MAY 31

Far More Abundantly

Bible Reading: Ephesians 3:14-21

Ephesians 3:20-21, “Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen” (NJKV).

Is able
Is able to do
Is able to do all
Is able to do above all
Is able to do above all that we ask
Is able to do above all that we think
Is able to do above all that we ask or think
Is able to do exceedingly above all that we ask or think
Is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all we ask or think

Over the years I’ve been drawn to this particular passage of Scripture.  It was the subject of a five-part series I preached at the conclusion of our many years of ministry at Lewis and Clark Bible Church.  I’ve used the text on many occasions in preaching in churches in Uganda.  There is much encouragement here for us when it comes to the matter of devotion to prayer.

Say a prayer.  Think a thought.  God is able to do more, exceedingly more, exceedingly abundantly more.  It is by “the power that works within us” that He does this.  In his first prayer in this epistle Paul prayed that the eyes of our heart might be enlightened to know the “immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe” (Ephesians 1:19-20).  The empty tomb of the Risen Savior testifies to God’s ability to accomplish what He has purposed to do in our lives.  In his second prayer in this epistle Paul prayed that we might “comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge” (Ephesians 3:19).  That work that God is doing in us is according to his power which is immeasurably great and to his limitless love which surpasses knowledge.

God is always exceeding our expectations in the way he works.  You’ll find plenty of examples of this in the Bible, but there is one that relates especially to the matter of hand.  The prodigal son left his father’s house and “squandered his property in reckless living” (Luke 15:13-14).  Wallowing in the mire with the pigs—and longing to “be fed with the pods that the pigs ate”—he “came to himself” and purposed to return to his father (Luke 15:17-20).  He thought at best he might gain employment as one of his father’s hired servants.  But that’s not what happened.  “While he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion” (Luke 15:20).  Not only was he taken back, his father embraced him and kissed him.  He not only welcomed him–he clothed him with a robe, a ring, and shoes.  He then killed the fattened calf and held a celebration.  His Father’s capacity to forgive and restore was exceedingly abundantly beyond what the prodigal would have thought possible.

Having said all of that—there is a particular matter that verse twenty relates to.  What is work that God is doing that is “exceedingly abundantly beyond?”  According to the context it is us being “filled up with all the fullness of God” (Ephesians 3:19).  It is the end point of salvation that is in view here—being brought into complete conformity with Christ.  Salvation is bigger in scope than we can now imagine.  It includes forgiveness of our sins (Ephesians 1:7), but it is bigger than that.  We understand that it involves growing in Christ–from one state of glory to the next (2 Corinthians 3:18)—but it is still bigger than that.  We understand it to lead to a future glorified estate when He “will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body” (Philippians 3:21), but what does that entail (1 John 3:1-2)?  How can we perceive or comprehend what that must be (1 Corinthians 2:9, 13:12)?  The culmination of His salvation “to the uttermost” (Hebrews 7:25) is as a glorious mountain peak lying above and beyond the clouds.  We anticipate it, but the full measure of its glory eludes us.  But God is at work in us and is more than able to finish the glorious work He started (Philippians 1:6). 

Its good then for us to keep in mind to whom it is we are praying!  God is not a stingy, reluctant God whose inclination it is to withhold from us His promised blessings.  He is not impotent when it comes to intervening in our lives when it comes to completing the work He started in us!  He is the God of miracles who has proven He is able time after time!  In fact, His ability to work transcends our ability to comprehend!  How privileged we are to serve and worship and pray to Him!

Say a Prayer.  Think a Thought.  God is Able to do More.  Exceedingly Abundantly More.

He is able, more than able
To accomplish what concerns me today
He is able, more than able
To handle anything that comes my way
He is able, more than able
To do much more than I could ever dream
He is able, more than able
To make me what He wants me to be

Author: looking2jesus13

Having served as pastor at Lewis and Clark Bible Church, in Astoria, Oregon, for almost three decades, my wife’s cancer diagnosis led to my retirement and subsequent move to Heppner to be near our two grandchildren. I divide my time between caring for Laura and working as a part time hospice chaplain and spending time with family and spoiling my chocolate lab.

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