Preface: “The word of God continued to spread; the number of the disciples increased greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests became obedient to the faith” (Acts 6:7, NRSV).
Reading from Ephesians 1–3, it is obvious that Paul has great care for his church. He knows how the power of God can work. So he prays for his people. He uplifts the minds of his people to how God can potentially glorify the church. I belief if I were in Paul’s day, it would bring that extra motivation to hear how he believed the church can be in Christ. He gave us a whole new revelation of the glory of the church.
Paul loved his church. Do we love our church?
Paul prayed for his church. Do we pray for our church?
Paul knew the great meaning of the church. Do we?
The word church comes from the Greek word ecclesia, meaning “called-out ones.” Called out to show the world the salvation of Christ. And the church is the body of Christ, of which we are a part. What a privilege! Paul masterfully pictures how Jesus looks upon His virtuous bride.
How can we instill or revive that awesomeness that Paul saw?
1. Prayer. Let’s pray for our church, not just our local congregations, but Christ’s body as a whole—worldwide. Jesus said that “the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it” (Matt. 16:18, NKJV). Though people may fail, Christ’s mission, love, purpose, embodied in His church will press on.
2. Help build your church. Just as our key thought states, through the great power of God working in the lives of His people, the church can be “filled with all the fullness of God.” Allow God to work in your life. Strengthen your bond with Jesus. A great way to do this, besides personal prayer and Bible study, is to be involved actively in God’s service. You not only benefit, but the body of Christ benefits as well from your labor of love. What a joy it is to work with God and not just for God!
3. Love your church. Fear is not a proper motivator. Let’s get closer as a family now before those troublesome days come when we’re forced to come together because the world outside is caving in on us. How? Love Christ, He’ll do the rest (1 Tim. 4:15, 16).