Read: Ephesians 1:15-23
Memory Verse: Ephesians 6:10
Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
Yesterday I shared a story about how a power tool made a job possible that I otherwise couldn’t have accomplished on my own. That’s a fun story that we can all relate to, but what actually is God’s power that we are supposed to be “tapping into”? Paul gives us a depiction of this earlier in his letter to the Ephesians.
Back in chapter one, we see Paul give a commendation to the Christians at the church in Ephesus. He states that he regularly gives thanks for them and prays for them, highlighting how his prayer includes requests for wisdom, revelation, and enlightenment so that they would have a clear knowledge of the hope and riches that Jesus Christ offers. But Paul also states that he desires the Ephesians to know “what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe…” (Eph. 1:19a). Paul is claiming that this power mentioned is available to the Ephesian Christians to know and use in their lives as they live for Christ.
But Paul goes on to clarify what this power is. In verse nineteen, he continues his description of this power: “according to the working of his mighty power” (Eph. 1:19b). Those words “according to” mean “in accordance with, what might be expected from”1. Essentially, Paul is saying, “You have power available to you that is just like the power that Jesus Christ has as God.”
Paul goes on to describe this power even further in the next few verses, explaining that this power resurrected Jesus from the dead (v 20), is greater than any other power the world ever has or will know (v 21), gives Jesus dominion over all things and makes Him the head of the church, and is contained within Jesus Himself. Paul is basically saying, “This is powerful power. The most powerful power to ever have power!”
This is the power that is not our own but that we are called to be strong in. This is the power tool we grab, not to make the job easier, but to make it possible at all! Don’t misunderstand this power—it’s the only way we received salvation and it’s the only way we can live the Christian life. It is essential. It is the power of the Gospel. It is the power of God Himself.
Meditation for the Day: What is an area of your life that you desperately need or have needed God’s power. What areas of your life are you still thinking you can accomplish it in your own power?
Assignment: Go through Ephesians 1:19-23 and write down in your own words the different ways Paul describes the power he is talking about.
For Fun: Take the list you just wrote down about the power as Paul describes it and give Jesus a “superhero” introduction but with Biblical descriptions of His power. (i.e. Superman’s intro is Faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, able to leap tall buildings in a single bound. The infant of Krypton is now the Man of Steel: Superman!”)
1Robert Jamieson, A. R. Fausset, and David Brown, Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible, vol. 2 (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1997), 343.