Exciting Announcement | BCC

Last Sunday BCA members voted overwhelmingly (with a 95% approval!) to purchase a building on Broadway Avenue in Everett to house our growing Bethany Compassion Center. We are excited that our year-long search to find a strategic facility in the heart of downtown has been realized. Our offer has been accepted and we are now in the inspection phase, with a strong sense that everything will go through as planned. Once inspections have been completed, we will complete some minor remodel and cleanup work, with the hope of opening for expanded compassion work at the end of summer/early fall.

I applaud our church family for taking this step of faith – and a fabulous step of faith it is! We believe God has been guiding us in this direction for the past 15-20 years. The 22 different compassion outreaches we are currently engaged in will grow to more than 30 once we are in this new space. We are eager to be a help and encouragement to many precious people who are in need of a hand up, not just a hand out. The Bethany Compassion Center is the compassion arm of BCA and offers a faith-based approach to compassion work in Everett and Snohomish County. We believe that the BCC will become an ever-growing hub for compassion ministry and compassion networking in our city and county with each passing month.

If you haven’t yet, now would be an excellent time to check out the BCC website: www.bethanycompassioncenter.com. Sign up to serve and to give. Teams are being formed to help with the remodel work as we speak. We will also need the help of many volunteers to staff the center and the growing number of ministries the Lord is raising up. Please pray about joining the team, expanding your role if you are already involved, and giving monthly to the BCC. In addition, please continue to pray, for now the hard work of continually building and expanding the BCC is upon us.

What a great opportunity to “lift the lid” on compassion ministries and reach out farther and wider than ever before. This is an exciting day!!

This Day in History

If you Google “This Day in History” you’ll find incredible, even epic, events; stories that have occurred every single day throughout history. I did that recently, looking at two days in particular.

The first was April 21. Like every day in history, I found some spectacular and somewhat solemn events:

· 753 BC: Rome was founded

· 1910: Mark Twain died

· 1918: The Red Baron was shot down

· 1934: The Loch Ness Monster was allegedly sighted for the first time

· 1962: The top of the Space Needle opened

· 2016: The singer Prince died

Every single day there is something momentous and incredible that takes place in the life of someone or in a group of people.

The other day I was curious about was April 15. Of course, April 15 is always a favorite day for every Tax-paying American, but in addition to that I found some amazing events occurred throughout history:

· 1452: Leonardo da Vinci was born

· 1945: Masha Ralsky was liberated from a concentration camp

· 1947: Jackie Robinson broke through the racial barrier in baseball

· 1955: Ray Kroc opened his first McDonalds

· 2013: The horrific Boston Marathon bombing occurred

As I was Googling April 15, there were three other events that really stood out to me as I pondered all that happened on that particular day in history:

· Abraham Lincoln died (1865)

· The Titanic sank (1912)

· Notre Dame burned (2019)

All three are pretty epic. I was actually Googling this while watching the iconic Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris burn in real time. And then that very night of April 15 I was in a meeting and received a call from some friends who relayed to me that their parents were in an automobile accident and their mom was tragically killed. All of this was on April 15. 

So much more happened on the April 15’s of history that we will never hear about or know about. Spectacular, maybe even somber events, all epic in the lives of individual people or families or groups of people. It reminded me about the power and potential of each and every day. It reminded me to make the most of today and the possibility that I could make a positive impact on those around me today. And even more, that I could live valiantly for Jesus Christ with commitment and courage…today.

Every day is an incredible opportunity to live for Christ, love like Christ, and look to Christ. How will you invest today?

I AM the Bread of Life

In John 6:35 Jesus tells a crowd of people, “I AM the Bread of Life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty.” What a potent, self-identifying statement by Jesus! Jesus was not just talking about physical hunger and thirst; He was telling us that He will meet ALL our needs. 

HE MEETS OUR PHYSICAL NEEDS

Jesus provides for our physical needs (material, earthly, emotional, mental). He is the source of all we need. Even a quick look through scripture shows us He has proven trustworthy. 

  • John 6:31: “Our forefathers ate the manna in the desert; as it is written: ‘he gave them bread from heaven to eat.’”  The Israelites had left Egypt, they were wandering around in the desert and they were desperate. God provided manna, “bread from Heaven.”  
  • John 6:1-15: Verse 5 says, “’Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?’ He asked this only to test Philip.” In verse 7 we see Phillip’s reply: “…Eight months wages would not buy enough bread for each one to have a bite.” Then in verse 9 we see Andrew’s reply, the first step of one of Jesus’ most memorable miracles, “Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish…” Jesus can take the smallest gift and use it to provide all we need. 
  • Matthew 6:33-34 says, “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” God knows what we need (food, clothing, shelter) and He will provide for us. 
  • And The Lord’s Prayer in Matthew 6:11 reminds us that He will, “Give us this day our daily bread….”

HE MEETS OUR SPIRITUAL NEEDS

Jesus is God’s answer to our biggest need: SIN! We’ve all taken quite a few missteps in life. Jesus came to meet our spiritual needs and to address our sin problem. He came to offer us life-saving forgiveness! 

It doesn’t have to be complicated. The message of the Gospel (as found in Romans) is clear! 

Rom 3:10 No one is righteous Rom 8:11 Jesus lives in you 
Rom 3:23 All have sinned Rom 8:37 We are the champions 
Rom 5:8 God loves us Rom 10:9 Confess Christ as Lord 
Rom 6:23 Wages of sin = DEATH Gift of God = LIFE Rom 10:13 Everyone can be saved 
Rom 8:1 No condemnation Rom 10:17 Saving faith in Christ 

HE MEETS OUR ETERNAL NEEDS

Want to know a secret? Everyone will live forever! BUT, not everyone will live in Heaven forever. Jesus came and died and rose so that we can live forever with Him in Heaven – with complete joy, total happiness, and absolute perfection. Jesus says, “I AM the Bread of Life.” He came and died and rose again to meet all our needs. So the question is not, “Do you want to live forever?” The question is, “Where do you want to live forever?” 

I AM the Vine

John 15:1-17 

The definition of flourishing is “Marked by vigorous and healthy growth, a flourishing garden. Healthy, grow, develop, thrive.” Now, how can we take this and apply it to our spiritual lives? Are we flourishing, growing, developing, and thriving spiritually? 

Let’s take a look at 3 ways to flourish spiritually, grow and become more like Christ. 

  1. REMAIN: Remaining in the vine is the only way to find life and thrive spiritually. 
    A branch of a tree that is broken off will not live, it will die. That is the picture Jesus is painting for his first disciples and for us. Specifically this means we must have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. We need to experience a rebirth where we commit our lives to Jesus and are born again. And we need to remain in him through prayer, scripture and faithful obedience.
  2. PRUNE: Pruning is necessary and good, even if unpleasant. 
    It’s good to eliminate “dead wood” that blocks growth. The purpose of pruning? To cut away dead or overgrown branches to increase fruitfulness and growth. How about us? What is blocking our spiritual fruitfulness? What area(s) do we need to work with God to “prune back” in our own lives?
  3. FRUITFULNESS: Bearing fruit is the purpose of life
    What is the purpose of life? Fruitfulness. You were not created to just take up space. You were created to make a difference, to impact others by giving, serving and blessing them. The purpose of a vineyard is to produce grapes and the purpose of an apple orchard is to produce apples. The purpose of our lives is to be fruitful – to bear fruit for others and to build our character fruit (Galatians 5:22-23).

Pray with me, “Lord, may I remain in you, prune back whatever is distracting in my life, and bear fruit (leading others to you and showing the character of Christ).”

I AM the Good Shepherd

I Am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd lays His life for down for His sheep. What does it mean to know Jesus is the Good Shepherd?

1. He loves me more than I will ever know.

It’s all about you. For Jesus, His eyes, thoughts, mind, and heart are on you. You will never fully understand it, I guarantee you. There is nothing and no one more important to the Good Shepherd than YOU. Never forget that.

2. He cares and provides for all of my needs.

It is amazing to know that all of our needs are provided for by the “Greatest Shepherd” who cares greatly for you and me, and for our needs and hurts and concerns.

Turn to Him. Follow Him. Trust Him. We can know as long as we are in the hands of our Good Shepherd – the Lord Jesus – things will be OK. He’s got us.

3. He gave His life to save me.

Jesus demonstrated His love and care by ultimately giving His life to save & protect you and me. Reflect today on the ONE who gave His life for you, for me, for everyone. He bled and died to protect us from Satan and His abhorrent regime. He bled and died for our freedom, and for our future. And today we live in gratitude and we worship our Good Shepherd who loved us so much that He didn’t run and hide, but instead ran into the fight and gave His life so that we might live with Him – forever – in Heaven.

Experience Missions ‘19

Some of the most important weeks on the calendar of our church are when we talk about our collective mission to reach the world for Christ. There is no greater enterprise in the history of the world than participating in the advancement of the Kingdom of God. Precious people everywhere need to know that Jesus loves them, died for them, and is preparing an eternal home for them in Heaven. To think that we get to be a part of sharing the Good News to those around the globe is just amazing. Here are a few guiding principles that set the tone for us at BCA — both collectively as a church and individually as Christ followers.

  1. Create a growing Great Commission culture and mindset.

    When someone shares their final “deathbed” wishes you want to listen carefully, knowing that what they’re sharing is very important to them. You could say that Jesus’ deathbed wish was really a command. He commanded us to be his ambassadors, taking the message of His love to all people. We cross cultures, oceans, and languages to make sure that ALL hear. We are ALL in, for ALL the world, so ALL can hear.

  2. Understand the dimensions of our reach.
    We reach out in 3D, understanding there are three dimensions to our reach, as you can see in our outreach triangle:
  • We reach out personally as we bring people to church and include them in our church community. May God help us as we invest in relationships with pre-Christians and invite them to church — and to faith.
  • We reach out locally through the 100+ ministries of our church and 25+ compassion outreaches to our local community through the Bethany Compassion Center.
  • We reach out globally through our 80+ missionaries and missionary projects and our 5 Global Church Partnerships (Sumba, Cuba, Albania, eSwatini/Swaziland, Medical Missions).
  1. Realize that conviction and passion come from the mandates of Scripture.

    We must be careful that the good does not become the enemy of the GREAT (sounds like a book I read once). There are many good things we can do as a church but we must make sure it does not take our eyes off the GREAT, which is reaching out to others so they can know of God’s love for them. Notice these 5 “greats” that provide us with our marching orders:

  • Great COMMISSION — Matthew 28:19,20: “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” 
  • Great COMMANDMENT — Matthew 22:37-40: Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
  • Great COMMITMENT — Acts 1:8: “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
  • Great CALLING — Luke 14:23: “Then the master told his servant, ‘Go out to the roads and country lanes and compel them to come in, so that my house will be full.’”
  • Great CONCENTRATION — Matthew 4:19: “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.”

  1. Reach out farther and wider than ever before.

    Our motto is Pray, Give, Go — even more this year than last year. And last year our goal was to Pray, Give, Go even more than the year before. We want to continue to reach out farther and wider for Christ’s glory. We PRAY for people far from God. We PRAY for our missionary team. We GIVE regularly to support missions and missionary outreach through our missionary team and Global Church Partnerships. And we GO on STORM trips (Short Term OutReach Missions) and we GO by becoming missionaries or sending missionaries in our place.

Let me close by sharing three important quotes. Hudson Taylor and Jim Elliot were amazing missionaries whose words are legendary. I’ve included a quote that summarizes my heart and I’m asking you to prayerfully ask God to give you a burden for people who need the Lord.

  • Hudson Taylor — “The light that shines the farthest is the light that shines brightest at home.” We need to keep building up our church so we can reach out farther and wider.
  • Jim Elliot — “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.” We need to gain the eternal, which is souls. We treasure helping people find the Lord.
  • Rob Carlson — “We must be driven by that which drove Christ to the cross; namely, people and their need to know God’s love.” We are either a missionary or a mission field. If we know Christ then we must reach out passionately, so join me as I seek to Pray. Give. Go.

How to Pray for Someone’s Salvation

Jonah 1-3

There is no greater mission in life than to know Christ personally and to make Him known to those around us. Who in your family or friendship circle are you praying will come to know Christ? Maybe there’s someone you work with or live by or go to school with? Whoever it is, let’s pray more fervently for them than ever before. There is no greater mission in life than to know Christ and to make Him known. We are Christ’s ambassadors and He wants to use us to reach others. Oswald Chambers said, “Prayer does not fit us for the greater work; prayer is the greater work.” Here are 3 ways we can pray for those around us who need to come to a saving knowledge of Christ.


3 WAYS TO PRAY FOR OTHERS TO FIND THE LORD
  

  1. THAT PEOPLE REALIZE THEY CAN’T RUN FOREVER — Jonah 1

    In Jonah 1 we see that Jonah disobeys the Lord and runs from His command to go to Nineveh. God commanded Jonah to go and share the Good News of God’s love and forgiveness to a people who desperately needed it. What jumps out to me in this passage is that, as followers of Christ, we can run from obedience and not share God’s love with others. And certainly many who don’t know Christ are running from Him. We need to stop running and share the Good News! We also need to pray that others stop running and turn to God. Both are vital. Pray today that God will help you be His ambassador more than ever before. Start by showing love and kindness and then look for an opportunity to simply tell your story. Keep it simple, just share what Jesus has done for you.

    And let’s also pray that those who are on the run from God will stop and realize they can’t run forever. There is only one way to Heaven (Acts 4:12) and that is through Jesus.

  2. THAT PEOPLE REMEMBER AND TURN TO GOD — Jonah 2

    In Jonah 2 we find him praying from the belly of a big fish. Have you ever had to do that? I would imagine not. What I love about this passage is that Jonah remembers God (see vs. 7) and he turns back with humility, sincerity, and obedience. He says in verse 9, that “salvation comes from the Lord.” That is true! Jonah was a follower of the Lord and he had to stop and remember what was right and turn back to God. I want to pray that those who do not know God will also stop and remember and turn to Him. For those who do not have any understanding of who Christ is or what He has done, the word remember may need to be something more like stop and ponder and wonder if there really is a God? Maybe they start by thinking about a higher power, and then begin thinking about who God is, and then maybe someone helps them find their way to Christ. The point is, people need to stop running and start turning to the Lord. Jonah did and eventually so did the Ninevites.

THAT WE REACH OUT WITH PASSION AND COMPASSION — Jonah 3

In Jonah 3 we see that Jonah finally got it right. It says here that he obeyed the second time. There’s something about being thrown into the sea and being swallowed up by a big fish that just might get your attention, don’t you think? He cried out for mercy and then obeyed and went to Nineveh to tell them to turn to God. Nineveh repented and God showed them mercy. I can’t help but notice the important role Jonah played here. What if he wouldn’t have obeyed? God could have sent someone else or maybe He wouldn’t have sent anyone. If you really stop to think about it, there are three parts to a person’s salvation:

    • God’s part — Jesus died for the sins of the world and is knocking on each heart’s door. (Revelation 3:20). He does not want anyone to perish but desires everyone to come to repentance.
    • The person’s part — Each person must answer the knock at the door, stop running, and turn to God. The Lord will not force anyone but offers salvation to everyone. (Romans 10:9).
    • Our part — Like Jonah, we have a part to play and our obedience is of utmost importance. God is wanting those around us to see and understand His love. We are his hands and feet and heart.

May God help us share Christ clearly to others needing to find their way to faith.

How to Pray Through Your Problems

Psalm 3 (A psalm of David. When he fled from his son Absalom.) Lord, how many are my foes! How many rise up against me! Many are saying of me, “God will not deliver him.” But you, Lord, are a shield around me, my glory, the One who lifts my head high. I call out to the Lord, and he answers me from his holy mountain. I lie down and sleep; I wake again, because the Lord sustains me. I will not fear though tens of thousands assail me on every side. Arise, Lord! Deliver me, my God! Strike all my enemies on the jaw; break the teeth of the wicked. From the Lord comes deliverance. May your blessing be on your people.

David had a bunch of problems. Think about his life… He was on the run from Absalom, and before that Saul – both of which were problems he brought on himself. Problems come in all sizes and shapes and we all have them. David shows us how he prayed through his problems and how we can pray through ours. Let’s look at Psalm 3 and focus in on seven ways David shows us how to pray through our problems.

  1. GOD WILL ALWAYS BE WITH ME. Ps 3:1: Lord, how many are my foes! How many rise up against me!
    David’s prayer starts off with the understanding that God is with Him as he cries for help. Like David, we need to honestly admit our situation to God, knowing that He is present. God knows our circumstances. He cares, He’s aware and He will never leave or forsake us. We will persevere in His power and in His name, just like David did. What is the problem that weighs heavy on your heart today? Give it to Jesus! He is with you always.
  2. GOD WILL HELP ME OVERCOME DOUBT AND DISCOURAGEMENT. Ps 3:2: Many are saying of me, “God will not deliver him.”
    One of the things I encounter most in the work I do with people is trying to encourage those who feel they are being dragged down by life. Discouragement and despair run rampant but we need to keep encouraged in Christ. We all understand and have to deal with discouragement. One of the things I find helpful when dealing with discouragement is to specifically identify the source of discouragement and call it out. Compare it to the promises and power and riches of Christ and let that source of discouragement know that it will not own or define us, that it will not determine the level of joy and impact we will have in this life. David took his doubt and discouragement to God. He called it out and in so doing put his trust in the Lord to help him deal with his doubt and despair.
  3. GOD WILL GIVE ME STRENGTH. Ps 3:3: But you, Lord, are a shield around me, my glory, the One who lifts my head high.
    The reason I don’t doubt is because of God’s strength. David prayed “Lord, you are my strength, you are my shield.” Because we serve an all powerful, all-knowing, ever-present God we can have faith and confidence that He has our back. He is a shield around us. What is the problem you’re praying about today? Remember, He’s got you; He is a shield around you. Nothing is too big, too complicated or too messy for God.
  4. GOD WILL ANSWER ME. Ps 3:4: I call out to the Lord, and he answers me from his holy mountain.
    When God seems silent it doesn’t mean He doesn’t hear. When it feels like God is not answering, by faith we can know that He does hear and that He will answer us. Don’t doubt or be discouraged by His apparent silence. Instead, in faith, remember that we serve a prayer-answering God and He will not give us something He knows will be bad for us. David knew God was there and that He heard him and would answer him. He knew that God had his best interest at heart. It was central to His faith and it needs to be central to our faith, too. What is the problem, trial, and/or adversity you’re dealing with? Remember, God promises us in His Word that He hears every word that we pray to Him. Like a good parent, He is waiting, ready and willing, to listen to our worries, concerns, and needs.
  5. GOD WILL SUSTAIN ME. Ps 3:5: I lie down and sleep; I wake again, because the Lord sustains me.
    I think there are times when we feel like our heart has been crushed or our mind is about to explode. I want to remind you today that when life is the hardest and most hopeless, Jesus is right there with us and He will sustain us! He will help us get through to the other side. David prayed and affirmed: “I will wake again because my God will sustain me.” Pray that way today over your current situation.
  6. GOD WILL REPLACE MY FEAR WITH FAITH. Ps 3:6: I will not fear though tens of thousands assail me on every side.
    Fear can cripple and immobilize us. We can be frozen emotionally, relationally, even spiritually, by fear. We can be stuck by fear, unsure of what to do, unable to do what we know we must. David prayed, “I have God on my side, and His love and strength and help drives out fear.” I don’t care what the odds are against us, how big our problems might seem, our God is bigger still! Trust Him and cast your cares on Him.
  7. GOD WILL DELIVER ME. Ps 3:7,8: Arise, Lord! Deliver me, my God! Strike all my enemies on the jaw; break the teeth of the wicked. From the Lord comes deliverance. May your blessing be on your people.
    One of the reasons we love the Bible so much is that it is real. Here, David tells us how he really feels, his real, raw emotions flowing out. David needed God’s intervention and deliverance and he prayed specifically and passionately from his heart. Sometimes we need to pray a very specific and raw and real and emotional prayer of one word… HELP! We do not waver, we do not doubt, because we are convinced of His love and mercy and kindness and power. God doesn’t promise in the Bible to take our problems away, but He does promise to carry us through them and help us overcome them.

God will always be with you. God will help you overcome doubt and discouragement. God will give you strength; He will answer you. God will sustain you and replace your fear with faith. Ask Him today.

Six Life-Changing Prayer Principles

 I Chronicles 4:10 Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, “Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain.” And God granted his request.

The Prayer of Jabez is a famous prayer in the Bible. Some have turned it into a self-focused, bless-me prayer. However, the biblical definition of blessing is less about “God, make me rich and comfortable and happy,” and more about “God, use me as Your hands and feet for Kingdom impact.” Let’s take a look at a few prayer principles from Jabez.

1. Cry Out to God. Jabez prayed — he “cried out to God…”

Not just “help me, bless me, and save me” but “God, use me.” Ask yourself: Where do I need to step up and step out personally to be obedient to Christ individually and to join with my church so we can have greater impact?

2. Recognize the source of every blessing. Jabez prayed — “Bless me”

We recognize that the Lord is the source of every blessing. The Bible says in James 1:17 “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father…”. The Bible cautions us to not take credit (see Isaiah 10:13) but rather to give the glory to God, from whom all blessings flow. We have been blessed by God to be a blessing to others!

3. Ask to be used for greater impact. Jabez prayed — “Enlarge my territory”

Most like to turn this into a “bless me, give me, prosper me with more stuff” kind of prayer. However, if we look at the lineage of Jabez we can understand that he is not merely speaking in terms of wealth, prosperity and land but in terms of impacting the Kingdom of God. He wanted his spiritual territory to increase, to claim future generations for the Lord of Israel. As a Christian, it is never just about me. It is never just give me more money, give me more land, give me more comfort…as if we are the end all. My personal pleasure and comfort is not the end all; it is not the finish line. Jesus is less concerned about my comfort and more concerned about my character.

4. Request guidance. Jabez prayed — “Your hand be with me”

Jabez wanted God to be in every moment of his day. He understood the power of God’s hand to protect and to lead in the right direction. We can count on God to protect, correct, direct and lead us. Where do you need wisdom? Ask God for His guidance. Pray for yourself and your kids and spouse and others that you/they will make wise choices.

5. Pray for strength. Jabez prayed — “Keep me from harm”

I think there’s something deeper in this prayer than just asking for comfort or not to get hurt. The name Jabez literally means “born with pain.” His own mother named him Jabez because of the pain she endured in labor. When Jabez prayed, he spoke against the testimony of his name and let go of the shame it covered him in. When we pray, we come humbly to God, vulnerable, with all of our scars and imperfections, and we ask Him to turn our weakness into strength for His glory.

6. Believe God can meet your need and will answer your prayer. Jabez prayed — “…and God granted his request.”

May we all pray with faith believing in God’s power to meet our needs and answer our prayers. And let’s make sure one of our oft-prayed prayers is, “God, use me for greater Kingdom impact.”

My Prayer for You

Ephesians 3:14-21 | For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

My prayer for you is really Paul’s prayer for the church in Ephesus. Moreover, Ephesians 3:14-21 is a model prayer that we would do well to pray for each other. In my prayer, there are five things that I pray you fully realize and understand:

1. INNER STRENGTH. Paul prayed 3:16 — I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being…

The idea here for “strength” is the opposite of being discouraged. Paul is praying that their inner person is being renewed and I pray this for you. Life is hard and our mind, emotions and inner person can become down and discouraged. Paul is praying for inner strength, that they stay encouraged and hopeful. Paul prays for them and us that they and we would rely on the strength available in Christ to be built up from the inside out.

2. ABIDING PRESENCE. Paul prayed 3:17a — so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith…

“That Christ may dwell” is the idea of Christ taking up residency in your heart. The picture is for to Jesus move in and become more and more a part of the home of your heart and life. Paul prays for them and us, and I pray for you, that we know clearly and completely that Jesus is with us, He is for us, and He is in us. I pray that you realize that you can call on Him any time and all the time. Remind yourself: He is with me, beside me, and even will carry me when I need Him most.

3. UNQUENCHABLE LOVE. Paul prayed 3:17b-19a — And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge…

Being rooted and established are the results of a life built on Christs love. Paul wants us to grasp His love and know it is greater than you can know, goes farther than you can realize and it is forever. There is nothing you can do to quench His love for you. You are never unloved and you never don’t matter. You are valued, esteemed, loved, and treasured. Know it, grasp it and comprehend. He loves you more than you will ever know.

4. DIVINE PURPOSE. Paul prayed 3:19b — that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

Fullness is the state of being filled to capacity. It is the idea of brimming with godliness. Overflowing with Christlikeness. Being like Him and growing more and more into the image of Christ. May we realize that God’s design for us all to be like Jesus. To think, serve, live, relate, and give like Jesus.

5. ABSOLUTE ASSURANCE. Paul prayed 3:21-21 — Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

Never forget His power and never forget that His power is available to you which is a power without limits. This 5th prayer that I pray for you is one of the most powerful verses in the Bible to me. We need to live each day in the realization and in relationship with the Almighty where we know that we know that we know—that His capacity exceeds my needs. He is not only able to do exceedingly more than what I ask for and need, but He is able to do immeasurably more than what I could ever imagine. I pray for you, I pray for my family, I pray for me, I pray for our church, I pray for our pastors and staff, I pray for our missionaries…that we know, with absolute assurance, that the God of the Bible is the Almighty God who is all present, all powerful, and all knowing. The implications of this realization in my life is that my faith will skyrocket. There is nothing ever too hard, too big, too complicated, too messy, or too overwhelming in any way for my God.

May we realize, comprehend and experience all five of these crucial qualities for living a life of great faith:

  • When I feel discouraged  Remember Inner Strength.
  • When I feel alone  Remember Abiding Presence.
  • When I feel unloved  Remember Unquenchable Love.
  • When I feel aimless  Remember Divine Purpose.
  • When I feel self-doubt  Remember Absolute Assurance.