Saturday, October 27, 2007

Saturday Sermon: I Want You To See Something

Ephesians 1:15-23

Have you ever had that experience where something just clicks, you finally get it, you know, the light comes on, that little light bulb over your head shows up? It is as if you have been thinking about or studying something but then you finally learn it. It is like you found the secret, like you find that missing piece of the puzzle, you figure something out, find where the leak is, finally realize how something works, finally understand what someone is trying to say, finally get what the teacher is looking for on the test, finally understand why your spouse is so upset, finally get the big picture, or the fine detail of something you have been struggling with or didn’t even realize you needed till the answer came. You finally learn to overcome something. You finally see the answer after all this time. You finally understand how or why.

Or you see it happen to someone else, you have been trying to tell them something for years and they finally get the message, they finally learn how it is done, your children finally get motivated, a couple finally reconciles their past problems, your friend finally comes to Christ. They finally get it.

That is one of the greatest feelings in the world isn’t it? It is wonderful and it does happen to everyone at some point in their lives, and we all wish it would happen more often. There is no one in the world who isn’t wanting and waiting for this to happen at some level, with some problem, with some relationship, with some difficult thing they have been trying to do or to see happen. No one is exempt from this, the need for something to finally click, to come together, to make sense, finally. My prayer is that this might happen in some way to all of us today.

You see, the Bible is no stranger to this phenomenon, in fact the Apostle Paul knew that we all needed this to happen in our walks with God if we were ever really going to “get it” and get going on the path instead of just sitting there. How many times have you read something in the Bible over and over, and then one day, wham, it finally clicks? Or you see something in your daily life that makes the scripture or a biblical concept come alive with fresh meaning? It is a powerful experience, isn’t it? By the grace of God we will be able to get you to see some things today, finally. To have our hearts set ablaze, the eyes of our understanding enlightened, to make it real in practice, to have it click. Today might be the day that it all clicks for you. That was Paul’s prayer, and my prayer for all of us today, believers, unbelievers, and even make believers.

Vs.15-16 – because they were in Christ and sealed by His Spirit, and because they were faithful to God and loving of one another, because God had done something and they had responded and done something, that is why Paul is praying. This isn’t for people who are not Christians, they do not have the significance, the sufficiency and the security of Christ, but they can if they want it. Faith and love do not earn us participation in this great work of God. They are evidence of our participation in God’s plan. In light of the ultimate plan of God that Paul lays out in verses 1-14, in light of that he prays for more light for right now. He’s praying that they would see something.

Paul saw that they were holding the faith in truth, and that they loved others out of a love for Christ. He knows that they will want and need an increase in faith, so as to keep growing in the grace and knowledge of God. We give thanks for what we see and know of Jesus now, and we pray for others to get a further revelation of Him within the context of daily life. As a pastor I not only preach to you, I pray for you. Are you praying for those you are witnessing to?

Vs.17 – That God would shed a little more light, illuminating the beauty of Christ. Not some spooky magical supposedly spiritual power tool, but a more thorough, working knowledge of Christ. It is practical, and yes mystical, but a living knowledge of our living Lord. From the soul, the center, the very core of our being becoming enlightened. It is a spirit of it, a process of understanding. It is not a one-time shot or even many shots it is developing this understanding throughout our lifetimes. We are strengthened, not so much like boosters that put us to the next level, but the Spirit is working with us in our situations and they coalesce together to form a more perfect understanding.

Revelation – it is coming to us more and more. Wisdom – we are realizing what it means and what to do with it. Wisdom and revelation as to who He really is what He is really like, which helps us to live, to witness, to minister, to encourage and to discern. As you are more and more in the light the difference will become more and more pronounced to others, the more His light will shine through you.

Vs.18-19a – For this reason (what God has done and what they were doing) (vs.15) he prayed for this thing (enlightenment, wisdom and revelation about Christ) (vs.17) for this reason (to know the hope, riches, and power) (vs.18). Paul prays for the light to come on, to full power, and that we would then be able to ascertain, to know, it would come on our radar screen. When the Holy Spirit opens the eyes of the heart, one will be able to see all these great truths. Not that we could see it as just as mere words, but that we could actually see it with our spiritual eyes, and it might become a reality in this life.

As we understand the hope it gives rise to more faith and the light of Christ we are seeing will be reflected to others. When the lights go up we see the hope of our calling, and we see the riches of the glorious inheritance, in the saints. You see, our riches are in God, and God’s riches are in His saints. We see the power, we live for His glory and He is glorified in us. The prayer of Ephesians 1:17-19 is essentially a request that the promises of Ephesians 1:3-14, the safety, satisfaction, and rest become a reality in the lives of the Ephesians.

Paul is praying for three things. Paul was praying that they would know, that they would begin to understand and to grow, in not only the hope, and not only the riches of the glorious inheritance waiting for them in heaven (1 Peter 1:3-5), but also in His mighty power to them in this life (1 Timothy 4:8). Our hope for heaven, His riches poured out in us, and the power to get it all done, the power to see Jesus more clearly and become more like Him now! Paul is praying that you would be so enlightened that you might shine for the glory of God and become one of the jewels in Jesus’ crown! Paul wants this to start happening now, and this will reach its zenith with His second coming (2 Thessalonians 1:10).

Vs.19b-23 – Paul now describes the power. The power is of the same essence as that which raised Jesus from the dead, and this is the kind of power God is working in us that believe. Do you believe it? Pray that you can see it! God energized this, showed its power; He demonstrated it by raising Christ from the dead. This same power is available now, to raise the drunkard from his drink, to raise the thief from their thievery, to raise the Pharisee from his self-righteousness, to raise the head of those who are held captive, to raise the spirits of those who are downtrodden and lonely, to raise you from that pit of sin and self, and to raise the dead in sin to be born again.

The power that created the universe and raised Jesus from the dead can create a new life for you, giving you true safety, satisfaction, and rest, the promises of Ephesians 1:3-14. It is a life that glorifies God by raising you from the spiritually dead. Be made alive today. If you are born again but you are so down you feel dead, be energized to see God’s power today.

Christ was filled with all authority and power, and He fills His church. Jesus is pouring Himself into His church, and we are growing into His fullness. This is where the enlightening happens, this is where Paul was praying for it, to the church at Ephesus, as a group, not simply to the individuals but to them, so that they all might see some of the beauty and together share that beauty. This letter was a circular letter; it was to travel to all the local churches. You see, in this life we cannot as individuals behold all the beauty that is Christ, but together we can see Him reflected in a multifaceted way, understanding more of Him than we would be able to do otherwise.

His Body which He fills as He see fit, in many varied ways and means and we are stewards of that (1 Peter 4:10) and when we see that we will see what Paul was praying for and what God wants for us in Christ, it will all finally click, because we will see all the pieces finally come together. His body, the church, is what He fills. This is perhaps the strongest motivator as to why you HAVE to go to church, because if you don’t you won’t, see it that is. It CAN happen, it can all finally come together for you, as you help it come together for others. We can spread grace instead of trying to hoard it.

Pray that you might be able to see something of the light of Christ in other believers today, and every day. Pray for those that won’t come to church, that think the people there are the furthest thing from Christ, when Paul is making it clear that it is they who are far away, as Christ is filling His church with His light. You say “but, but, but, but, but, what about this or that situation, or person, or that church who hurt me” or whatever? Well let me tell you that is the devil that is doing that to us. Think about it; Satan has us all separating and now is not the time for that! We need to be a unified witness to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The ones outside are in the darkroom but they aren’t being developed, pray that the eyes of their hearts would be enlightened.

I hope you have become enlightened today, and may it ever be so and ever be increasing. Paul wanted them to see something because he wanted them to be something. You need to see more light to be more of a light. From the simplicity of childhood to growing deeper as we grow older, as we mature in the love of Christ, we have much to look forward to as Christ becomes more and more beautiful to us even as the things of the world become less and less satisfying. We can go from knowing it in the general sense to where you are realizing it in every sense, every situation, every circumstance, every facet of life, you increasingly see and you’ll increasingly be. That was Paul’s prayer, and that is my prayer, for me, for you, for us, for God’s glory.

“Living For Today With An Eye For Tomorrow”©


Even So... said...

I pray the light come on for you too....

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Even So... said...

That last comment was spam...they can even leave it using a blogger ID apparently...same exact message yesterday...he or she posts as Adam, but I don't know the guy from Adam, as they say...

Even So... said...

Did the Light come on yet? I'll keep praying...

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Even So... said...

Spam again, same person (robot or whatever)...