f you have a friend who believes in and follows Jesus Christ but admits to you that they wish they’d have more faith … what is the last thing you want to talk about as you engage with them about that heart desire?
The last thing you talk about with a person who wants more faith is—their faith!
The apostle Paul, writing to the Christians in the city of Ephesus, wants these Ephesians to have a deeper, more committed, and functional faith. So right away in his opening words of this letter to them (Ephesians 1:3-14), what does he talk about? Their faith?
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves” (Ephesians 1:3-6).
Well, Paul uses words like “us” or “our” 5 times, but he uses names or pronouns referring to God 17 times.
- Do you want a stronger faith?
- Do you want to be more courageous as a follower of Jesus?
- Do you want more joy and peace?
- Do you want to love the people in your life who are hard to love?
- Do you want to lead your fears instead of your fears leading you?
- Do you want to grow closer to God in Bible study and prayer, and give so generously that the angels in heaven cheer in amazement?
- Do you want to live with God as your masterpiece, your mostly highly valued top priority?
Then, focus on God and his work more than your believing or your doing. You don’t make God your masterpiece. He makes you His.
PRAYER: Dear God, I want a deeper, richer faith. One that marches on courageously and loves tenderly. One that trusts you absolutely and explodes in joy. Where do I find it? In you, Lord. In you. Yes, I believe in you. Amen.
FURTHER MEDITATION: Slow down, use the PRAY acronym over the weekend. Focus on God and his promises that you are his masterpiece.
- Praise (tell God what you appreciate about him)
- Repent (tell God about your sins, trust in his promises of forgiveness)
- Ask (go ahead, think big, or focus on a small detail, God wants to hear it all)
- Yield (talk to God about the next step after you say “Amen,” how you want faith to lead the way, how you are willing to be part of his answer and see it develop for your good)