Revive Us Again

Ephesians 3:14-21

Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 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, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.20 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.
 
The prayer before us from Ephesians was intended to be overheard. In generation upon generation, the church has handed this text on to us. All through these verses, we understand that the prayer was for the church community and not just individuals! And, as a church, especially a busy church like Cason, it is imperative that we check in with ourselves along the way to be certain that God is not losing our center spot in ministry. For, indeed, in our busy-ness, we can easily lose sight of God Who makes our hearts His dwelling place and intends to fill our hearts with Christ’s Jesus’ love and power…

a love and power that is a sheer and utter gift, not a reward for merit. But alas we do forget at times that God’s dwells in us…

There’s a little book, full of God, that Rev. Guy Sayles reminded me of. The book by British Scripture scholar and translator J.B. Phillips is: Your God is Too Small. I remember, as a kid, the book sitting on my dad’s shelf. Dad and Carol Cullen are the two champions I know of J.B. Phillips. Phillips writes that: “The trouble with many people today is that they have not found a God big enough for modern needs.” Sayles reflects, “If Phillips was writing today, he might title his book Your God is Too Small– a nd Too Distant. He might say: ‘The challenge for many people today is finding a God who is big enough to embrace the world and close enough to fill their inner emptiness.’” …alas we do forget, don’t we?
 
Dr. Sayles goes on to say: Many of us do have a god who is too small. Without knowing it, we have substituted a puny and punitive god for the great and gracious God revealed in the history of Israel and in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. This substitute god is limited, narrow, and does nothing surprising or amazing…boxed-in by our preconceptions. This god is stingy with mercy and has only enough love for “our kind of people”–our nation, our race, our social class, our orientation, or our denomination. This god of our own making is predictable, safe, and boring. I would agree with Sayles that such a god is hardly worthy of praise! Too often, the only thing crucial we expect from God is, well…some “thing.”
 
So here is my question: Do we expect our God, in the presence of the Holy Spirit to Revive Us, Again? Do we anticipate that those who are lost causes in our lives (even ourselves) to be restored, redeemed, and transformed by the mighty compassion of God in Christ Jesus through the power of the Holy Spirit? Do we expect like the Apostle that the One who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, is wanting to do more at Cason? Are we ready to be entrusted with revelation by the Holy Spirit that all people who desire to Will

F ind and Know the Love of God through Cason’s ministry? Our God is not too small or too distant.
I pray that God’s great love will leave us breathless with astonishment and as Paul prayed that we would know beyond knowing, the breadth and length and height and depth of love. Everyone is included! May everything at Cason, what we do and who we are, radiate with a redeeming grace which envelops all shame and guilt and shines with a dazzling glory which fills every shadowy corner! This is what the Cason is entrusted with…that we love all people because Jesus loves all people! The Holy Spirit will heal us and give us joy and power and love. We, not as individuals only, but as the church must say, “YES” to Jesus and His love for all of humanity!
 
We have a vast, loving, and powerful God who is “at work within us.” To that God be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever.”
 
I just love being your pastor! Joy, joy – Pastor Alexis
 

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