Day 316: November 12, 2013

Today's Reading(s)

Ephesians 1:15-23
15 This is why, since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, 16 I never stop giving thanks for you as I remember you in my prayers. 17 I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, would give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him. 18 I pray that the perception of your mind may be enlightened so you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the glorious riches of His inheritance among the saints, 19 and what is the immeasurable greatness of His power to us who believe, according to the working of His vast strength. 

20  He demonstrated this power in the Messiah by raising Him from the dead and seating Him at His right hand in the heavens — 21 far above every ruler and authority, power and dominion, and every title given, not only in this age but also in the one to come. 22 And He put everything under His feet and appointed Him as head over everything for the church, 23 which is His body, the fullness of the One who fills all things in every way.

Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2009 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Holman CSB®, and HCSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.



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Today's Reflection

Key Verse(s)

I pray that the perception of your mind may be enlightened so you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the glorious riches of His inheritance among the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of His power to us who believe, according to the working of His vast strength.
—Ephesians 1:18-19

The Most Priceless Treasure
by Leigh Ann Swords, Member of Brentwood Baptist, The Church at Station Hill

Imagine that you’re a very wealthy art collector.

You’ve acquired paintings and relics from all over the world over the past couple of decades. You’ve amassed such a fortune in artwork that you’ve had to build multiple warehouses to store all of your pieces. You generously donate to museums around the world, but the real thrill for you is in hunting down those obscure works and adding them to your collection.

Imagine one day you’re flipping through a magazine and your attention is grabbed by a rendering of a painting by a little-known artist. You so love the colors and style that you’re instantly obsessed with the thought of owning this newly-discovered treasure.

Immediately, you ask your staff to go and obtain this painting. The problem is no one seems to know where it is. You hire and fire detectives, but the answer is always the same. We can’t find it.

The more elusive the treasure becomes, the deeper your obsession grows. Years go by, hundreds of thousands of dollars are spent on the hunt, but the search remains fruitless. 

One day, you get word that the painting has been found. One of your detectives enters your office looking uncomfortable, almost like he’s bad news instead of good. You eagerly ask, “Where is it?”

After some awkward silence, the detective finally says, “We found it, sir. It was in one of your warehouses. You purchased it several years ago.”1

As crazy as it might sound, this is a true story. It happened to the late great media mogul of the 20th century, William Randolph Hearst. Imagine how he must have felt once he realized that the treasure he’d been so desperate to find had been in his possession all along!

Now think in spiritual terms. How much time do Christians spend searching for things they already have?

How many people are looking for identity, trying to figure out who they are and what they’re doing here, when their identity is already set in Christ? How often do you feel weak and defeated, forgetting that you’ve residing within you the very power that raised Christ from the dead?

In this letter to the Ephesians, Paul is writing his prayer for them. He’s not praying for the church in Ephesus to be mighty in number, rich in material things, or free from suffering and trials.

In Warren Wiersbe’s commentary on the New Testament he states, “[Paul] did not ask God to give them what they did not have, but rather prayed that God would reveal to them what they already had.”2

Hear Paul’s heart as he writes from the confines of a Roman prison: “I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. 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, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength, which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead…” (Ephesians 1:17-20a).

Brothers and sisters, we’re in possession of the most wonderful treasure there is. We have dwelling within us the Holy Spirit of God.

Imagine the power that’s lying dormant so much of the time because we don’t call on it. The very same power that raised Christ Jesus from the dead is alive and living in every child of God. What a difference we could make for the kingdom if we would plug into that source and go forward with a willing and obedient heart. Imagine the victory we’d have as we call on the name of the Lord for our strength!

Read back over verses 17-21 again. This time insert your name every place Paul uses “you” or “your.” As you do, pray for a new spiritual awakening, for the enlightenment of your heart so that you can fully know the hope, riches, and incomparably great power for those who believe.

Then go and celebrate. You’re the proud owner of the most priceless treasure ever sought. Don’t forget it!

__________________

1 Wiersbe Bible Commentary: New Testament, by Warren W. Wiersbe, published by David C. Cook, Colorado Springs, CO, 2007, pp. 588.
2 Wiersbe Bible Commentary: New Testament, by Warren W. Wiersbe, published by David C. Cook, Colorado Springs, CO, 2007, p 589.

Reflection Questions

  1. What is it that causes you to lose track of the treasure you have residing within?
  2. How different do you think your life would look if you remembered that the power of the Holy Spirit is already present and willing to act on your behalf?
  3. Do you have the Holy Spirit? Have you made the commitment to follow Jesus with your whole heart? If so, are you living in victory over sin and death? If not, why not start today?

About the Author

Leigh Ann Swords

Leigh Ann has been a member of Brentwood Baptist since moving to the Nashville area in 1998. She has been a part of the Church at Station Hill from the time it was only a dream until now, serving on the missions and worship teams, as well as teaching Sunday school in the student ministry. She and her husband Jeff have three children, Brad, Bailey and Bryant. She is currently enrolled as a student at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and leads a weekly Bible study for women in her home. Her passions include missions, travel, biking and the word of God. She can be reached at leighann.swords@me.com.