Theme of the Week: Heart, Mind, Strength
Bible Verse: “I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe.” Ephesians 1:18-19
Scripture Reading: Ephesians 1:1-23
Imagine that you’ve come to a wedding. The Groom is right here – Jesus Christ – dressed in all His splendor. The wedding processional is about to begin; soon the Bride will enter. And you’re straining your neck, as we all do at weddings, to catch at least a glimpse of the Bride in all her glory. All of a sudden, you realize you’re looking at yourself; you’re really not a guest at the wedding – you’re the Bride! What does Jesus see when he sees us the Church coming down the aisle? The Holy Spirit directed the Apostle Paul to write a letter to the Ephesians for the express purpose of touching our eyes so we can see the Bride of Christ the way Jesus Christ sees us.
In the very first chapter, the Apostle Paul says, “I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you” (1:18). The hope of the Christian is multi-faceted, but Paul almost certainly has one thing in mind, since in verse 5 he has said, “He predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ.”
Paul moves on to give us a second image. He not only prays that we will see the hope of our calling but “the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints” (1:18). Notice that he is not talking about our inheritance, but Christ’s inheritance. Jesus Christ is going to receive his glorious inheritance on that day. Do you know who the inheritance will be? You and me – the Church!
When the Lord Jesus Christ was raised from the dead by the power of God and ascended into the presence of the Father, He gathered all of His people up with Him so that we are now seated together with Him.
To switch back to our wedding metaphor, if you will, it is the time when the Bride and Groom arrive at the reception and go to the head table – the Groom in His radiant glory and the Bride, the Church of Jesus Christ, sitting next to Him. And who are the guests? The principalities and powers – all the hosts of heaven and hell. The spirit kingdom, good and bad, will be watching this and their jaws will drop in amazement as they gasp at the sheer beauty of the Bride.
How will the Bride become so beautiful? She doesn’t look so good these days, sometimes. The Bride will be beautiful because Jesus Christ will have made her beautiful through His death and through His life.
Once you begin to see the Church that way, can you ever again be casual or critical about it? (I mean destructively critical.) Have you made it unmistakably clear – by baptism, membership or whatever form is appropriate to your specific situation – that you have cast your lot with the people of your local church, which is the particular representation of the Bride of Christ?
Taken from Heart, Mind, Strength: Loving God With All You’ve Got by Sunder Krishnan, Copyright © 2003 by Sunder Krishnan. Used with permission.
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