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For The Love Of God

"14 For this reason I bend my knees before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name, 16 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner self, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled to all the fullness of God.
20 Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, 21 to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen."

Good Morning Beloved,

Welcome to worship this Lord's Day!
I can't tell you how glad we are to have you here.

Before we begin, I'd like to tell you something. When I first started preaching, it was rather a nerve racking experience. Do I know enough? Will I bring anything valuable to the incredible ministry? Maybe now, is not the right time..
However, the scariest part of it for me, was knowing that sometimes, people really do listen. I want to give thanks to God, this has been a great honor and incredible privilege, and a humbling experience. And, it has been a terrific honor and privilege, to be not only heard, but listened to by you. I don’t know what you have heard, but I do know what I pray you have heard, God's voice speaking to your hearts.
I sincerely thank you all from my heart.

That said, please remain calm and don't become too excited, I'm not going anywhere! I know probably some of you were anxiously waiting for me to say, something like, "and this will be my last message." 
If that was your hope, I have the great pleasure of dashing those hopes for you. 
"He said to him, Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and most important command. The second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets depend on these two commands." - Matthew 22:37-40

It’s really all about the love of God. That’s why we're all here. And that's what makes my heart beat faster and louder. That’s what makes me want to jump up and down, all around and celebrate, that’s what makes me want to get up in the morning. 
It also makes me want to grab some people by the head, turn their gaze towards God, and ask "Why can't you see what I see!" However, I'd like you to know, so far, I have not done that. But rather, trying to convince people, that God's love is real and it is amazing, sends me to bed at night both exhilarated and exhausted but with a smile. 
But seriously, I'd like you to know, that I have truly, have experienced the love of God through you. Thank you for encouraging me, thank you for challenging me, thank you for choosing to stay with me and faithfully fight for the Kingdom of God, thank you for allowing God to reveal His love to me, in deeper ways than I could have ever imagined, through you. And when I say that I love you, I really do. I care about what your going through now and also what happens to your eternal soul.
God loves you. And He loves me too. And if we could just really, really grasp that, if we could some how understand that, even if we could just grasp hold of that, a little more today than we did yesterday, then every exhausting hour of study, every sleepless night, every moment of effort, has been more than worth it. Because that is the most profound truth that I can share with you. God loves you. And because He loves us, we love, not only Him, but we are able to love others.

Just love God. I John 4:19 teaches us, "We love because He first loved us." 

That statement of profound truth says it all. Everything we need to know about living life is right there in that one sentence. Just love God. And Jesus said to do it "with all your heart and soul and mind and strength."
Because if we will just do that, with all our heart, soul and mind, it will powerfully define our identity. It will address our problem with sin, it will give us victory. It will soothe our wounds, and mend our broken hearts. It will awaken celebration and create joy and laughter. It will give us courage and strength to stand for what is right. It will guide us in how to live life, our relationships with each other and with the world around us. It will lead us down a path of incredible adventure, which will always be worth it. Just Love God. That's it. And He will do all the rest. 

And from that love, we love others. We learn to love like Jesus! We start to love the poor, the sick and the outcast at the top of the list. And our friends and families. And even our enemies… How? How much? When is enough. When we love like Jesus we love selflessly. Completely. And not by just being polite, or nice, but by relentlessly pursuing what is best for one another, no matter how hard it may be or how long it may take. Because we know, it is so worth it… and so different from the culture we live in that is all about "me" and what others can do for "me, " and "my rights."
This is love in action! This is what God saved us for, and this is where life really becomes so well worth living. Everything else pales in comparison, a counterfeit copy, a false promise, a dangerous dead end. 
Love God and Love like Jesus. Because when we are loved by God, and then love God in return and we love others as a response to God’s love for us, we begin to see the deepest, most infamous prayer being answered: "Your Kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven."
I'd like to share Paul's prayer from Colossians 1:9-14, "For this reason also, since the day we heard this, we haven’t stopped praying for you. We are asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding, so that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to Him, bearing fruit in every good work and growing in the knowledge of God. May you be strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for all endurance and patience, with joy giving thanks to the Father, who has enabled you to share in the saints’ inheritance in the light. He has rescued us from the domain of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of the Son He loves. We have redemption, the forgiveness of sins, in Him." Amen

Without question, that one of my life greatest joys, to witness the love of God transform lives, and then see those people loving God so much in return, they begin serving Him, by loving others. I am overcome with emotion and overwhelmed with joy.

Let us bow our heads in prayer.

Heavenly Father,

Father, with the utmost trust, I trust that You are leading, guiding and directing my heart and mind, that You know what’s needful for these precious souls, you have entrusted me to shepherd. Almighty Father I stand as Your humble servant. I will not run ahead, and try not to fall too far behind. I eagerly wait with a sense of anticipation and excitement for things that You will reveal through Your Word, and I will faithfully and wholeheartedly share them with every one who will listen.

Lord, I pray that You will bless each and every person You have gathered together with us. You will open their hearts and minds, to have a greater understanding. That everyone under the sound of my voice will know, with all certainty, that You love them, and they will love You in return. Binding that love, resulting in a deeper relationship, reaffirmation and commitment to You.

And for those who do not yet know You, that today, would be that glorious day, they would surrender their heart to You.
This I pray, in Christ's precious name.

Today's Message: For The Love Of God

We’ve all heard the old adage "Home is where the heart is," but I would like to suggest to you, that "Your heart is where your home is."

I'm sure that you will remember, in our last study, we learned that the great and almighty God, the Creator of the universe has set His affection upon us and given us His redeeming love in Christ, drawn us into His own family and poured out all the full riches of the inheritance of His mercy on us. What wonderful truth.
I find it deeply disturbing, that true Christians, so-called Christians, chase around, frantically trying to find the solution to all of their life’s problems, when if they are an authentic Christian, a genuine Christian, all the answers they seek, resides inside of them, in the indwelling Christ. It's one thing to know it, and another to apply that truth to our own lives.  
Paul tells us in Philippians 3:10,"My goal is to know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death." There is no more important call could ever be given to Christians today, than to know Christ, focus on Christ, pursue Christ, be enlightened about Christ and share Christ. 

And in Philippians 4:19, Paul teaches us, "And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus."
As we continue our journey through Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, I believe, that is the essence of the passage. 

I invite you to open your Bibles with me to the book of Ephesians chapter 3, as we come to the end of this marvelous chapter, verses 14-21, so rich, full of astonishing truths. Follow along with me, as I read to you from Ephesians 3:14-21.

"For this reason I bend my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner self, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled to all the fullness of God.
Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen."
As we learned in our last message, the apostle Paul does as he frequently does and inserts a big parenthesis for the next 12 verses. In those verses he describes how God is carrying out His eternal purpose through the body of believers called the church. And now, as we come to verse 14, Paul picks up with the thought that he originally began back in verse 1.
Have you ever given thought as to why we pray? I don't mean just a passing thought, I mean to deeply contemplate why it is that we pray. We’ve spent a great deal of time focusing on the sovereignty of God in the firs three chapters of Ephesians. It is God who chooses us, God who predestines us to become part of his family, God who redeems us and God who guarantees that we will one day receive the inheritance of all the spiritual blessings that He has promised to us. So it only seems fair to ask, "If God is going to do what He wills anyway, why should I pray?"
I believe that Paul answers that very question with verse 14 "For this reason I bend my knees before the Father."
There has been over the years, much speculation over this from various commentators . However, I believe, it is more than obvious, that Paul is referring back to what he has written previously in this letter, but what specifically is the reason for which he is praying?
Is it because of his interest in the welfare of his readers and his desire for them to enter fully into their privileges in Christ? Is it because he is imprisoned and he doesn’t want his readers to be discouraged? 
Is it because of the reconciling work of Jesus that has brought Jews and gentile together in the church and because of Paul’s understanding of this mystery?
I believe that it is highly probable, that all of those thoughts entered into Paul’s reasoning. However, it seems that the immediate context has to do with the fact that God’s children have been gathered together in the church for the purpose of making God’s manifold wisdom evident here on earth and in the heavens. 
And I believe, that Paul is praying because he is confident that God will do the things Paul is praying for in our lives in order to prepare us to be fit vessels to carry out God’s sovereign plan.

Next, Paul writes that he bows his knees before the Father. Paul is not indicating here that we have to bow our knees when we pray. In fact, throughout the Bible we find people praying in various different positions. 

However, the idea of bowing our knees is a picture of submission, reverence and awe. It illustrates a subject coming before the king to bring a request. The point Paul is making here, is that when we come before God to pray, we need to come with a right heart. We can come boldly, as we learned in our last message, because our access to God is based upon what Christ has done for us. But we also need to come with reference and awe.

Then Paul uses an interesting phrase to describe God. He calls him "the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name." Frankly we could spend our whole time just looking at this one phrase today, however, of you would allow me just make a couple of quick observations. 

First, there seems to be a reference here to creation and the fact that all created beings owe their existence to the Father. But because of the context here in Ephesians, Paul seems to be emphasizing the idea that in the church, we all have the same Father. It doesn’t matter whether we are Jew or Gentile, male or female, black or white, rich or poor. We are all God’s children and God loves all his children equally. He doesn’t play favorites. So when Paul prays, he is praying for all of God’s children, including all of us who are followers of Jesus Christ. 

Let's focus our attention today on Paul's prayer, verse 16 through 19. "that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner self, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled to all the fullness of God."

Paul’s desire is that Christ would dwell in the hearts of his readers. The word, "katoikēsai," translated "dwell" is an interesting word. In Greek, it means to inhabit, to settle in, and as you might expect, there are several different words that mean to live or to dwell. The one that Paul chose to use here is a word that means to "settle in and be at home in."

Paul’s prayer for us is that we’d be able to do the same thing spiritually with our hearts that most of us do with our homes - to make it a place where Christ can settle in, make it a home and take up permanent residence. Even though Jesus comes into my heart at the moment that I commit my life to Him, Paul’s prayer here makes it clear that my life is not quite ready at that point for Jesus to settle down and be at home there. So, as we’ve seen throughout our study of Ephesians, we embark on this process of having our lives transformed so that we can become more and more like Jesus and to prepare our hearts to be the place where He can come and settle down and be at home.

Let’s look at Paul’s prayer and see if we can unpack some practical principles, that will help us to make sure that our heart is where God’s home is.

First, "that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power...." 
The great thing about preparing our hearts for Christ to take up permanent residence, is that we’re not limited by or dependent on our own resources. As Paul tells us, we have access to the glorious riches of God.

We’ve been reading about those glorious riches from the very beginning of Paul’s letter. We’ve been chosen by God and predestined to be adopted into His family. Jesus has redeemed us from an empty way of life through his death and resurrection. The Holy Spirit lives in our lives as a guarantee of both present and future spiritual riches. We’ve been joined together with other believers in the church for the purpose of revealing God’s wisdom both here on earth and in the heavens. And if God has already done all that for His children, don’t you think that He is capable of equipping us with everything we need to prepare our hearts so Jesus can come and make Himself at home there?

What a powerful truth, not to mention a great relief to know that I’m not limited by my own resources? In the process of preparing my heart so Jesus can settle in there, I have the glorious riches of God at my disposal. But how am I able to tap into that amazing power that God provides? That’s where the next three principles come in.  

In verse 16, Paul tells us that "... through His Spirit..." Here, we clearly see all three parts of the trinity at work in Paul’s prayer. He prays to God the Father, who is the source of the glorious riches and the power that is available to us. And the purpose of that power is to enable us to prepare our hearts so that His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, can come and take up residence. And it is the Holy Spirit who is the conduit through whom that power and those resources flow into our lives. The Holy Spirit has a number of functions in our lives. We’ve already seen in Ephesians that he serves as guarantee of our future inheritance of the riches of God. But one of His other important roles is to point us to Jesus Christ.

In John 14:26, prior to Jesus going to the cross, He describes that role for us. "But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit—the Father will send Him in My name—will teach you all things and remind you of everything I have told you."

At least one of the ways that the Holy Spirit is the conduit for the riches of God is that He reminds us of the teachings of Jesus and helps us to apply those teachings in our lives. Although we get all of the Holy Spirit that we’ll ever get at the very moment we become a follower of Jesus Christ, the Bible is very clear that we can impede His work in our lives.

In Ephesians 4:30, Paul teaches us, "Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption."

As we can clearly understand from this passage, and some of Paul's various other letters, the Holy Spirit will not force us to respond to the revelation that He brings into our lives. Therefore, we can grieve the Holy Spirit and quench His work in our lives. Whenever the Holy Spirit leads us and reminds us of the teachings of Jesus, we can either choose to respond by submitting our lives to that work of the Spirit and making the changes we need to make to get our lives in line with that revelation or we can choose to ignore that revelation. Putting out the "fire" of the Holy Spirit.

In other words, if I want to make my heart God’s home, than I need to develop the habit of submitting my life to the work of the Holy Spirit in my life. And as I read the Bible and pray, I need to do it with an attitude of humility and submission. I need to be willing to respond to the work of the Holy Spirit in my life even before I know what He will reveal to me. 

Then we must emphasize the eternal. "... in the inner self," "in your hearts."

This principle is so vitally important that Paul uses two different phrases to describe the idea of developing our inner lives. Both the inner being, literally the "inner man" and our hearts describe the very center of our being. That includes our personality, thoughts, will and emotions. And it is that part of our lives we need to develop in order for Jesus to come and be at home there.

We live in a culture that is obsessed with outward appearances. The cosmetic industry rakes in billions of dollars per year, from people who are desperately seeking to change their outward appearance. We can spend all the time we want on the outside, but if we don’t take care of the inner man, our hearts, then all the work we do will not last. So how do we make sure that we develop that inner man? 

Paul gives us some hints about how we do that in II Corinthians chapter 4. In verses 16 through 18, Paul tells us, "Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer person is decaying, yet our inner person is being renewed day by day. For our momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal."

There is far more to this short passage than we could even begin to tackle today, but Paul makes it quite clear that the way that we are renewed inwardly day by day is to fix our eyes on those unseen things that are eternal rather that the temporary things that we can see. In other words, I need to focus on developing on those things that will last for eternity – my character, my convictions, my thought life, my devotion – rather than those things that will pass away – my body and my material possessions.

I’m certainly not saying, and I don’t believe Paul is either, that we are not to take care of our bodies or be good stewards of the material goods God has entrusted us with. In fact, the Bible clearly teaches that we should do both of those things. But what Paul is saying that our main focus should be on developing those parts of our lives that will last for eternity. It only makes sense that if Jesus is to be at home in our hearts, that is where we ought to focus our time and our resources.

Paul tells us to trust in God's truth, "...through faith."  When Paul writes that Christ dwells in our hearts through faith, the faith that he is describing is much more than just some intellectual belief. In fact, it is even broader than what we normally think of as faith – trusting in Jesus Christ alone as the means of being made right with God. That’s certainly part of faith, but it’s really only the starting point. If we want Jesus to be at home on our hearts, we need to have a much more faith than that, an all encompassing kind of faith.

In James 2:18-20, James gives us some helpful principals of that kind of faith. "But someone may well say, “You have faith and I have works; show me your faith without the works, and I will show you my faith by my works.” You believe that God is one. You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder. But are you willing to acknowledge, you foolish person, that faith without works is useless?" 

There are a number of people, who would claim that James’ writings contradict Paul’s claim that salvation is by faith alone and not a result of our works. But if you read Paul’s letters carefully, you will find that both of them are actually very much on the same page. James is pointing out that real faith will be demonstrated by our actions. As he points out, even the demons have an intellectual belief about God and His Son. And I think we’d all agree that kind of faith is totally inadequate as a basis for our salvation or for making our heart a dwelling for Jesus. If we want Jesus to come and make Himself at home in our hearts, then we need to have the kind of faith that trusts that as we obey the teachings of Jesus and the leading of the Holy Spirit, God will accomplish what is the very best for us, even when we can’t see how that can be. 

In John 14:23, Jesus Himself, put it this way. "If anyone loves Me, he will follow My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our dwelling with him." 

In verses 17-19, Paul tells us "so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled to all the fullness of God."

As we read this wonderful passage, it seems that Paul has laid out a very easy to follow roadmap for us to follow. He presents Biblical principles in a very logical order. 

However, for the purpose of this message, I’m actually going to start with the end of the passage and work our way backward. That’s because Paul reveals our destination at the end of the passage and before the roadmap is going to do us any good, we need to know where we’re headed. 

At the end of verse 19, he says "..that you may be filled to all the fullness of God." God’s goal for the lives of His children is that they might experience a life that is filled to the very brim with the fullness of God. In fact, Jesus in John 10:10, indicated that was the very purpose for which He came to earth.

"....I came so that they would have life, and have it abundantly."

Paul indicates that when we make the decision to be a follower of Jesus Christ, God imparts His fullness to us in Christ.

Remember that Paul is writing to believers here in Ephesians. So if those believers already have the fullness of God in their lives as a result of their union with Jesus Christ, why would Paul pray that they might be filled to the very top with the fullness of God? It seems to me that what Paul is praying is for his readers to become what they already are in Christ – in other words he wants them to be all that they can be, what God intends them to be, not what they presently are.

When we make the decision to become a follower of Jesus Christ, we get all of Jesus we’ll ever get and in Him we get the fullness of God. However, we don’t necessarily experience the entire impact of that fullness right away. In fact, none of us will be able to know all that fullness in this lifetime here on earth. But as we mature and develop in our relationship with God, we are able to experience a little more and then a little more of that fullness operating in our lives.

Paul makes a clear connection between attaining the whole measure of the fullness of Christ and our spiritual maturity. So the destination that God sets out before us is our spiritual maturity. But this is a different kind of destination, because it is one that I can never reach, at least not while I’m here on earth. That idea is foreign to our natural minds. For example, we would never set to take a trip in a car with a quarter of a tank of gas, without knowing that we had the means to fuel up as we needed to, otherwise, what would be the point of heading out toward a destination we knew we could never reach. But God has determined that our spiritual journey in such a way, that we will never come to a point of completion, at least on this earth.

I strongly believe, that if there were anyone who could have ever completed his spiritual journey here on earth, it had to be Paul, But even Paul, as he approached the end of his life, recognized that he still hadn’t gotten there. And yet, he still kept striving to reach the final destination. We will never arrive, but the more mature we get, the closer we come to being all that God intends for us to be. 

What really breaks my heart is to look around and to see all of the Christians who want to settle for just getting by on spiritual crumbs. They're seemingly ok with it. Why? Because they don’t want to do the hard work that is needed to get on the journey toward spiritual maturity. They could have the fullness of God in their life, but they choose to settle for the cheap imitations, the fake knock-off's offered by the world.

So, I suppose the question you want answered now, is "How do we get to our destination of spiritual maturity?" 

We must experientially know the love of Christ. "may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge"

Paul tells us that the way we get closer to our destination of spiritual maturity is by grasping the love of Christ. Experiential things can be seen, touched, and verified. If something is experiential, it's real, rather than conceptual. Paul tells us that Christ’s love is wide and long and high and deep and that it is the kind of love that surpasses knowledge. Then he turns right around and prays that his readers would be able to know this unknowable love.

In our last two verses, Paul says, "Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.

This is one of my favorite passages. However, as you might suspect, this is likely one of misused, taken out of context passages in all of Scripture. If we separate this verse from its context in Ephesians, it is easy to make this passage, especially verse 20, into the basis for what is known as the "prosperity gospel." The proponents of that theology would claim that this verse means that God is able to give you more than what you could ask for or even imagine. Which, is true enough, however, it is not intended to be misused or taught as is in prosperity preaching. A "Jesus in a magic lamp" theology. Just ask Jesus for a Hyundai, He will give you a Bugatti. And, if you ask for a $150,000 house, God will give you a $10,000,000.00 estate.

I not only find this type of preaching to be disgraceful, or a satanic doctrine, but an insult to Almighty God. I can't speak for you, but my God is far greater than some wish granting genie who resides in a magic lamp!

Taken in its proper context, this verse is far more significant than just being the basis for us to receive material blessings from God. In fact, I would suggest to you that this passage is the key passage in the entire book of Ephesians. It provides us with a bridge, or a transition, from the doctrine contained in the first three chapters of Ephesians to the more practical application of that doctrine in the last three chapters. It causes us to look back and see how the power of God has already been at work in our lives. And it causes us to look forward to see how that same power gives us the ability to live a life that brings God glory.

So when Paul writes that God is able to do immeasurably more than we can ask or imagine, according to His power at work within us, he is not making some general statement about God’s power or His ability to work in our lives. I’m convinced that when Paul writes that, he is looking back at everything he has written up to this point.

What an incredibly beautiful description of the working of God's power in our lives!

The immeasurable power of God, is like the working of his mighty strength, which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way. 

In Closing..

If we want Jesus to come and make His home with us, then we need to trust him enough to obey His teachings. That means when someone wrongs me, instead of trying to get revenge, I forgive and pray for the other person. It means that when I have the desire to engage in a physical relationship outside of marriage, I refrain from giving into those desires, because I trust that is in my best interest based on the words of Jesus. It means that I don’t worry about my material needs because God has promised to provide them for me. 

"... that you may be filled to all the fullness of God." I don't know about you, but that’s certainly immeasurably more than I can ask or imagine. To be real honest, I can ask for anything. And I can even imagine something far greater that I will ever have. But how could I ever ask God to do all that He has already done for me? How could I even think about asking Him for more than to sacrifice His own Son so that I can have all these spiritual blessings? How could I ever imagine that God would do all this for me after the way I’ve ignored and disobeyed him repeatedly, time after time? To be completely honest, the whole idea just overwhelms me.

Paul doesn't want us to just look back at what God has done, he also wants us to look forward. To look ahead, at how we can live our lives in such a way to bring God glory.

Paul writes something quite interesting in verse 21. In his doxology, he writes "to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen."

A couple of things particularly strike me about that phrase. The whole idea that God gets glory in the church is really quite amazing in the first place. But what’s even more interesting to me is the fact that Paul puts the church before Jesus Christ in this phrase. Paul seems to be indicating that since the church is the body of Jesus Christ, it is so inextricably linked to Christ that it is really impossible to separate the church from its head, Jesus Christ. 

All the spiritual blessings that we have, all of God’s power working in our lives is only possible because of what Jesus has done for us. So it’s pretty easy to see how God gets glory through his Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.

As we become more mature in our faith and as we are filled more and more with the fullness of God, then God receives glory. But as we’ve seen, and as Paul points out again in this morning’s passage, we’re not capable of being filled with God’s fullness on our own. Certainly that is something that is immeasurably more that we could ever ask for or imagine. That’s why we need His power at work in our lives.

May it be so...

And now may the Lord bless you and keep you;

the Lord make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious to you;

The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace.

Now and forever, in Jesus' name

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The Brian Monzon Ministries



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You Can't Quarantine The Word of God

" 35  Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, He got up, went out, and made His way to a deserted place. And He was praying there. 36  Simon and his companions went searching for Him. 37  They found Him and said, “Everyone’s looking for You!” 38  And He said to them, “Let’s go on to the neighboring villages so that I may preach there too. This is why I have come.” 39  So He went into all of Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and driving out demons. 40  Then a man with a serious skin disease came to Him and, on his knees, begged Him: “If You are willing, You can make me clean.” 41  Moved with compassion, Jesus reached out His hand and touched him. “I am willing,” He told him. “Be made clean.” 42  Immediately the disease left him, and he was healed. 43  Then He sternly warned him and sent him away at once, 44  telling him, “See that you say nothing to anyone; but go and show yourself to the priest, and offer what Moses prescribed for your cleansin

The Things Which Must Soon Take Place

    " The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show to His bond-servants, the things which must soon take place; and He sent and communicated it by His angel to His bond-servant John, 2  who testified to the word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, even to all that he saw. 3  Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of the prophecy, and heed the things which are written in it; for the time is near." Revelation 1:1-3 Good Morning my beloved,   We welcome you to worship in the name of the Lord. Thank you for joining us today, we're glad to have you here. We are especially grateful for those of you who have been sharing the ministry website with all of your family and friends. Your faithfulness to share God's Word with others continues to bring about tremendous results. We are grateful to each of you. And through your sharing, God has brought a number of people to Christ. Praise God! May He continue to use you and this minist

Nothing Has Changed If You Haven’t Changed

Good Morning beloved family, I'm so glad to have all of you joining us today! Let's give a shout of praise to the Lord! Amen! Heavenly Father, As we gather here today, enlighten our understanding, purify our hearts every desire, quicken our wills, and strengthen every right purpose. Grant us wisdom and discernment, that we may better know Your Word and understand. Direct us, in clarity, during this time of worship, guide us to the magnifying and exalting of Your name, and to the e nduring good of us Your children and servants, through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. Amen " To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven:   A time to be born, And a time to die; A time to plant, And a time to pluck what is planted; A time to kill, And a time to heal; A time to break down, And a time to build up; A time to weep, And a time to laugh; A time to mourn, And a time to dance; A time to cast away stones, And a time to gather stones; A ti

Ministry With A Mission

    " Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus according to the commandment of God our Savior, and of Christ Jesus, who is our hope, 2  To Timothy, my true child in the faith: Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord." I Timothy 1:1-2     Good Morning my beloved,   We welcome to all of our beloved brothers and sisters, from all around the world, who have been lead to join us today. We are glad to have you here!   I know that I mentioned this to you in our last message, however, Scripture calls us to pray with and for our brothers and sister in Christ. I again, would like to encourage all of you to visit our Prayer Wall, there are a number of them who are in great need of some faithful prayer warriors. I pray that you will join us in praying for them in their time of need. I would greatly appreciate it, and I know that they would as well!   I Timothy 2:1 tells us " First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and than

The Power Of A Humble Prayer

      " Finally, brethren, pray for us that the word of the Lord will spread rapidly and be glorified, just as it did also with you; 2  and that we will be rescued from perverse and evil men; for not all have faith. 3  But the Lord is faithful, and He will strengthen and protect you from the evil one . 4  We have confidence in the Lord concerning you, that you are doing and will continue to do what we command. 5  May the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God and into the steadfastness of Christ." II Thessalonians 3:1-5     Good Morning my beloved,   Welcome to all of our beloved brothers and sisters, from all around the world, who have been prompted to join us today. We are glad to have you here!   I believe that peace, encouragement and good hope are present realities for any true believer. It stands in stark contrast to what the world offers. In the face of life's challenges, discouragements persecution, and shattered dreams, God brings encouragement to th