2. We can live a life worthy of God.
We’ve heard the message of forgiveness so often we’re tempted to think forgiveness is all there is. Some people spend their lives yo-yoing between sin-forgiveness-sin. They consider this life normative for God’s children. Paul knew better. He understood there is a proper response to God’s initial grace. That response is a changed life–a life worthy of the Lord. A life where it’s possible to please God, bear fruit, and grow in new life. These first two aspects of Paul’s inspired prayer are beyond the grasp of many believers. Too many of God’s people despair of ever knowing God’s will for their lives and consider “pleasing God in every way” an impossibility. Paul’s expectation was completely the opposite: forgiveness is a continuing reality for followers of Jesus, but the core of our life in Christ is a transformation that draws us ever closer to the likeness of our Lord.
3. The kingdom of God is at hand:
Paul prays that we would each receive our inheritance–the kingdom of light. Jesus died to pay the price for our sin, and–like everyone who dies–he left an inheritance to his family: a new kind of life. This new life looks dramatically different from the old kind of life. Paul described this life as “righteousness, peace, and joy in he Holy Spirit.” (Romans 14:17). Here’s a bell-weather question for each follower of Jesus–does my life differ dramatically from my old kind of life? The in-breaking of God’s kingdom floods our lives with light, and light is necessary if we are going to move through this new kind of Kingdom-life. Yet how many believers stumble about in everyday life, unable to navigate the ordinary troubles of life? Paul envisioned a church filled with individuals able to receive the Kingdom-life God offers to everyone born from above. Paul had this confidence because he had heard the good news that “it’s the Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” (Luke 12:32)
Paul prayed these words over a church filled with people he did not know. It’s what Paul prayed (and hoped) for each follower of Jesus. Can you hear him praying over you now?
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