-Paul relates to his readers, and us, that he was writing to them as a prisoner for his participation with Christ Jesus (Ephesians 3:1). He goes into the primary reason for his incarceration, which was his proclamation of the true gospel of Christ’s promises to the Gentiles, a mystery recently revealed to bring the Light of God and spiritual understanding through His Holy Spirit (Ephesians 3:2-11). It is God who gives out His boldness and complete access with confidence through our faith in Him (Ephesians 3:12). It is because of this fact that Paul begs his flock NOT to lose heart over what he is suffering for them because the Kingdom is advancing as Christ is made known more and more (Ephesians 3:13). *Application* Paul demonstrates for us a supernatural response to difficult times and circumstances. He is an example for us in the area of determination and endurance for the worthy cause to which we are called in Christ Jesus. His suffering produced benefit for the church, and he accepted his plight with honor, dignity, and even optimism. There were “no reserves, no retreats, and no regrets (see life story of William Borden, 20,000 days and Counting, by Robert D. Smith, pgs. 21-23).” Paul saw the bigger picture and so should we. Remain faithful to what God has asked you to do even in turbulent times and situations. He will see you through!
-For the reason of confidence in Christ and strong endurance, Paul bows his knees BEFORE the Father giving Him praise and glory that is due Him. Paul reiterates that they, and we, can be strengthened with God’s power through His Spirit in the inner man “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 the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen (Ephesians 3:16-21)!” *Application* This is a fired up pep talk from the master apostle for a weak and weary group. After hearing this charge we should be exhorted to live in the power and strength of the Lord for long, long time, maybe even forever! Notice that it is not in your own strength, but God’s, that these miraculous accomplishments will be made. Rely on the Spirit and His work in your life! He will give you everything you need to accomplish God’s design for your life. Truly!
Verses to Memorize- Ephesians 3:17-20