That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him. – Ephesians 1:17
Scripture reading: Ephesians 1:15–23
Paul assured the believers in Ephesus that they had been chosen in Christ before the creation of the world. He prayed that God would give them the Spirit of wisdom. The Christian life is not one of passive existence, but of an active exercising of God’s gifts to become aware of Christ’s Lordship of history and His headship of the Church.
The Ephesian Christians lived under difficult circumstances. Their witness against the idolatry and immorality of the worship of Artemis was not appreciated. They faced the Roman authorities’ hostility to the Gospel. They needed wisdom in the conduct of their lives. In the face of opposition, they had to hold fast to their faith and not lose heart, keeping in mind that Jesus Christ was seated at the right hand of the Father, in firm control of history’s march and the welfare of the Church.
Christ rules His Church, “which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.” In chapter 4, Paul would list various gifts that Christ apportions to church members; here he gives us the principle that must be observed: All authority in the Church belongs to Him and He delegates specific roles to different members of the Church. Details of the various church functions are listed in the Letters of Paul.
Sadly, the growth of hierarchy in the Church became a hindrance to its life and mission. While the Reformation restored the Biblical teaching about the Church, the battle against hierarchical structures must continue!
Suggestions for prayer
Pray for the leadership of the Church, that they may adhere to the New Testament teachings about their role as servants of Jesus Christ, laboring for the welfare of the congregation.
This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional. Rev. Bassam Michael Madany has served as a missionary in Syria, and in 1958 he began a 36-year radio and literature ministry to the Arab world. After retirement Bassam & his wife Shirley began an Internet ministry, Middle East Resources, to provide a “Christian Response to the Global Challenge of Islam.”