DEVOTIONS @ 205.825.9633
Senior Minister Ricky A. Woods
@ 8:15am & 7:15pm
Dial (205) 825-9633 a few minutes ahead of the scheduled start time.
P.S. REMEMBER, DON'T ANNOUNCE YOURSELF AFTER THE START TIME AND PLEASE PUT YOUR PHONE ON MUTE!
UNDERSTANDING GOD'S POWER - AUG. 3, 2021
This section of Ephesians provides Paul’s prayer for the church at Ephesus.
Paul’s prayer is insightful on many fronts and provides insights to his theology. Particular attention should be given to what Paul does not pray for the Ephesians. Paul does not pray for health and prosperity because he is aware of the temporal nature of our bodies and the fleeting position of riches. Paul does not pray for success in their personal endeavors. Nor does Paul pray for the avoidance of persecution because of their faith in Christ.
Paul makes the focus of his prayer what the Ephesians will come to understand about God. What Paul desires most for the church to understand is the power of God.
Living in a world of Roman domination where the seal of Rome represented the world’s strongest power, Paul wants the church at Ephesus to know there is a power greater than Caesar. Rome does not have the last word in the affairs of human history. God’s power is greater than the power of Rome. Paul says three things about God’s power that he wants the church to always remember and know.
First--God’s power is at work for those who believe in hHm. God’s power is not just some abstract principle of physics. God’s power is at work manifesting itself to those who believe in Him. God’s power is working on behalf of the church doing for us what would be impossible to do without His power. The angel’s words to Mary are still true for with God nothing is impossible.
Second--God’s power is stronger than the power of death because God’s power raised Jesus from the dead. Understanding that God’s power is stronger than death takes the fear out of death and robs the grave of its victory. We are free to live out the meaning of our faith even in times of persecution because if we fall in battle living for Christ, God will raise us up again because he did it before for his son Jesus.
Third--God’s power has placed all things in subjection to Jesus Christ and has given Him this authority for the benefit of the church. The church is the representation of God’s authority in the world to provide a moral and spiritual compass that will point all persons to God. The church is to use this authority for the glory of God. It is God’s glory that is to be our aim and desire. The desires and visions of humanity are to take a backseat to what God desires that we may do using His authority to accomplish what He wills.
When we understand the place, the role and the function of God’s power we are different and prepared to yield to whatever claims God may make upon us--even if it means doing ministry in a pandemic--because we are not without power.