For this reason…


Ephesians 3:14-20

“For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth takes its name.  I pray that, according to the riches of his glory, he may grant that you may be strengthened in your inner being with power through his Spirit, and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith, as you are being rooted and grounded in love. 

I pray that you may have the power to comprehend, with all the saints, what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.  Now to him who by the power at work within us is able to accomplish abundantly far more than all we can ask or imagine, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever.  Amen.”

 For this reason.  For this reason…and what reason is that?  Paul had just written that he was the very least of all the saints and it was God’s grace that was granted to him to preach the boundless riches of Christ. 

For and because of God’s grace, it is that for that reason that Paul’s knees bow before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth takes its name.  God’s grace is the reason.

Salvation by grace through faith.  This unlimited treasure of grace.  Let me ask you this question, do you allow yourself to be full open to receive grace?  Are you able to fully receive it and extend it to others?

I am guilty of this.  I am guilty of not taking the time to reflect on all that God has done for me and taking many times for granted.  I am guilty of being closed off to grace at times and of trying to do something to earn it.

Maybe you have done the same.  Gone through a time of spiritual dryness or struggle.  Trying to balance the demands of ministry, family, your own spiritual growth and for those of us that are bi-vocational, a full-time job as well.  Too many things to get done, allowing little time to reflect on God’s work in our own lives.

 Paul was a man that suffered many hardships for the sake of the gospel.  He became a servant according to the gift of God’s grace.  As we all know Paul wasn’t always a servant for Christ.  He persecuted Christians and tried to extinguish the early church.  God’s redeeming work and grace took a man that killed Christians and made him a man that would help save them. 

Paul is the most prolific writer in the New Testament.  If grace can change a heart that hard, what can it do for each of us?  What each one of us are capable of.  For this reason, for the saving grace of our God, my knees bow before the Father.

Pastor Shawn LaRue

Author of Incomplete

incompletedevotional.com

 

 

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Remember!


And Moses said to the people: “Remember this day in which you went out of Egypt, out of the house of bondage; for by strength of hand the LORD brought you out of this place.”
Exodus 13:3a

One of the advantages of keeping a diary is that it helps us remember significant events in the past. And keeping a spiritual journal does the same; it reminds us of crossroads, provisions, and answered prayers—demonstrations of God’s faithfulness in the past. It is not just moderns who struggle with memory. The challenge to remember was a central theme in Israel’s life as a nation.

Then, and now, the most important thing that Jews remember is the Exodus from Egypt. It was then that God rescued and redeemed His people from a life of bondage to a pagan nation. As the Israelites prepared to leave Egypt, Moses told them to remember “this day.” What were they to remember? The “strength of [the Lord’s] hand” that delivered them from slavery to safety. God is strong; God is mighty to save; God is a promise keeper—and more. It is the attributes of God, displayed in the past, that give us cause to trust Him and live for Him in the present.

Remembering and considering God’s attributes and faithfulness is a step toward personal revival today.

How worthy it is to remember former benefits when we come to beg for new.
Stephen Charnock

Morning Dew


Consider how I love Your precepts; revive me, O LORD, according to Your loving-kindness.
Psalm 119:159

Huda Shaarawi was a remarkable woman who, as a child, was secluded in a Cairo harem but who ended up working for women’s rights in Egypt and becoming a national hero. In her memoirs, she told of an older woman, Madame Richard, who became a mentor and encourager to her. Shaarawi wrote, “We took special pleasure in the company of Mme Richard who often joined us while we read, played the piano, or embroidered. When we were blue, her blithe spirit and soothing words revived us as the morning dew revives wilting blossoms.”

Have you ever known anyone who could talk with you awhile and revive your spirits as the morning dew revives wilting blossoms? We all have such a friend. When we open God’s Word at any point throughout the day, He speaks to us with such strong and soothing words that our hearts are revived, our spirits are restored, and our souls are strengthened. As we study the Word, our understanding of God’s unchangeable, unconditional love is refreshed and renewed in our hearts.

Then we can be reviving to others.

We do not so much search the Word of God as the Word of God searches us. There is reviving power in the Word that we, as a church, need to harness.
Barry Black, Chaplain to the United States Senate

Everlasting I am


Flying from west to east
Concealed in-between the mist
Safe soaring on the clouds
Empty, alive and proud.

No voices to be heard
Not the whisper of a word
No fear can reach my being
My soul ascends seeing

The pain be left behind
Eyes that are no longer blind.
Air, earth and blood
Quiet and undisturbed
Bids my humanity goodbye
As my spirit reaches new heights.

Everlasting I am
For the Eternal Son Of Man
Gave his breath to redeem
Those whom the world had not yet seen.

Erstwhile dead,now forever alive
I foresee the moment I am to arrive,
In glory no longer transitory
To witness the beginning of an old told story.

Captured by Grace: Never-Ending Grace


The LORD is near to all who call upon Him, to all who call upon Him in truth.
Psalm 145:18

Some numbers and ideas are hard to fathom. Take the amount of water that spills over Niagara Falls every second of every day of every year. Approximately 85,000 cubic feet of water flows over the falls every second. Such a number is hard to grasp; see if this helps: Enough water flows over Niagara Falls in one second to fill 5.3 average-sized houses every second. Right now, count off five seconds—more than 25 houses could have been filled with water. And it never stops.

That’s a lot—and it’s an inadequate illustration of something else that never stops: the grace of God. There is more grace flowing from God—right this second—than water flowing over Niagara Falls. We know grace can’t be measured, but it’s a way of saying that God’s grace is always there. There is more than we know, more than we need, and more than we can imagine. God is, and God does, “exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think” (Ephesians 3:20). And that includes His grace.

Never believe that you have sinned or strayed too far. God’s grace is greater than all our sin (Romans 5:20). God’s grace is abundant and ever-present for all who call on Him.

It is possible to fall in grace, but not to fall from grace.
John Blanchard

Live – a – Life – Less – Ordinary