Reconciled to God and to Each Other, Part 33 (Revive the Family, Revive the Church, Awaken the Nation, O Lord #202)
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 3:20-21:
20 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,
21 Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.
R. Moffat Gautrey said, “The Gospel is not an old, old story, freshly told. It is a fire in the Spirit, fed by the flame of Immortal Love; and woe unto us, if, through our negligence to stir up the Gift of God which is within us, that fire burns low.”
Leonard Ravenhill said, “America is not dying because of the strength of humanism but the weakness of evangelism.”
In their book, The Ten Greatest Revivals Ever, Elmer Towns and Douglas Porter share with us: “Even with the death of John Wesley in 1791, Methodists continued to embrace the new awakening that was similar to the revival that had given them their spiritual birth. Baptists and Congregationalists also reported revival in their churches, as did evangelicals within the Anglican Church. Revival among Anglicans in the London upper-class suburb of Clapham empowered some of the most influential members of British society—William Wilberforce, John Howard, and Elizabeth Fry—who produced some significant social reforms.”
Paul’s prayer request for the Ephesians, in which he points out that God is “able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think,” ought to challenge us in our prayer lives. How do you pray? What kinds of things do you ask for?
It is okay to ask God for the basic needs — money to pay bills, safety for yourself and your family, a good night of rest and sleep — but we serve a God who is far bigger than those things. Every Christian ought to have some goal, some dream that they know only God can help them achieve. We honor God when we come to Him in faith asking for something that is in His will, but that is impossible humanly speaking.
We ought to make a habit out of praying big prayers. We ought to make a habit out of praying prayers that, if answered, would bring glory to God through His church. Paul says that that is when God does things that are “exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think.” God gets glory in the church by Christ Jesus, not just for now, but “throughout all ages, world without end.” What are you asking for that will further the mission of the church? What are you asking for that will make Jesus more famous in the earth? What are you asking for that will bring God glory?
Phillips Brooks said, “Pray the largest prayers. You cannot think a prayer so large that God, in answering it, will not wish you had made it larger. Pray not for crutches but for wings.”