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Audacious -- Week 6

Read: Ephesians 3: 14-21

Reflect: Ladies, I’m nearly in tears this morning as I try to write for you about these specific verses. They are the focal verses of our October retreat, so that is very special as we are busy planning and praying for this event. And, verse 20 has been a favorite of mine for many years. But, the real reason I could just lay down and cry is that these verses so perfectly accompany the chapter that we’ve read by Beth Moore this week, and ONLY GOD could have planned that.

We could go so deeply into word study today, and that would be fun. But, I believe I want to keep it simple. Look at the definitions of these two words:

To know -- “ginosko”--This word is from the prolonged form of the verb, “to know,”and relates to the beginning or completed sense of the word. In the beginning sense, it means to gain or receive knowledge. In the completed sense, it means to have the knowledge of.

Knowledge -- “gnosis” -- means the power of knowing, intelligence, or comprehension.

As believers in Jesus Christ, we are called “to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge (verse 19).” In other words, Paul was encouraging the believers in Ephesus to know (in a completed sense of comprehension) God’s love in a way that can’t actually be known. What?! When that happens, we will be filled with the fullness of God. Figuratively, the word “fullness” means abundance.

Ladies, there’s no other way to say it… we were meant to live in a way that uncovers a comprehension of God’s love for us that we’d never be able to know outside of Jesus revealing it to us. When we live that way, our lives will be marked by abundance, and we will lead others to do the same.

Respond: How do you feel about living a life marked by abundance? At the end of your life, would you love to look back at a full and fruitful life? I sure would. I say let’s ask for it.

I grew up hearing that I shouldn’t ask for more. I was taught to be content. There’s certainly a place for contentment in Jesus. But, these verses in context are urging us to ask for more and more knowledge of Jesus Christ that will lead to the abundance of more powerful experiences with Jesus Christ. I’d like for you to freely journal about anything these ideas lead you to think today. Ask God for guidance if you’re unsure, confused, or unable to ask Him for more.

Renew: In an effort to fight the enemy who could lead us to becoming overwhelmed as we look ahead and ask for more, let’s REST in Jesus for a few minutes before leaving these quiet moments. I believe we CAN rest in Him even while we pray for more. Maybe reading these verses will help us relax, rest, and worship.

God can do anything, you know -- far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, His Spirit deeply and gently within us.

(Ephesians 3:20-21, The Message)