Satan known this mystery or great secret, the Scriptures declare that he never would have crucified the Lord of glory, Jesus Christ. The mystery was revealed to the Apostle Paul as the context of the Verse of the Day indicates.

In Chapter 3 of Ephesians, Paul speaks of the spiritual impact that the Church, the Body of Christ, was designed to demonstrate:

Ephesians 3:10 (New Living Translation)

God’s purpose in all this was to use the church to display his wisdom in its rich variety to all the unseen rulers and authorities in the heavenly places.

God’s desire is that members of the Body of Christ, both individually and corporately, might know and apprehend more fully the meaning of “the mystery of the one body.” The passage from which the Verse of the Day is taken expresses God’s desire for us. After reading Chapter 3 of Ephesians, I express my yearning to understand the riches of the glory of this mystery to a greater degree in this way:

Oh, To See the Mystery

Ephesians 3

 

Enlighten my eyes that I might openly see;

Expand my mind and widen my comprehension

To understand the temple of the mystery.

Teach me to fully comprehend each dimension

And ascertain the magnitude without measure:

Reveal to me the true length,

though it is endless;

Teach me to find the full breadth,

though it is boundless;

Help me to reach the vast height,

though it is measureless;

Teach me to probe the great depth,

though it is fathomless.

Show me your divine design for the inner man.

Make plain the purpose, the pattern, the symmetry

Unfolded in the blueprints of your master plan

For the One Body, temple of awesome beauty.

Share with me the value of this priceless treasure,

The riches of the glory of this mystery

Held in the secret places of your good pleasure.

Take my hand and lead me, as you would guide a youth,

A son who lives to explore the depths of your truth.

To conclude this entry, here is an apostolic prayer based on Ephesians 3:14-21 offered by Dwayne Roberts.