June 03, 2023

“For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all God’s people, I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers.”

Ephesians 1:15-16

The first fourteen verses of Ephesians describe the spiritual blessings of salvation.

After listing the beautiful gifts of the gospel, Paul then prays for the church. His prayer is powerful and helpful as we live out the mission to which God called us. 

His prayer of thanksgiving celebrates the movement of God happening among the Ephesian believers. They are gospel-centered and gospel-grateful. This prayer is a response to how they have received Christ. 

It is right and good to recognize and celebrate what God has done! It is a privilege to thank God for the steps of faith taken. This prayer is a reminder that all who are in Christ have reason to celebrate, even when we face challenges and difficulties. I realize you may be in the midst of a struggle, even now. You may be glad to hear about others’ celebrations, but you still wonder, “Where is my celebration?” 

Consider the context of the church in Ephesus. There is no Christian culture. It is a godless and decadent culture that does not applaud or encourage their faith. Paul reminds them even in their context; they have reason to celebrate because they have received a hope that is greater than anything in the world. We have been given this same promise through Christ. God is at work in his church for his glory and for their joy as he uses our faith to shine the light of Christ to the world around us. 

In the face of opposition, will you respond with defiant, rebellious thanksgiving? Will you remember the glory of the Gospel and the bountiful benefits given to us in Christ?

Will you allow these things to lead you to give thanks? 

Taken from a sermon by George Wright, Senior Pastor, Shades Mountain Baptist Church, Birmingham, AL