that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints,
(Ephesians 1:17-18 ESV)
Yesterday we read Paul request that God grant us the ability to know Him. The Greek word for “knowledge” is επιγνοσισ (pronounced: ep-ig’-no-sis) which means “precise knowledge”. God wants us to know details about Him.
But God wants that knowledge to be more than in our heads. He wants it to be in our hearts (“having the eyes of your hearts enlightened”). He wants that knowledge to shape our character and be our motivation for how we treat others and how we view the world.
In our culture the term “heart” (aside from being an anatomical organ) refers to emotion. We give heart-shaped gifts to each other on Valentine’s Day to express our love for them. But that is not how the ancients used this term. The actual Greek word translated heart means “bowels”. When speaking of one’s heart, the Greeks were referring to someone’s deepest being.
God never appeals to our emotions. He always appeals to our mind. The way God designed us is for our emotions to follow our thoughts. First comes knowledge. Then, from that information, emotions flow.
As we have the eyes of our hearts enlightened, we will “know” several things. One of those things is “the hope to which He has called” us. God is not out to get us. He is not up in heaven looking for reasons to punish us. Just the opposite is true. God wants to bless us. He has offered every human being a future [Jeremiah 29:11]. Notice that God called us. He went first. He reached out to offer us a future with Him.
The word “hope”, when used in the Bible, is not a fingers-crossed-waiting-to-see-what-the-future-holds way of thinking. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines “hope” as “to desire with expectation of obtainment” or “to expect with confidence”. There is certainty about it. God wants us to “know” – for certain – the future He has planned for us.
But also, God wants us to know that we are God’s inheritance (“His glorious inheritance”). Despite our spiritual poverty, God values us. This is not an emotional appeal. Paul is not offering us some philosophy that makes us feel good about ourselves. He is offering us facts.
Whatever price you pay for something is the value you place on it. If you perceive that something is too expensive to purchase you are saying that you don’t value it at that price. We have value because God paid a very steep price – the death of His only son – to redeem us from sin.
God paid for your salvation with the life of His only Son. Because you’re worth it.
Comments? Questions? I’d love to hear from you. Please feel free to contact me about this post.