Live in the Fullness of God

Do you ever find yourself wishing that life were different? I’ve caught myself doing this lately! But I’m learning that while it may not be possible for all of our outward circumstances to improve to make life better, it is possible for the quality of our inner life to change so dramatically that we begin to experience life as it was meant to be.

The apostle Paul was a great example of this principle. In Acts 16 we see Paul and Silas in prison, singing! I have often wondered why more people do not experience that level of inner tranquility that would allow them to sing praises to God even in the most horrendous circumstances. (First-century prisons would make twenty-first century prisons look like luxury hotels by comparison!)

Paul’s New Testament writings reveal an ability to live a victorious life in spite of the most severe outward circumstances. He encourages Christians in spite of his own hardships-like being shipwrecked, going hungry, and being publicly stoned and even imprisoned. What an amazing attitude he received from the Lord.

Ephesians 3:14-21 encourages us to experience the victorious life that Christ made possible. “14For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15from whom his whole family[a] in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

20Now 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, 21to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever!”

Heavenly Father we thank you for the gift of Christ and praise you for making it possible for us to experience the fullness of Christ through the presence of the Holy Spirit. Keep our minds and hearts focused on you. Give us courage to welcome the transforming power of the Holy Spirit especially when that means significant change. Give us eyes to see and ears to hear. And help us to be doers of the Word! Amen.

4 thoughts on “Live in the Fullness of God”

  1. Jim, I enjoyed that! I heard a message by Joel Osteen the other day where he was giving a message on the same thing. My church also had a message on the same passage a couple weeks ago. Its amazing how God works!

  2. Anyone who has gone thru a very trying time such as you (I know because I have been thru and am going thru one now)that often you wish you were some where else or had chosen a different career. You just have to trust in God that He knows why and when you will be thru it. And trust for strength to make it thru. We are not saved from trouble, but saved in trouble.

  3. I think of you so often every week, I pray for you when your in my thoughts. From doing griefshare I’ve heard of the pain of losing a spouse but have never been there, yet I hurt when I think of your pain.
    I just keep asking God to comfort you and your family. Thank you for sharing on this website. Many say church is so very hard, continuing to praise God has to be so very important, but it’s sometimes hard to praise Him when we don’t understand. but then that’s what faith is. To keep trusting and praising even when we don’t understand.

  4. Jim, my heart goes out to you and your family. My experience with my husband’s death makes me sensitive to those who lose their mates. The first year is hard because you’re adjusting to your new normal. Your life changed when you were married; your life changed with the birth of each of your children; now your life is changed again with Lois’s going home. Each change made a significant difference, and you adjusted accordingly, as you have with other changes. This one is difficult, to say the least. Yet, through it all, God is good. If there were no pain in the adjustment– which is what grief is — there would be no need for God. Your faith will not fail you, Jim. But just remember, you don’t have to be strong right now. God will give you strength for the day, strength for the task at hand. Often people in grief just have to do the next thing, whatever that thing is. One thing, one day, one week, at a time until your grief is ended.

    I encourage you to look at http://www.griefshare.org and the “Find A Location” feature. I hope there is a GriefShare ministry near you that you can participate in. Just because you’re a pastor doesn’t mean that you can’t be helped by this ministry.

    Along with so many others, I prayed for Lois and for you, and now continue to pray for you and your family. I know God’s goodness never fails. God is good and He’s good ALL the time, even though we can’t see the goodness at a particular time.

    Blessings to you,

    Nada Austin
    Old Union CU Church
    GriefShare Facilitator

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