Ephesians 1:15-23 Devotion Sharing

Submitted by Jeannie Lee, Gracepoint Berkeley

vv. 17-18 – What did the Apostle Paul pray for the Ephesians?
• that they might be given the Spirit of wisdom and revelation
• that the eyes of their heart may be enlightened

What should the eyes of their heart being enlightened lead to?
knowledge of:

• the hope to which he has called me
• the riches of the inheritance I have in the saints
• God’s incomparably great power

What would characterize a life where the eyes of the heart are not enlightened or remain darkened?
• hopelessness
• feeling impoverished
• feeling weak or a lack of power / strength

Application:  Are the eyes of my heart enlightened or darkened? There are many times when the eyes of my heart remain darkened or I have a tunnel vision, focused on myself and my own abilities or lack thereof, and so as I look at myself as a minister of the Gospel, I feel inadequate, I feel a sense of lack and I lack the resources to make things happen.  I lack the power to change myself and those around me; I feel hopeless about my circumstances and about the depravity and brokenness in the world.  I feel my weaknesses very acutely, even as I try to serve God.  In that way, the eyes of my heart are darkened.

• On the other hand, I have also experienced the eyes of my heart being enlightened, as I lift them up to see GOD, and Him at work, and all that HE is doing in and around me, the ways that He answers my prayers for the church plant team jobs or housing needs, the way that He’s working in our Interhigh ministry, the way that He’s gathering Impact students for us to minister to, the ways that He’s expanding our hearts and sphere of concern to embrace the elderly, the needy, children.  Then I experience His incomparable power to change the world through the Gospel, and I experience the riches of my inheritance in the saints, as we all work together towards a common cosmic goal, and I experience a hope beyond the brokenness of this world, the hope He has called me to and that I can now help to call others to as well.
• Lord, please open the eyes of my heart so that I can see beyond myself to all that You are doing, so that I can experience the spiritual blessing You have in store for me.  Thank you for blessing me so richly and undeservedly.

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Submitted by Phil Choi, Gracepoint Hsinchu

Apostle Paul prays that the Ephesians would know God better, specifically regarding these 3 things in v.18:

1.      To know the hope to which he has called us

2.      The riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints

3.      His incomparably great power for us who believe

Throughout this section Apostle Paul uses lofty words, describing God as “the glorious Father,” and wants the Ephesians to know “the riches of his glorious inheritance” and his “incomparably great power.” One thing that is clear is that Apostle Paul’s view of God is elevated and full of amazement. To Paul, God is not small or one-dimensional. Rather, God is big, colorful, dynamic, and worthy of such lofty words, and it’s this God that Apostle Paul desperately wants the Ephesian church to know.

What allowed Apostle Paul to know God is this kind of way? I believe it was through his personal experiences in life. In 2 Corinthians 11 he lists many of the things he had to suffer because of the Gospel, and while some people might take pity on him for those things, Paul has no such self-pity. Instead, he boasts about his sufferings because through suffering he experienced God in a deeper, more personal way. The more he suffered, the more God became real to him, and that is why he is able to use such words to describe God. You do not get the sense that he is using “Christian jargon” to describe God. Instead, these are personal descriptions of God based on personal experience. I realize that its through obedience and personal suffering that God becomes more real and personal. It’s true of any relationship; the more you go through difficulties with a person, the more intimate your knowledge of that person becomes.

I realize that this true for me as well because it was through times of personal struggle and learning to sacrifice that I came to know God in a deeper, more intimate way. Before coming to Taiwan, I had a lot of time to think about my memories of Davis the past 11 years and all the ways God has led me, and one characteristic of God that is more real now than before is God as my Redeemer. There were times in the past when I felt so hopeless against my sin, and I had a lot of regret because of things I had done. And while I could not see then how God could ever make good out of that, somehow by His grace He has turned those things in memories by which I can actually give thanks to God for. One way He has redeemed my sin is by giving me a more sensitive heart and a fear of sin that makes me more humble and on guard. But another way is by giving me a more compassionate heart towards others who struggle with their own sin. And now when I view the students under me, I see them through a completely different lens than before. I see people bound by their sins, and whether they know it or not, it’s destroying them. And my heart goes out to them because I know what it’s like to be in that position. And that’s what fuels my heart with passion to do ministry, because as I have been saved by God’s grace, now I need to help rescue others. I am able to share Paul’s excitement because I have experienced God as my Redeemer, to be personally true.  So I can share with others that God is truly my Redeemer with a lot more conviction.

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One Response to “Ephesians 1:15-23 Devotion Sharing”

  1. williamkang says:

    Thank you for sharing. Praise the Lord for his work at Gracepoint and InterHigh!

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