June 2018  
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“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 glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” Ephesians 3:20-21

You all will no doubt be thrilled to know that I just bought a new piece of equipment for working on cars. It is called a shoppress and it is designed to exert large amounts of pressing force onto an object. It sounds like a pretty impressive thing, but the one I bought was old, beat up, small, non-functioning, and was free. The heart of the press is a hydraulic bottle jack that, as you pump the lever, it pushes a metal bar down to exert pressure on an object fixed within the frame. This jack was leaking its hydraulic fluid and because of that it couldn’t function. It had been designed for a purpose, but because of its leaky nature it could do nothing.

In the Apostle Paul’s letter to the church in Ephesus, the major theme is God’s profound work of uniting and reconciling allof the creation to Himself and to one another through His Son Jesus Christ. As you and I know, this act of uniting and reconciling has a backstory. In order to be united and reconciled, one needs to understand that there was a time when they were not united and reconciled. Here is how Paul tells it, “and you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience — among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind,” (Ephesians 2:1-3). Humans had been created to love God and to rule the world with Him. Our authority in ruling came through us being under God’s command. The problem is that, as soon as we could, we rebelled against
Him. We sought to move ourselves out from under His authority and act independently. This poorly conceived plan made us usurpers to the throne and powerless to truly rule. Paul, citing the effects of Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection, tells the Ephesians that there is a way back. There is a way to be made whole and be given the power to serve God in truth and to live righteously. That power comes through the blood of Jesus Christ, where we are forgiven and made able to serve in power and grace. As Paul expresses in his hymn like words of benediction and praise, “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 glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” Through Christ the Christian is healed and made right and able to serve in power.

My shop press is leaking. Because of this flaw it won’t work right. Last night I filled it up again and it worked great,
temporarily, for I could see the signs of its failure as the new fluid came leaking out through a valve at the bottom. It needs to be repaired, to be made whole. This tool was made for a good purpose, a useful and needed purpose. It needs to be healed so that it can serve effectively and safely. You and I are the same. In Ephesians Paul guides us on the path to that healing and life. May we receive these words and have our lives healed by the love of Jesus Christ and be filled with the power of the Holy Spirit that we might serve the Lord and this world with love. 

In Christ,


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