The Foundations of All Spiritual Blessings, Part 14 (Revive the Family, Revive the Church, Awaken the Nation, O Lord #155)
A series of homilies on Ephesians
A homily is “a short talk on a religious or moral topic; a usually short sermon; a lecture or discourse on or of a biblical theme.”
I am sharing a verse-by-verse series of short messages on Ephesians (as well as other passages of Scripture) specifically targeted at reviving families and encouraging and exhorting husbands, wives, fathers, mothers, and children to do what God has commanded them to do, for if the church is to be revived and the country is to be awakened, the family must be revived first.
TEXT: Ephesians 1:15-19:
15 Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints,
16 Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers;
17 That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him:
18 The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,
19 And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power,
Leonard Ravenhill said, “It seems to me that the richer we get in the church, the poorer we get in the spirit. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus never pronounced a blessing on a material thing.”
In their book, The Ten Greatest Revivals Ever, Elmer Towns and Douglas Porter share with us: “When Jonathan Goforth and his wife were assigned to serve in Honan Province, Goforth contacted Taylor to ask for advice. The China Inland Mission had tried unsuccessfully to establish a work in that province, so Taylor rejoiced to learn that another group was bringing the gospel to that part of the Asian nation. Knowing the work would be difficult, Taylor wrote back urging the younger missionary to “go forward on your knees.””
In verse 17 of our passage, we find one of Paul’s specific prayer request for the church at Ephesus. He told the believers that He was praying “that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him.” Essentially, Paul is asking God to reveal himself to the believers so that they could know Him better.
Every Christian life ought to be centered around this one thing — becoming closer and closer to God through Jesus Christ and growing in our knowledge of Him. This was the reason why Jesus came to Earth — that man might know God. We who are saved already have the privilege of being in a relationship with Him. Unlike relationships with other human beings, God is infinite and eternal, and you will never “get to the bottom” of who He is. We can only even begin to grasp a little of how awesome God is by the wisdom and knowledge granted to us through the example of Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit, our teacher.
Many preachers get burnt out trying to hold the hands of God’s people and walk them along in their relationship with Christ. What ends up happening is you have many Christians who are dependent on the preacher rather than dependent on Jesus for their daily spiritual sustenance. Many ministers, today, need to follow Paul’s example and pray that God would give the people themselves the wisdom and revelation of Himself so that they can not only get to know Jesus, but begin to live like Him on a consistent basis.
As the hymn says…
More about Jesus would I know,
More of His grace to others show;
More of His saving fullness see,
More of His love Who died for me.
More about Jesus let me learn,
More of His holy will discern;
Spirit of God, my teacher be,
Showing the things of Christ to me.
More about Jesus; on His throne,
Riches in glory all His own;
More of His kingdom’s sure increase;
More of His coming, Prince of Peace.