Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
(Ephesians 3:20-21 ESV)
Yesterday we read the beginning of Paul’s doxology in which he accurately proclaimed that God can do far more than we would ever pray for or even think. God’s children (born-again believers [John 1:12]) are still simply human beings. We are limited in our imagination and, of course, our abilities.
God can use us despite those limitations. When Jesus fed the multitudes He did so with limited human resources (just a couple of loaves of bread and fish) [Mark 6:30-44, 8:1-9]. At the Red Sea all Moses could do was hold his hands up in the air but God parted the waters [Exodus 14]. When we offer God what little we have, He can work miracles. He can do things that we would never have thought of.
When He does He deserves to be given all the glory. Lest we begin to think that we deserve any praise for any of these accomplishments, Paul reminds us that the glory belongs to God in these situations.
But beyond that, the very fact that God is creating a family – called “the church” in this verse – that will last “throughout all generations, forever and ever” is reason enough to give Him glory. That family is built on the work of Jesus Christ.
When someone does something for you that you didn’t ask for you are very thankful, especially if you really needed it. As a result, your estimation of them rises. How much more so, then, should our esteem for God be? He took it upon Himself to save a rag-tag bunch of self-absorbed sinners who paid no attention to Him – and, in some cases, even disavowed His existence – from the self-imposed destiny they were headed for by sacrificing His own life. No one imagined He would do that.
If left to ourselves none of us would ever have imagined that we are sinners in need of forgiveness. But God knew it. And even though none of us asked God to pay the penalty for our sins He did so anyway by sending His son, Jesus, to earth to become sin in our place [2 Corinthians 5:21]. Who would ever have thought of this? Only God.
The very existence of “the church” – the worldwide collection people born-again through the blood of Jesus – is proof of God’s immense love for us and His ability and willingness to do things above and beyond our imagination. This institution will exist for all eternity as God’s family.
For this alone God deserves all the praise and glory we can muster.
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