Dear fellow disciple-maker,
A mature follower of Jesus is confident. This inner confidence is much more than healthy self-esteem, a hopeful outlook on life, or mere positive thinking. It is a deep inward belief that God is good and is always working to accomplish his purpose.
In Ephesians 3:14-21, the Apostle Paul offers a prayer that deepens our confidence in God's character and his commitment to each of his children. This prayer informs us that the spiritual strength we long for comes from God alone. Read it slowly and let this prayer for strength renew your spiritual passion.
For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength 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, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
Grasp the Depth of His Love
God's love reaches all people and covers all sins. We can't hear this enough. God loves us for ourselves and values our love more than anything in the universe. This is beyond comprehension. For most, feeling compassion and showing love after being personally rejected is very difficult. Not so with God. Despite the fact that we rejected his perfect love, God can pardon and restore any and every kind of sin or wrong doing. It doesn't matter who you are or what you've done. There is no evil that God's love cannot forgive. There is no sin that is a match for his grace.
Let this good news strengthen your faith. The love of Christ is broader, longer, higher and deeper than anything we have ever known. Look at the cross again and again until your faith is firmly rooted and grounded in the love Christ has for you.
Be Conscious of His Presence
God is always with us. We are never really alone. We didn't live one day last year alone and we won't live one day in the coming year by ourselves. God has placed his very own Spirit deep into our hearts. By his Spirit, Christ himself actually dwells within us.
Jesus is not only very real, he is very close. He is with us no matter what we are going through. His presence is permanent. Jesus will never leave us or forsake us. He feels our pain and understands our struggles. We never weep alone. Through Christ's indwelling presence we have a friend who encourages our hearts and a leader who guides our path.
Rely on His Ability
Nothing is impossible for God. There is no limits to his power. He can do
more than anything we could ever ask or imagine. With that in mind, our
challenge is to never stop calling on the name of the Lord. When Lazarus died in
John 11, his sisters Mary and Martha thought the situation was hopeless. They
never dreamed that Jesus had the ability to raise their brother from the dead.
But when Jesus is your friend, nothing is impossible.
Author:Paul Schlieker www.bible-study-lesson-plans.com
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