SERMONS: Brand New We - Praying for Clarity

posted by Bethel Communications | Feb 21, 2021

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Show Notes

We open Ephesians 1:15-23 as Pastor Jason looks to Paul's prayer for clarity and how it looks for us today.

Transcript

Good morning, Bethel church. It's good to see you. If you have a copy of God's word, I invite you as we continue the journey through a Feagins to find your way to the book of Ephesians Ephesians chapter one is where we find ourselves today. We are, we are on a S. 16 ish week journey through the book of Ephesians.

This is week number three. And if you have not gotten familiar with this book yet, I would hope that you would get familiar with it as we're walking through it because I'm so hyper-aware of the book of Ephesians. I heard about a brand new book and I had to pick it up and the title of the book is called a physiology.
Uh, this is a totally made up word, but the author, Michael Cooper wrote the book of physiology based upon studies that he has done from the new Testament and also from history to capture kind of the study of the, what he calls the effusion movement. It's a movement that we're going to see played out in this letter, but it's a movement that continued on much further beyond what we see in this letter.

And we know that Ephesians was a significant place. Emphasis was a significant place. And what the author, Michael Cooper says in this book, he says, if you want to understand the power of the new Testament church, the place for you and I to begin is in Ephesus. So, if you want to understand how, uh, for example, uh, Christianity spreads so rapidly and how it flourished in places that are not so dissimilar to the world that we are in today, it would be a good place to begin an emphasis.

He actually goes on and says that he believes that emphasis is the most significant city in the new Testament. It's really interesting if you're with us during our first week of studying, we realized that, uh, emphasis is a, is a central place in, in what is now modern day Turkey. Uh, it was the fourth largest city in the world.

Paul spent significant at time there, but beyond Paul and what we know of that, we know that there a guy named Timothy. There was a pastor there, there that spent significant time. Uh, he was followed up by a guy named John, anybody familiar with John, John, the disciple, John, the apostle. He actually pastored there.

As a matter of fact, if he visited emphasis today, you would go to John's tomb. John's bones are there. He's buried there. We believe that John even wrote the gospel according to John while he was in emphasis. And this is a significant city, but beyond like historical significance, there are significant marks in this church that show us really why Christianity took hold in their region of the world and why the gospel spread.

So we're going to continue in our study. And as we're discovering more things about Ephesus, I think even in Paul's prayer that we're going to study today, we're going to learn some things that really propelled this church forward for, for hundreds of years, to be church that God wanted it to be and saw the gospel spread.

So we're going to consider Paul's prayer beginning in verse 15 today, if you would read along with me, it says this. Paul says for this reason. And we'll talk about the reason here in a moment. He says, because I've heard of your faith in the Lord, Jesus, and your love toward all the saints. I do not cease to give.
Thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the father of glory may give you the spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him having the eyes of your heart enlightened. That you may know, what is the hope to which he has called you? What are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe according to the working of his great might that he worked in Christ.

When he raised him from the dead and seated him at the right hand, in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion and above every name that is named not only in this age, but also in the one to come, he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all.
In all. So I'm going to try and voice a prayer for us in Paul's voice. So would you join me as I pray? Lord Jesus. We come to you now and we ask that you would do a measurably more than what we have arrived here. Thinking was possible. I don't know what any one of us arrived here thinking, uh, the reason was where we were going to be here, or even if we were to acknowledge what our greatest need is today, but God, you know exactly what that is.

And perhaps it is captured in Paul's prayer. And so Lord, I just echo his words and I say, Spirit, give us wisdom and insight and revelation into the knowledge of a bigger picture of who Christ is. And I pray Lord that we would leave with a hope and an assurance and a confidence that you, that you are the God that is, is ruling and reigning over all things.

All situations, situations that we have faced today at home, in our workplace, in our world, you're over the mall. You are ruling and reigning. And so God would your ruling and reigning approach just be made manifest here. As we consider your word today, we ask Jesus' name. Amen. We're going to consider Paul's prayer today.

As I mentioned, there's just four points that I want you to consider with me. As we look at this today, number one, I want you to see how it is that Paul prayed. How is it that Paul prayed the first thing that you'll notice in verse 15 as he begins his prayer this way, he says for this reason, and then he's going to go on and he's going to pray.

So what reason is Paul referring to? Well, the reason that he's praying is because he just got done praising God. If you're with us last week, pastor Dave Dawson was here and he unpacked verses three through 14 for us, which is one glorious long run-on sentence in the Greek. Paul is just out of control writing about the glory of God in our salvation in particular.

And so Paul has just penned this glorious. If you haven't read it verses three through 14, go back and read it. He, he pens this glorious picture of salvation history and how God wins people to himself and keeps them and forms them into the image and likeness of his son, the Lord Jesus. And then Paul says in verse 15 for this reason, and then he's going to go on and he's going to pray the reason I want to draw your attention to just those three simple words for this reason is I want you to think about this concept.

Praise often leads to prayer. You might be wondering, like, where do I start with prayer? Will perhaps you would start with prayer where Paul started, which is in praise. This is what I try to do every single morning is I start my day and as I'm getting ready, I am just walking around, praising God in the early morning of the things that he's given to me, the things that he's doing in me or in my family or in this church, I'm just remembering all like his goodness in my life.
For example, this morning, I was from Prosser. Anybody live in Prosser from here. All right. We've got a couple of prosper people here and, uh, I'm driving in. And as we're crossing over the I'm crossing over the horse heaven Hills, the wind is so strong and there's a, there was a group of birds at the top of the Hills and they were just, they're just doing this.

And they were like 15 feet off the ground. And they're just hovering because the wind was so strong and they didn't even have to do this. You know, they're just doing this. And I was watching it. I was kind of getting a kick out of it. And then, um, as I was driving past like, God, you are amazing. Like you've created these living, breathing things that can do this, but they're like aerodynamic enough that they're up and you're creating the wind.
And they're just like having the time of their life is what it looked like. And I just caught myself praising God and actually talking to him, which is what prayer is. And just saying, God, you, you are awesome. Praising God often leads to praying. To God. And that's what Paul's doing here, but he's not just, he's not just praising God because of what he has done in general.

He's praising God for what he's done specifically in the activity that he hears about demonstrated to at the church in Ephesus, verse 15, he says, for this reason he leaves that because also I'd heard of your faith in the Lord, Jesus, and your love toward all the saints. So remember Paul spent roughly three years in emphasis.

He knows these people, but he's been removed for say six or seven years. The church has gone on. Paul has gone on, but Paul now finds himself in prison. And even in prison, even in a Roman prison, Paul hears this testimony that the church is doing two things and he is praising God for it. What are they?
Number one, it is their faith in the Lord. Jesus. And then number two, it is their love towards all the saints. They are demonstrating faith in Christ, which is what it means to be a follower of Jesus, right. Further and further into that relationship. Demonstrating more faith in the Lord. Jesus. But then number two, they're demonstrating love towards one another.

If you want the simplest definition of what a Christian is supposed to look like or supposed to do, do those two things have increasing growing faith in the Lord, Jesus and have increasing and growing faith or crew growing love towards your brothers and sisters in Christ. We talk about three relationships that really mattered most to Jesus.

And those are two of the three right growing relationship with God and growing relationship with the people of God. And that's what he's praising and even hears about it. I love this all the way over in Rome in his prison. He's like, did you hear about what's going on in emphasis? No. What happened now?
They're just like loving Jesus. Oh, that's awesome. But they're loving one another too. And you're like, Oh right. And he's just praising. Not them. He's praising God. Because of them. And then in verse six, 16, he continues on and he says, I do not cease to give. Thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, which if we're thinking about how Paul prayed, what a great reminder that we are to pray unceasingly, I love how the message paraphrases this sentence that says this, the message says, I couldn't stop thinking God for you.
I wonder. Is there anyone or anything in your life that you could say that. I like, man, I just can't. I cannot help it. I just keep thanking God for you. I can't stop it. The church in Ephesus is that for Paul. So these are some of their ways that Paul prayed, but what I want to look at now is what Paul prayed and point number two, is this, what can you and I pray in light of praise leading us, or praise leading us to prayer.

What is it that we can actually pray? And what is it that Paul prays for the church? So, what I want you to notice, first of all, is what Paul does not pray. Paul does not pray for the church in emphasis to have better circumstances than what they're facing is in pray for them to have better jobs or flourishing families, or even to avoid persecution, which was coming upon them.
I mean, those would have been okay. Things to pray, but it's really interesting that Paul actually never praise those things for the churches that he's writing to. Tim Keller in his most recent book on prayer, he said this quote, he said, it's remarkable that in all of his writings, Paul's prayers for his friends contain no appeals for changes in their circumstances.

The reason that I wanted to highlight that is because how often do our prayers contain only that God changed my circumstances, or even as we're praying for people, we're praying for people. We're like, God, you just got to change that. And I wonder if there's something to learn here and even how we pray, perhaps God doesn't want us to even change for people's circumstances to change.
I don't know, but this is how Paul prays and then what he's going to do in his prayer is he's going to use this word, give. And he's going to say God, that you may give them. And there's three things that he's going to ask for. He's going to ask for wisdom, revelation and clarity. Number one, he's going to ask for them to have wisdom, verse 17.

He says that the father of glory may give you the spirit of wisdom. Number one, we need wisdom. Paul's prayer for wisdom. If you don't know what wisdom is, wisdom, just a simple definition is it's the practical knowledge of how to live. So wisdom is different than knowledge, right? Wisdom is, is living in light of knowledge that we have.
It's not just truth. It's living in light of that truth. That's been revealed to you that I heard this one time. The difference between knowledge and wisdom is this knowledge is knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is knowing not to put it in a fruit salad. You see the difference, right.

Knowledge and wisdom. And he says, and he's going to talk about knowledge, knowledge matters. But what he's concerned about is he's saying like, as, as you know him, and as you understand who he is and therefore who you are, you're going to live it out in a certain way. And so he says spirit, give them eyes to see, give them wisdom.

That is, that is knowledge walked out. For wisdom, number two, he prays for revelation word revelation apokalupsis is just to, to uncover or to reveal something that is largely unseen with the human eye. And what he prays for specifically in verse 17 is he says, give them a revelation in the knowledge of him.

And I believe that him is Christ there. He's saying God, may you, in the way that I formed my prayer, may you fashion in them kind of eyes to see what is unseen? That is may they see Christ in big, bigger, more magnificent ways? And so revelation is what he's praying for. But then in verse 18, he changes this metaphor.
And I think he's trying to capture another component. And actually what wisdom, the spirit of wisdom, the spirit of revelation is leading to verse 18. He says that they might have the eyes or have the eyes of their hearts enlightened verse 18, having the eyes of their hearts enlightened. I think he's praying there for clarity.
For wisdom for revelation and for clarity, I think this is the essence and the expectation of when they receive a spirit of wisdom. And when they receive a spirit of kind of revelation of the knowledge of him, it is going to allow their hearts, which have eyes, which is really weird. But what he's saying is, is that our inner being, when, when the Bible talks about our heart, it's talking about that seat in us, that that controls us physically and spiritually and mentally it's, it's the, it's the whole of who we are, you know, you and I are not this fleshy thing that you see here.
Right? You, you just see me. I'm sorry about that. Okay. I can't do anything about it. All right. You see me, but this is not me, right? Me. It's like the Bible would say, it's like your heart. It's your, it's your inner person. It's the foundation of your understanding and your personality. And he says at the, at the center of who you are, I want the lights to come on.
I want your hearts to have eyes. I want it to be illuminated to see at the command center of your life so that you might be able to understand this. And that is the aim of Paul's prayer. God, give, give wisdom, give gifts, spiritual insight, give knowledge of Christ that they can't even see because their eyes don't don't understand it.
And mid may be driven down so deeply into the command center known as their heart, that it actually transforms the way that they live the Psalmist and many other examples in scripture, but the Psalmist prayed similar things in Psalm one 19, just a couple of examples. Verse 18, the Psalmist prayed this.
God opened our eyes, that we may be holed, wonderful things from your words, verse 34, Lord, give me understanding verse one 35, make your face shine upon your servant and teach me your statutes. It is a good thing to know God, and to even pray, God, may I know you more fully. May I know you, it physiology this book that I mentioned, this is a book that I would not hand out to just anyone.
As a matter of fact, I didn't put it up on the screen and I'm not going to let you write down the author. I'm moving it too fast for the camera. Most people are not going to read this book nor should you, but here's a book that you should read. If you've not read the book, knowing God by J I packer, it is a Christian classic.
It is probably in my top five list of must read books. Knowing God J I packer. And he talks about knowing God, I mean, that's what it's about. And he says, there are four characteristics that define when, you know, God, these are true in your life. And I want to give you those four things just briefly here, four characteristics.
He says, number one, people that know God, they have great energy for God. People that know God. Number two, they have great thoughts of God. Truth. Number three people that know God have great boldness for God and the number four people that know God have great contentment in God.
Great. She great thoughts. Great boldness, great contentment. I wonder just looking at that list. If you were to do a survey of your life, is there any of those areas that are lacking in your life? Great energy for God. Great thoughts about God. Great boldness in God or great contentment in God. If there are any of those areas that are lacking in your life, can I just tell you simply what the solution is?
No. God. Pray for wisdom, pray for this spirit to give revelation of the knowledge of who he is so that the eyes of your heart might be turned on. And as we know God, we are going to be excited about him. We're going to have energy for him. We're going to have great thoughts, great contentment, all of those things.
We fight to know God. Number three, after he talks about what he prays. Truth number three, is this, what can we expect as we pray in light of Paul's prayers? What can we expect? Or, or what does, what are Paul's expectations? He voices this prayer, this prayer goes up to God, but he's asking God to do something in the church.
And if that prayer, if God's answered a Paul's prayer is yes, this is going to occur. What would that thing be? Number one, that, what thing is, he is praying that they might have a confident hope verse 18, the second half of verse 18, he says that you might know what is the hope to which he has been called.
He wants the church in emphasis to be reminded that there is a, there is a hope. That comes from knowing Christ. It's not a hope like the world knows. It's not that amen. Crossing your fingers. Hope that the world hopes for I'm hoping for my Cleveland Browns to actually have another good season, but man, that's a fingers crossed.
I have no idea. You know why? Because they're the Cleveland Browns. They've been bad for like a hundred years and they had one good year and I'm like, Oh please. That's not the type of hope that he's talking about. A biblical hope is there is a, there's a confidence. There is an absolute certainty to biblical hope.
And he's saying, Oh God, if, if you would just aluminate their hearts, they might just hope in you that there might be, be a confidence in what's the confidence in. He says it's a confidence in a hope to which he has called you. The hope, the saying would be settled and secured in their heart is that God has called them to himself.
He's called them into a relationship with him, but it doesn't just stop there. He's actually, he's called them to himself so that they might be in a relationship with him and that he might be working in them, transforming them, making them more into the image and likeness of his son, the Lord Jesus. And he's saying, may they have a confident hope that this work, that you began, that you're going to see it through a confident hope number two, an assurance of our value.
And assurance of our value verse 18, he says that they might know what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints? What are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints? He's talking about an inheritance here and right. We know what an inheritance is, is something that you receive from somebody that, you know, a relative or whatever, after they pass away, whatever.
They owned essentially. They have gifted it to you. But what I want you to notice here, and this is something that you may have even missed as we just read through it. Whose inheritance is he talking about? Notice again, the second half of verse 18, he says, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance?
It's his inheritance. He's talking about God's inheritance and other places in this same letter, he talks about our inheritance as followers of Jesus. But here he says, there's an inheritance that God has. And do you know what it says? God's inheritance is the saints. You are God's inheritance. How crazy is that?
You are God's greatest treasure. Does it feel like that you're like, man, he got a raw deal. Like I know who I am. I know what I bring to the table. Like, man, I would have asked for something better than that. Right. But the God of the universe, like, can you imagine like the richest person in the world? I have no idea who that is.
Is it the Amazon guy? Whoever it is, right. It's probably the Amazon guy. Was it Jeff Bezos or whatever his name is? I don't, I never know how to say his last name. So I say Amazon guy. Okay. Like, if you're going to his birthday party and he had to bring him something like, what would you get him? What does he not have?
Right. Like if you're going to a birthday party for God, what do you get him? You know, his greatest treasure in what he had longed to open up and have his, his own. You. You're the greatest treasure to him. And the greatest thing that you can offer to this great God is your life having assurance of who you are and your value.
Number three, he wants them to know the availability of his power, to know verse 19, to know what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe. Is immeasurable greatness of his power. Paul says, if this God, if you say yes to this prayer, they're going to have confident hope. They're going to know how valuable they are.
And they are going to know that there is power immeasurable, great power that is available towards all who believe towards us. Every follower of Jesus has this incredible power at their disposal. Which is crazy. Right. I want you to think about the context we've described in emphasis in the first century.
So very large town, lots and lots of idol. Worship the temple to Artemis looms, large over the city, perhaps its shadow. At some point during the day falls on your own home, uh, pagan worship all around. We even read an. 19 that there is witchcraft was all over the place. There's even a time where there's a revival that breaks out in the church and they're practicing, like following Jesus and also witchcraft.
And they bring their witchcraft books and they start burning them. I mean, it's just rampant, right? Even in the church, what ends up happening in the midst of a pagan culture? And there are powers. I mean, there are demonic forces that are largely present. You hear these words? Paul says, I want you to know what the imagined, what is the immeasurable greatness of God's power that is on you and yeah, like, I want you to be, I want you to know that the very first time that I went to India, a number of years ago, I was traveling around with a, with a group training, regional pastors.
And one of the towns that we ended up in is a town called Vigi WADA. And individually Watteau we had a group of pastors that had traveled some of them for days to come and get some, some theological training. And we're there with these people. We had, we had practiced our, our talks and they had been sent ahead of time and translated into various languages.
And so I knew what I was going to talk about me. We're going to reproduce it and duplicate it over. The Southern region of India over a number of weeks, but in VJ water, after our first session, somebody came up to me and they said, we heard that you work with youth. And I was like, yeah, I do. I've been working with youth for about a decade.
And they said, would you come and speak to a group of young pastors that largely work with youth? And I was like, I'd love to do that. And so they bring me out back on this patio. And there's probably 40 or 50 young guys that are out there that are ministering to youth in their villages. And when you think village think like African village, I mean, these are like largely like huts and things like that.
You're hiking or walking for days to get water and food and all that good stuff. Like that's where these guys are coming from. And so I'm there and through a translator, I was like, all right, I've been working with youth for a decade. What questions do you have? How can I teach you about youth ministry?
Um, and the first guy raises his hand and says something, you know, and the translator says, ha ha ha. Okay. Yeah. Okay. All right. Uh, pastor, here's the question he's asking. He comes from a very small village and there is a witch in their village and she works magic spells. She is able to, she's able to speak with the dead.
She is very, very powerful. And so she's able to move objects and the youth in this town, they're wondering about this power. How, how do I minister in light of this, which that we find in our village. It's like, uh, okay. Um, like I'm thinking back, like, okay. In my experience, like I've had to exercise a couple of middle school students hyped up on mountain Dew and a lock-in right.
Does that qualifier? Oh my goodness. I have no idea. And like their questions like that one and multiple ones, it was about the supernatural. It was like, there's like demonic forces and oppressive things that show up, like how do we come against those? And. In that moment. I was like, I don't know. I feel like God gave me grace.
I can't tell you exactly what my answer was. But, uh, we, I gave an answer if you've ever been around Indian culture, like they do this head nod thing. Like this, it's not a yes or a no, it's like a back and forth and I'm not, I'm not, I'm not making fun of, of that culture. I love Indian culture, but like when, when I gave my answer about this demon witch thing in her, in, in his village and I was like, does that answer your question?
And he goes like this and I'm like, yes or no, I have no idea is that helpful? But anyways, it was this, but I think it could have been that this. If I would've known Paul's prayer, if I would have been led to Paul's prayer, because I think. A better understanding at this point in my own life, I would say to that young man, you have Trump, tremendous power.
That's what I would teach your youth. You have incredible power and measurable, great power that at your disposal because of Jesus. And so come what may let that power work in you and work through you and let Christ be magnified. That's what I would have said. Maybe I'll say that to you. Maybe you're not facing.
Any of those demonic forces, maybe you are, but you have a superior power that dwells inside you. That is why truth. Number four, we can pray with confidence. What he's going to do at the end of his prayer is he's going to tell you about this power, why Paul's prayer for this. Will have the effect that he's hoping that it will on these individuals.
And he talks about power demonstrated in Christ in four ways. Number one, power demonstrated in Jesus's resurrection, power point, number one, Jesus's resurrection power. So what he says is that he said in verse 20, it is the power that he worked in Christ. When he raised him from the dead resurrection power, the first and ultimate measure of God's power in the new Testament is his resurrection power.
Now to sidebar here, if it were me and I was talking about the power that God has, I would have talked about God's creative power. I mean, God's creation power is such that there was, there was a time where nothing existed and then God said, planets, And planets came in to be like that. That's pretty powerful.
Right? Do we all agree? That's pretty powerful. I've never spoken anything to, it exists in into existence, but God did. And out of nothingness, he cooked, he called everything. That is that's power, but that's not what he says. He actually, he says the greatest power that you and I can wield is resurrection power.
Why? And a pastor friend of mine, he had a guy on his staff and they called him that that's nothing guy not to his face behind his back, but he was called the that's nothing guy. And the reason they called him that that's nothing guys, because anything that you said to him, he would say, Oh, that's nothing.
There's like one time I to hold to put lay burritos. And he's like, Oh, that's nothing. One time, eight, 12. It's like, okay. That's nothing guy. Great. You know, he was just like, he would top you at every opportunity that he had. That's nothing. That's nothing. If I were to say God, you're so powerful. Like there was, I don't know if you guys are watching like this, the photos that are coming in of Mars right now.
Have you seen these, like the live footage of Mars, I'm watching it and I'm like, God, you created Mars and we're equal to like, it is, if you haven't seen it, it is unbelievable. This footage of Mars and I'm like, God, you created Mars and you created everything and you know what God would say. That's nothing.
I took my son who is dead, not half dead, not three quarters dead, but dead, dead. And I brought him back to life. You want to know power, power is not creating something that is non-existent or neutral and make it into something. The greatest power that has ever been demonstrated in human history is the power to take something that is dead and decayed and is no more and bring it to life.
You know, the reason why I think Paul shares this incredible power with us is because what we need in our lives is resurrection power because we're not, we're not dealing with neutral forces in the most significant areas of our life. We're dealing with incredible brokenness and death and decay, and God, that's nothing.
I've got power for that. And so his resurrection power is afforded to us. Number two is power displayed in Jesus's place of enthronement verse number 20. He says no only as Christ raised from the dead, but he is verse 20. He seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places. Not only is Jesus alive forever more, but he is ruling and reigning forever more.
Is that just alive and walking around. He is actually seated in heaven at God's right hand, which is a, which is a sense of power and authority and rule. Hebrews chapter one tells us that Jesus is now sitting on a throne. He is upholding everything by the power of his word, and he's doing it while seated parents.
You know that you're powerful. If you can command your kids while seated, right. Like if you're just sitting there and he'd go, go do that. And they said, Oh yes, sir. I just, I live to follow your commands, which is what my kids do. I don't know about yours, but man, if you can stay seated and say, Hey, I need you to go do that.
And they say, okay, normally it's getting up out of your seat and country. You've got to go, dude. You know, that's not what God does. He is comfortably seated on his throne ruling and reigning, and he's not getting up and hustling anything along. He is controlling it all. He is in throne. Number three, Jesus is Supreme over all things.
Paul goes off on a tangent here and let's just follow it for a moment. Verse 21. Talk to me about this power. He says that Jesus is far above all rule and authority and power and dominion and above every name that is named not only in this age, but also in the one to come. Jesus is Supreme. Do you see that?
He says he's over everything. Well, what about that guy? No, he's over him too. Well, what about that thing? He's over that too. Well, what about things that are unseen? He's over those things too. What about tomorrow? He's over those things too. He's over things that are seen and unthinking, uh, visible and invisible things that are present and things that are to come.
He is over it all. And not only is he over it all, but he's saying that everything is actually submitted warden it to him. There's nothing that is above God. God is doing everything. That he wants to do. He is in complete control. If you think the United States and our country is going in a direction that is contrary to what God would have it.
Do. We just, we don't understand, like we might not be obeying God in, in the exact way we know that we're not, but listen, God is in complete control. He just is. He's doing exactly what he wants. The whole world is under his foot years later in emphasis, there was a statue that was erected to Trajan the emperor, and it was a Trajan standing on top of a globe.

And it was just this picture that the ruler of Rome stands over everything. And I just imagine the believers in emphasis pulling out their scroll from Paul decades later from decades past and looking at it and be like, huh, Jesus is better. I just remember, he's just, he's just above that stuff. Jesus is above everything and that's what he's telling us.

He has no rivals. And then the fourth thing and we're done is this. We see Jesus power. As we see Jesus's headship for the church verse 22 and 23, it says, and he put all things under his feet, right. That picture not Trajan, but Jesus, with everything under his feet. And he gave him as head over all things and then he changes it.

He says to the church really interesting, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all. So he talks, remember where he started. He started with the greatest ultimate power resurrection power that he talked about Jesus as in throne, Matt. And then he talks about Jesus's supremacy over all things.
And where is all this power leading to resurrection power and thrown mid power, Supreme power. Where is it leading to empower the church? It's just a way weird place to land, unless you know, the purpose and nature of the church. The church is the demonstration of Christ in this world. It is the demonstration of resurrection power in this world.

It's a demonstration of the enthronement of Christ in this world. It's the demonstration of the supremacy of Jesus. In all things, we are, God's demonstrable people demonstrating his incredible power in this world. He fills all things. He's over all things, but his filling of the church is different. It's distinct.

And that's Paul is he, he is inĀ  ending here to drive this home church in emphasis and church at Bethel church, we are significant God is ruling and reigning through us in special ways, or at least he wants to. And the question is, is, is he ruling and reigning in special and unique ways in your life? In my life?
You know, a place to be again for God's ruling and reigning in our lives is to begin where we just had Paul, take us in prayer to pray unceasingly for one another. You know, I'm, I'm thinking that this prayer is going to shape my praying for you. The body of Christ for quite a long time. I'm praying that we might see you demonstrating more clearly faith in the Lord, Jesus and love for one another.

Wouldn't it be awesome to see that come to be. Maybe we would begin praying for that and unceasing ways, you know, we've been trying to figure out how to capitalize on what we felt like God led us into in January as we're going through 21 days of fasting and prayer. If he joined us. And just saying, like, how can we keep the momentum of just praying together?

One of the, one of the things that we just loved was the, I call it the de-centralized portion of our praying. We would gather together centrally a unified on Sundays. We had a culmination of a prayer gathering on a Saturday night, but throughout the week, you're praying individually. As families with your roommates, with your small group.

And we're like, God, what do you have next for us? Cause we want to just keep it going. And so here's what I would invite you to do. We are going to start praying once a week together at the exact same time we're calling it prayer sync Saturday. And what, what did I'd ask you to do is if you have a phone, take it out.
If you're interested in getting one prompt a week, I promise that's all that it's going to be. On a Saturday nights at five 16, based upon James five 16 at five 16, every Saturday, you will get a prayer prompt that will unify our church. And we will all be praying around five 16, the exact same prayer. For our body and our relationship with God in our body, for our relationship, with one another and through our body and our relationship with the world every Saturday, very pithy, you can do it individually.

You can do it as a family, do it as a small group, whatever you want. And then once a month on the Richland campus, we are going to have a prayer gathering on the third, Saturday night of every month. We're going to gather together. It is going to be very stripped down. It's not going to be a big band and a big worship thing.

We are gathering to pray. We're gathering to pray for the body. We're praying together and pray for one another, our work in the world. And if you're interested in that, we would love for you to continue to join with us in this decentralized way of praying together. But I'm praying that God might do exactly what Paul was praying for this body of believers in Ephesus.

That he might open our eyes, that we might see our great need for him, that he might reveal even in supernatural ways who he is and his bigness, so that we might see him more clearly and that he might be more demonstrated more clearly demonstrated in our lives, in the places that he takes us weekend and week out.

So would you join me in praying that God might use us to that end? Let's pray. Jesus. We, we asked that Paul's prayer in, in lots of ways we know throughout history Paul's prayer was, was answered oftentimes and in noticeable ways it was answered as yes by you. So God, we offer up this prayer and we ask Lord of all the earth we ask that you might say yes to our prayer.

And here it is. Spirit, would you give us wisdom where we need wisdom to walk in light of your truth spirit? Would you give us revelation in the knowledge of the person and work of the Lord Jesus spirit? Would you take that command center known as our heart? And would you turn the lights up and eliminate the eyes of our hearts so that we might see you more clearly and then live.
In light of that truth and Lord, as you bring about that, enlightenment, I pray that we would walk day by day with a confident hope. I pray that we might walk day by day, just knowing that we are your greatest treasure. Not that that would boast and build us up and puff us up, but that, that would spur us on to keep fighting.

And God that we would know your power. Ultimately we would know your resurrection power that doesn't look at any person or any situation and say it is hopelessly lost, but it looks at each and every person in each and every situation and says there is life to be had here. So spirit send life, bring life out of death and decay and brokenness.

And guide we do we just ask that you would be magnified that your power would be magnified in us, not for our own sake, but for the sake of your glory and for the sake of the expansion of your kingdom, we asked that it would be brought about in Jesus name. Amen


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