Saturday Morning, 03 Aug 2019 – Ephesians 3:1-21 ~ You belong to Christ Jesus.

Saturday Morning

+ In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Opening:  (A Collect for Sabbath Rest – Saturday)

Almighty God, who after the creation of the world rested from all your works and set aside a day of rest for all your creatures: Grant that we, putting away all earthly anxieties, may be duly prepared to meet you in worship, and that our rest here upon earth may be a preparation for the eternal rest promised to your people in heaven; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
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Morning Reading: Ephesians 3:1-21 (NLT)

God’s Mysterious Plan Revealed

When I think of all this, I, Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus for the benefit of you Gentiles assuming, by the way, that you know God gave me the special responsibility of extending his grace to you Gentiles. As I briefly wrote earlier, God himself revealed his mysterious plan to me. As you read what I have written, you will understand my insight into this plan regarding Christ. God did not reveal it to previous generations, but now by his Spirit he has revealed it to his holy apostles and prophets.

And this is God’s plan: Both Gentiles and Jews who believe the Good News share equally in the riches inherited by God’s children. Both are part of the same body, and both enjoy the promise of blessings because they belong to Christ Jesus. By God’s grace and mighty power, I have been given the privilege of serving him by spreading this Good News.

Though I am the least deserving of all God’s people, he graciously gave me the privilege of telling the Gentiles about the endless treasures available to them in Christ. I was chosen to explain to everyone this mysterious plan that God, the Creator of all things, had kept secret from the beginning.

God’s purpose in all this was to use the church to display his wisdom in its rich variety to all the unseen rulers and authorities in the heavenly places. This was his eternal plan, which he carried out through Christ Jesus our Lord.

Because of Christ and our faith in him, we can now come boldly and confidently into God’s presence. So please don’t lose heart because of my trials here. I am suffering for you, so you should feel honored.

Paul’s Prayer for Spiritual Growth

When I think of all this, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth. I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.

Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. Glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen.
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Morning Reflection:

You belong to Christ Jesus.

And this is God’s plan: Both Gentiles and Jews who believe the Good News
share equally in the riches inherited by God’s children. Both are part of the same body,
and both enjoy the promise of blessings because they belong to Christ Jesus.
– Ephesians 3:6 –

God’s mystery is revealed:

  1. Both Jewish and Gentile believers are equal heirs of God’s riches that He presently bestows in Christ Jesus.
  2. Both Jewish and Gentile believers are equal members of the body of Christ, the church universal.
  3. Both Jewish and Gentile believers are equal partakers of the promise of eternal life through faith in Christ Jesus.
  4. Both Jewish and Gentile believers belong to Christ Jesus.

God’s purpose in this was “to use the church to display his wisdom in its rich variety to all the unseen rulers and authorities in the heavenly places. This was his eternal plan, which he carried out through Christ Jesus our Lord.”

And now, God’s door is open to us – “Because of Christ and our faith in him, we can now come boldly and confidently into God’s presence.”

Questions for consideration:

  • Paul views the church universal as a multi-ethnic, multi-cultural community – like a beautiful tapestry – and yet we all belong to Jesus. Can you think of times when you have experienced different cultural expressions in worship? Please explain.
  • To what extent is your faith community a multi-ethnic, multi-cultural community? Please explain.
  • Differences inevitably produce disagreements, which is why we need God’s grace and wisdom to maintain harmony. How are differences reconciled in your faith community? Please explain.
  • What does belonging to Jesus Christ mean to you? Please explain.

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Morning Prayer: – Ephesians 3:14-21

Heavenly Father, Creator of everything in heaven and on earth:

+ Empower us with inner strength through your Spirit.
+ Make our hearts Christ’s home as we trust in him.
+ Root us in the strong foundation of your love.
+ Empower us to understand your love – its width, its length, its height, its depth.
+ Grant us fullness of life and power as we experience the love of Christ.

Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. Glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen.
__________

“I Belong to Jesus” – The Acappella Company

Satan goes around like a roaring Lion | Seeking whom he may devour
But he has been defeated so I’m testifying | By the blood of Jesus he lost his power…

I belong to Jesus, I belong to Him
Christ was lifted up with my sin upon Him | His life and blood came flowing down
So hear me I’m declaring Jesus Christ is Lord! | I’m taking back His holy ground

I belong to Jesus, I belong to Him | I belong to Jesus, free from sin
I belong to Jesus, I belong to Him | I belong to Jesus, free from sin…

I belong to Jesus, I belong to Him
All sin nailed to the cross and the Lamb’s blood flowing
Meant victory was sealed that day
When Satan saw the blood he knew that Christ had won it
And he knew that Sunday was on its way…

I belong to Jesus, I belong to Him
The ground began to quake and all of Heaven’s power
Came bursting from the tomb within
The stone was rolled away and hell was overpowered
By the King Who rose again

I belong to Jesus, I belong to Him
He was lifted up (He was lifted up)
He paid a costly price (He paid a costly price)
He bought me with the blood (He bought me with the blood)
Of His own life (of His Own life)

Christ the King now reigning (Christ the King now reigning)
He wears the Victor’s crown (He wears the Victor’s crown)
Satan was defeated (Satan was defeated)
When the blood flowed down (the blood flowed down)
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Closing:

May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you, wherever He may send you. May He guide you through the wilderness, and protect you through the storm. May He bring you home rejoicing at the wonders He has shown you. May He bring you home rejoicing once again into our doors.

+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen



Categories: Life in Christ

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