Bible Book: Ephesians

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Make Your Way to the Balcony

If you want to do the inner work of leadership, if you want to see yourself with new clarity and perspective, then you need to make your way to the balcony, so to speak. Do whatever helps you to see your life and leadership from a perspective that promotes your growth in wisdom. 

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Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, Independence Avenue Southwest, Washington, DC, USA

A Prayer of Martin Luther King Jr.

Today’s devotion features a prayer by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., whose life and work we remember today with a national holiday in the United States.

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From the Resurrection to the Church

According to Ephesians, the power that raised Jesus from the dead is for and within us through the Spirit of God. But we experience this power, not as separate individuals, but as members of the church, the body of Christ. If we are going to live in the reality of the resurrection, we will do it in the community of Christ’s people.

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Christ is Head Over All Things for the Church

Ephesians makes a bold claim. God has made Christ “head over all things for the church” (1:22). Everything in this world ultimately exists under the sovereignty of Christ. Of course the world, its people and institutions, may not know this yet. But God is in the process of extending God’s own reign so that ultimately everything in the universe finds its rightful, peaceful, and fruitful place under the rule of Christ.

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You Are a Friend of the King

Jesus reveals himself as our friend. Yet today’s passage from Ephesians reminds us that our relationship with Jesus must reflect all who he is. If we relate to him only as a friend, we can easily neglect our duty to submit our lives to him. If we relate to Jesus only as a supreme authority, we easily lose the invitation to know him intimately and to delight in his friendship. Our Scripture passage today encourages us to know Jesus more fully and to offer our lives to him more completely.

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Seeing God’s Power in the Resurrection

According to Ephesians 3:20-21, God is able to do far more than all we ask in prayer, far more than all we can imagine. How does God do this? Through “the power at work within us.” We see that power in the resurrection of Jesus, which shows us that with God, nothing is impossible.

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God’s Power for You

Not only is God’s power given to us through the Spirit, but also God’s power is consistently working to help us participate in God’s work in the world. The more we know God, the more we will know that God’s incomparably great power is for us, for our good as well as for the good of all things.

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Know God’s Incomprehensible Power for Us

In Ephesians 1 the Apostle Paul prays that we might know “the immeasurable greatness of [God’s] power for us who believe” (1:19). Paul heaps words upon words to try and convey the majesty and reality of God’s ultimately incomprehensible power. Yet, Paul’s prayer assumes that we can truly know this power, not just in our thoughts, but also in our experiences. What a wonder this is!

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You Are God’s Glorious Inheritance

When we are with the Lord in the age to come, we will receive a wonderful inheritance. But, even more amazing than this, God will receive us as a glorious inheritance. We will belong completely to God and God will delight in us as a treasure. What an inspiring and transformative thought! No wonder Paul prays that we might know it.

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A Glorious Inheritance

In his letter to the Ephesians, the Apostle Paul prays that we will know “what are the riches of [God’s] glorious inheritance among the saints” (1:18). The Greek language could point to the inheritance we will someday receive from God. Or it could refer to the fact that one day God will inherit us. Either way, great things are in store for us because of God’s grace in Christ.

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You Can Have Confident Hope

As Christians, we can have confident hope, but this doesn’t mean everything we hope for will happen. We can hope for healing that doesn’t come as we had wished. We can hope for a world in which God’s justice prevails over evil, even if it seems that evil is winning. The resurrection of Christ does not guarantee that everything we desire will be given to us. Yet it does guarantee the ultimate victory of God, the uniting of all things in Christ, the reality of a new heaven and a new earth.

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You Are Called to Hope

Christian hope depends, not on some emotional high, but rather on the bedrock of God’s calling to us. Moreover, it depends on the reality of the resurrection of Christ. Why does Easter matter? Because the resurrection gives us hope and reassures us that our hope will not disappoint us.

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An arrangement of Easter lilies

Why Easter Matters

For Christians, Easter is not just a day. It’s a season, the 50-day season known as Eastertide. During this season we have the opportunity to grow in our understanding and experience of the resurrection of Jesus. Beginning today, _Life for Leaders_ will offer reflections on Easter in a series called “Why Easter Matters.”

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The Discipline of Irresponsibility

As we lose opportunity and energy, God invites us to receive the grace of doing the good works he has prepared for us to do in this season of life.

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