March 25, 2021 – Thursday
Ephesians 1:18-19a NIV
18 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,
19 and His incomparably great power for us who believe.
Our real focus today is on verse 19 but it is the conclusion of verse 18 so we will begin there. Reading how Paul begins v18, I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened it would be natural to ask what is meant by eyes of your heart? Some versions have the eyes of your understanding, but eyes of your heart is the more literal version. Still, what is meant by this?
MacLaren explains it thusly, It does not mean, as an English reader might suppose it to mean, that the affections are the agents by which this knowledge reaches us; but ‘heart’ is here used, as it often is in Scripture, as a general expression for the whole inward life, and all that the Apostle means is that, by the gift of the Divine Spirit of wisdom, a man’s inner nature may be so touched as to be capable of perceiving and grasping the ‘hope of the calling.’ Of course, the hope of the calling is a continuation of the verse where they heart is enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which He has called you. The hope to which Jesus has called us is our future. Our future as resurrected beings with eternal bodies in heaven. The hope, this hope, is to some degree experienced in this life through God’s blessings upon us here on earth.
Then we consider the phrase, the riches of His glorious inheritance in His holy people. This is both easy and difficult to comprehend. Difficult when we realize we are Jesus’ glorious inheritance. After all He died for us, paid the ransom for our sins. We are His riches, His inheritance. So simple, but difficult to imagine such unworthy creatures as we, are His glorious inheritance. How wonderful and humbling at the same time.
Finally, we come to, His incomparably great power for us who believe. What is this all about? Spurgeon says this is The very same power which raised Christ is waiting to raise the drunkard from his drunkenness, to raise the thief from his dishonesty, to raise the Pharisee from his self-righteousness, to raise the Sadducee from his unbelief. Why are so many believers’ lives changed when they come to believe in what Jesus has done for them? It is through His incomparably great power! Even here on earth we are resurrected to a new life, a life without sin as our master. Instead, we have the love of Jesus who we now serve and serve gladly. MacLaren writes, The present glories of the ascended Christ are glories possessed by Man, and, that being so, they are available as evidences and measures of the power which works in believing souls. In them are seen the possibilities of humanity, the ideal for man which God had when He created and breathed His blessing upon him. Changed men and women!
Many of us have seen this in men and women who changed radically when they became believers. Their changed lives effectively become a living testimony to the living God. There are changes so dramatic it is almost like magic, but the reality of it is something else. It is the power of Jesus through the Holy Spirit changing the hearts and lives of believers. For many of us this happened in our own lives as well. We can do little but wonder at the power and love of our God who does such things for us in our lives.
Prayer: Almighty God – It is amazing what You have done for those of us who believe. First, there was the salvation we did not earn nor deserve. Then there are the blessings that followed as our hearts and lives were changed. Your love and mercy are so abundant and affect our lives continually. Thank You. – In Jesus name. Amen.