We bow before you today with humble, thankful hearts.

But as for me, by Your abundant lovingkindness I will enter Your house, at Your holy temple I will bow in reverence for You.     ―  Psalm 5:7

Coming before God with humble and thankful hearts requires awareness of how far we have fallen short (Rom 3:23), the great sacrifice that was made for us (Rom 5:8), and the great love we have in that has been poured into our hearts (Rom 5:5).  We are able to bow before God, with humble hearts full of gratitude for all of God’s grace and mercy, and be made new, beginning and journey that would have seemed impossible prior to Jesus’ arrival on the scene.

Paul writes,

This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus.     ―  Ephesians 3:6

The full inclusion of Gentiles into the church was a scandalous notion at the time of the early church.  In the Jewish mind of the day, Gentiles were sinners, immoral, and ungodly, among other things.  Yet, in his letter to the Ephesians, Paul reveals a “mystery” which had been long unknown by God’s people—that is, God’s grace and mercy was for all people, Jews and Gentiles! 

For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith.     ―  Ephesians 3:14-17

If your ancestors are not Jewish, then this prayer from Paul was written for your family. God knows you and your family!  And not only that—God promises strength and power to all who put their trust in Christ, along with the personal presence of Christ—the Way, the Truth, and the Life—in our hearts!

And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.     ―  Ephesians 3:17b-19

 The unending, unrelenting love of God the Father…

The undeserved, self-sacrificial love of Christ displayed on the cross…

The Christlike love, shaped in the image of the God who created our innermost being, poured into our heart by the Holy Spirit…

…this is the soil in which we have been planted.  And when we begin to understand just how wide and just how deep is this love, it fills us with the same kind of love.

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.     ―  Ephesians 3:20-21

To this God – the God who has done, and will continue to do, more than we could possibly ask for or even imagine possible – we bow, we kneel, we bend our most stubborn knee in humbleness…and gratefulness…and thanksgiving.

→ If I must err, let it be in the direction of love… 


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