ADORATION – Reflect on God’s Greatness
GOD IS GOOD God is the final standard of good, and that all that He is and does is worthy of approval. Here are a few passages that speak of God’s goodness:
- “No one is good but God alone” (Luke 18:19).
- The Psalms frequently affirm that “the Lord is good” (Psalm 100:5).
- “O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good” (Psalm 106:1).
- “O taste and see that the Lord is good!” (Psalm 34:8).
Praise God that He is Good
Goodness comes naturally from God’s person. Praise him that HE IS GOOD and not just that He does good. He puts no effort into goodness. He just IS GOOD. Praise him that all that he has made and done is good.
CONFESSION: Confess your sins to God and receive his continued mercy.
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9
THANKSGIVING: Giving thanks to God for his specific blessings in our lives.
“Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.” Psalm 100
SUPPLICATION: Bringing our requests to God.
- Bring your personal prayer requests to God.
- Pray for Christian Challenge as they meet at the church tonight.
- Ask God to speak as you read and meditate.
Ephesians 3 The Message
The Secret Plan of God
1-3 This is why I, Paul, am in jail for Christ, having taken up the cause of you outsiders, so-called. I take it that you’re familiar with the part I was given in God’s plan for including everybody. I got the inside story on this from God himself, as I just wrote you in brief.
4-6 As you read over what I have written to you, you’ll be able to see for yourselves into the mystery of Christ. None of our ancestors understood this. Only in our time has it been made clear by God’s Spirit through his holy apostles and prophets of this new order. The mystery is that people who have never heard of God and those who have heard of him all their lives (what I’ve been calling outsiders and insiders) stand on the same ground before God. They get the same offer, same help, same promises in Christ Jesus. The Message is accessible and welcoming to everyone, across the board.
7-8 This is my life work: helping people understand and respond to this Message. It came as a sheer gift to me, a real surprise, God handling all the details. When it came to presenting the Message to people who had no background in God’s way, I was the least qualified of any of the available Christians. God saw to it that I was equipped, but you can be sure that it had nothing to do with my natural abilities.
8-10 And so here I am, preaching and writing about things that are way over my head, the inexhaustible riches and generosity of Christ. My task is to bring out in the open and make plain what God, who created all this in the first place, has been doing in secret and behind the scenes all along. Through followers of Jesus like yourselves gathered in churches, this extraordinary plan of God is becoming known and talked about even among the angels!
11-13 All this is proceeding along lines planned all along by God and then executed in Christ Jesus. When we trust in him, we’re free to say whatever needs to be said, bold to go wherever we need to go. So don’t let my present trouble on your behalf get you down. Be proud!
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14-19 My response is to get down on my knees before the Father, this magnificent Father who parcels out all heaven and earth. I ask him to strengthen you by his Spirit—not a brute strength but a glorious inner strength—that Christ will live in you as you open the door and invite him in. And I ask him that with both feet planted firmly on love, you’ll be able to take in with all followers of Jesus the extravagant dimensions of Christ’s love. Reach out and experience the breadth! Test its length! Plumb the depths! Rise to the heights! Live full lives, full in the fullness of God.
20-21 God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us.
Glory to God in the church!
Glory to God in the Messiah, in Jesus!
Glory down all the generations!
Glory through all millennia! Oh, yes!
What does this mean, “The realm of God’s power for your life is inside the realm of God’s will for your life?” Frame that personally, practically. Here is one suggestion. “I know that God wants me to forgive them but I have so far refused to do so because I can’t see how it is possible. I will commit to live inside God’s will and there in his will I have access to his power to forgive.” Maybe you could frame it in terms of an addictive sin, or a persistent attitude. Maybe it is the choice to live in fear not in faith. God’s power is available but he will never empower us to live outside his will for us. We have his power when we are living inside his will. But what if you feel you lack the power to live inside his will, perhaps it feels like circular reasoning. Does surrender or power come first? Don’t over think it…it’s not a math problem it is a relationship problem. Do you love him? Then submit to obey him? Do you want to obey him? Then plug into his power and do so, starting now. Say “yes” to whatever he asks of you. His power will begin to flow when you choose to surrender. But remember, we need to continually plug back in because we are prone to continually unplug. Keep short accounts with God. Move through your day continually moving back inside the realm of his will and his power.