Ephesians 1:16-19 (Message)
That’s why, when I heard of the solid trust you have in the Master Jesus and your outpouring of love to all the followers of Jesus, I couldn’t stop thanking God for you—every time I prayed, I’d think of you and give thanks. But I do more than thank. I ask—ask the God of our Master, Jesus Christ, the God of glory—to make you intelligent and discerning in knowing him personally, your eyes focused and clear, so that you can see exactly what it is he is calling you to do, grasp the immensity of this glorious way of life he has for his followers, oh, the utter extravagance of his work in us who trust him—endless energy, boundless strength!
The word “glorious” exudes greatness. It can be compared to words like opulence, extravagance, fabulous and magnificent. All adjectives that describe something luxurious but not necessarily the lifestyle of most believers. We were created to live in the Glory of God as a reflection of the Light of this world. “Grasp the immensity of this glorious way of life he has for his followers…” Does this apply to you today? Do you feel blessed and prosperous in your walk with the Lord? It is possible for those who seek to implicitly follow the Lord, walk His Way and abide in His Word, but who has time for that with all the many constraints on our time. There are barely enough hours in the day to do everything necessary to keep our life on track. The Lord promises to display “the utter extravagance of his work in us who trust Him” such things as endless energy and boundless strength. Who doesn’t desire a few more hours in the day or just a little more strength to keep it all together? The secret to experiencing the “glorious” life that is promised in His Word is to live for the Glory of God. It is His Power that once released in our life makes all things new. It is the same resurrection power that brought Jesus back to life. (Ephesians 1:19-20) It sets our heart on fire and as it burns illuminates our life with the Love of Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit is God’s Guarantee that you can have a glorious life living in the natural with supernatural benefits. He will also cultivate boldness based on confident trust in the Lord that allows us to give our life away for something greater! It is time to step out of the natural into the supernatural! It is time be live for the Glory of God!
2 Corinthians 3:16-18 (Message)
Whenever, though, they turn to face God as Moses did, God removes the veil and there they are—face-to-face! They suddenly recognize that God is a living, personal presence, not a piece of chiseled stone. And when God is personally present, a living Spirit, that old, constricting legislation is recognized as obsolete. We’re free of it! All of us! Nothing between us and God, our faces shining with the brightness of his face. And so we are transfigured much like the Messiah, our lives gradually becoming brighter and more beautiful as God enters our lives and we become like him.
You cannot expect to become a true reflection of God without a “face-to-face” encounter. How does one achieve such a thing? Well, you must turn from your old life fully embracing your new life in Jesus Christ. Many people flood the Altar of God in the local church. Imagine today if rather than turning back around to find their seat in the church that they backed away from the front of the church never taking their eyes off their encounter with the Lord. Too many times, salvation does not result in transformation because people turn back to reenter the life they have always lived rather than keeping their eyes on Jesus Christ the author and finisher of faith! (Hebrews 12:2) You cannot live face-to-face with God in the midst of sin and darkness. You must turn around or repent from your sins to receive His Grace. Grace is the opportunity to live with the penalty of sin looming over our heads. However, it is not an excuse to live a life of sin and trample the Blood of Jesus or mock the work of the Cross. Jesus set you free from sin to live in freedom. He sent His Spirit so we no longer must turn back to the slavery of sin after repentance but life for the Glory of God. You can live with nothing between you and God becoming a true reflection of His Power in this world. But you must turnaround and remain focused on the Lord at all times. I walked to the altar when I was just eleven years old to ask Jesus into my heart. I rebelled. I came back to Jesus Christ as a teenager later rebelling again. There were many sojourns up and down the aisle of many churches looking for God. However, when I met Him face-to-face there was no turning back. You can love God. You can search for the Lord. When you decide to trust Him, everything changes.
Ephesians 1:13-14 (Message)
It’s in Christ that you, once you heard the truth and believed it (this Message of your salvation), found yourselves home free—signed, sealed, and delivered by the Holy Spirit. This signet from God is the first installment on what’s coming, a reminder that we’ll get everything God has planned for us, a praising and glorious life.
Are you tired of living an ordinary life and ready to experience an extraordinary one? When you heard the truth about Jesus Christ and the salvation that He offered, you probably chose to accept it because it seemed so wonderful. However, after making a decision to accept salvation the price of one’s life seems so high that many turn back to the darkness embracing what they know rather than taking a chance on the unknown. We are all guilty from time-to-time of this very thing. You have been given the Holy Spirit – He is signed, sealed and delivered the moment you accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior whether you wanted Him or not. Throughout history the “signet ring” was given to identify members of royal court. It was used as a signature of sorts guaranteeing and authorizing documents and petitions by order of the king. It identified the owner as powerful and important. God’s Holy Spirit is a signet of confident hope that all that is promised will be received according to the Power and Authority of Almighty God. It means that all of His Promises belong to you as long as you possess the “signet” or “seal” of God. “Place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm. For love is as strong as death, its jealousy as enduring as the grave. Love flashes like fire, the brightest kind of flame. Many waters cannot quench love, nor can rivers drown it. If a man tried to buy love with all his wealth, his offer would be utterly scorned.” (Song of Solomon 8:6-7) The seal of God to be placed over your heart identifying you as His Child is only as strong as one’s ability to trust the One who has given it. Many will receive the Spirit of the Living God but reject His Power and Authority returning to the lack luster and mediocre existence wondering what is so wonderful about His Glory anyway! They will never experience the passionate love of God burning through the sorry substitutes and casual counterfeits to have God’s Very Best reserved for those who live in the Glory of God! Are you ready to seal your heart with His Love? His Love is the brightest kind of flame that will set your heart on fire with a commitment to never turn back and accept anything less than the Promises of your Beloved!
Romans 6:1-5 (Message)
So what do we do? Keep on sinning so God can keep on forgiving? I should hope not! If we’ve left the country where sin is sovereign, how can we still live in our old house there? Or didn’t you realize we packed up and left there for good? That is what happened in baptism. When we went under the water, we left the old country of sin behind; when we came up out of the water, we entered into the new country of grace—a new life in a new land! That’s what baptism into the life of Jesus means. When we are lowered into the water, it is like the burial of Jesus; when we are raised up out of the water, it is like the resurrection of Jesus. Each of us is raised into a light-filled world by our Father so that we can see where we’re going in our new grace-sovereign country.
You cannot inherit the Kingdom if you dwell in another land. You cannot be president of the United States if your residency is in another country. You cannot be the Light of the World living in the midst of darkness. Your life should illuminate darkness causing it to flee. Sin has no place in the Kingdom of God or in the heart of His People. If you love sin more than God, there is no way to enter His Presence or His Righteousness and Justice will consume you. Why do we think that there is a benefit to sin? Baptism is God’s Symbolic Gesture to demonstrate leaving this world to live in the Kingdom of God. Yes, it is possible to be alive and live a supernatural life before you die. Otherwise, why would Jesus have given us the Keys to the Kingdom and all of its power prematurely? (Matthew 16:19) These keys are for God’s Children who love and trust Him, not thieves, robbers and traitors who want to come take from the Lord and live for this world. Living in the Glorious Power of God requires releasing sin and embracing grace with all our might. Those who live face-to-face with God by His Spirit cannot bear the thought of sin and its effect on their connection to the Lord. If sin comes easy, there is a good chance that you have left the Kingdom. It all comes down to a choice. Only those who live in the Presence of God will be changed into His Glorious Image. For some, it is time to step into the Light. You may find the sin that has been holding you back and remove it (Hebrews 12:1) through repentance causing God’s Glory to pour out in your life once more. We are Children of the Light. God’s Illumination of our life should not cause us to be scared or shudder from His Presence.
Isaiah 26:7-9 (Message)
The path of right-living people is level. The Leveler evens the road for the right-living. We’re in no hurry, GOD. We’re content to linger in the path sign-posted with your decisions. Who you are and what you’ve done are all we’ll ever want. Through the night my soul longs for you. Deep from within me my spirit reaches out to you. When your decisions are on public display, everyone learns how to live right. If the wicked are shown grace, they don’t seem to get it. In the land of right living, they persist in wrong living, blind to the splendor of GOD.
The New Living Translation of this same verse tell us that “LORD, we show our trust in you by obeying your laws; our heart’s desire is to glorify Your Name.” (Verse 8) The ability to glorify God with our life comes from trust. We can obey the Word of God because we believe His Promises are true. If your heart’s desire becomes to worship, exalt and adore the Lord with your life accepting the seal that He has placed on your heart as a guarantee than doing what He says will not be a problem. Rather than His Word being restrictive, His Word becomes instruction to His Power and Promises for your life. Now you have no problem turning from sin to embrace confident hope squeezing out praise before the miracle happens or healing comes. Each decision you make as a believer is a testimony to your faith and trust in Jesus Christ. Every praise lifts up His Name and every complaint drags it through the mud. You are living to God’s Glory and if you have nothing good to say than why would anyone give up the creature comforts of the world as they know it for an uncertain future at the Hand of God? As we learn to love and trust the Lord following in His Footsteps – God will level our path. He doesn’t say that He will send us in another direction or whisk away from trouble but that He will make our way straight. You will go through things in this life but whether or not God’s Glory accompanies you is completely up to you as a byproduct of the freedom that the Lord gives His Children.
Ephesians 1:3-6 (Message)
How blessed is God! And what a blessing he is! He’s the Father of our Master, Jesus Christ, and takes us to the high places of blessing in him. Long before he laid down earth’s foundations, he had us in mind, had settled on us as the focus of his love, to be made whole and holy by his love. Long, long ago he decided to adopt us into his family through Jesus Christ. (What pleasure he took in planning this!) He wanted us to enter into the celebration of his lavish gift-giving by the hand of his beloved Son.
If God brought you to it, He will bring you through it. This is a credible statement not just some Christian cliché. Before God created the world or anything in it, He had you in mind. He knows you implicitly because He made you. Every facet of your being is exposed to God. Every moment of each day carefully scripted with “high places of blessing” in Him. The rest is up to you. Those who choose to love and trust the Lord living for His Glory will have every promise including the one that says He will make good on every detail of your life no matter how bad it seems at the time. (Romans 8:28) God decided to adopt you knowing you would be a prodigal child hoping you will return home. He made the Way of return for all His Precious Ones and waits for you to come meet Him face-to-face. There is no regret in such a reunion. Remember the prodigal father ran to meet his son, gave him a robe and a ring. Your Father is ready to meet you right where you are giving you a robe of righteousness and a ring signifying that you belong to Him and all that He has belongs to you! This is the Glory of God manifested in the life of His Children. God invites you to live in His Glory and experience the boldness of those who are set free. Jesus Christ made the Way so you could access Your Father once again – why not run to meet Him! The Holy Spirit is the Authority of God deposited in you as a guarantee of your inheritance, prosperity and blessing NOW and forevermore! Live in His Glory today!
2 Corinthians 3:8-12 (NLT)
Shouldn’t we expect far greater glory under the new way, now that the Holy Spirit is giving life? If the old way, which brings condemnation, was glorious, how much more glorious is the new way, which makes us right with God! In fact, that first glory was not glorious at all compared with the overwhelming glory of the new way. So if the old way, which has been replaced, was glorious, how much more glorious is the new, which remains forever! Since this new way gives us such confidence, we can be very bold.