Families with young children click on this link for your devotional:
Ephesians 1: 12-23
How difficult it must have been for the church in Ephesus to be surrounded by an ungodly city with pagan worship and still try to proclaim Jesus as a living, breathing being who came to earth as part of God, died and was raised to life again. The church in Ephesus was most likely getting overwhelmed with the cities need for Jesus and not seeing the results they had hoped for.
As a nurse, I see this many times in my career. A young nurse on fire to take care of and heal patients. Then after being in the role for some time, knows that she cannot change everyone’s habits. She cannot stop a person from overeating and raising their blood sugars to unsafe levels. She cannot stop someone from smoking knowing that the risks of smoking will increase likelihood of cardiovascular disease and cancer. Once she realizes this, the job to her becomes a job and her passion is lost. The attitude that is created is one of being complacent and passionless.
I think that the church in Ephesus may be feeling these same feelings. They are trying to be the light in the darkness but because not everyone is listening and responding, they feel like their labors are in vain and they were getting burnt out.
Paul was writing to encourage them in their faith. He knows that the church in Ephesus is vital to the ministry of Jesus Christ and spreading of the His message. He knows that they are a people that have loved and showed compassion to the people of their city. He wants them to stay that way and not get discouraged when the ministry isn’t flourishing like they had hoped.
Has there ever been a time when you were disappointed with a ministry in the church that did not flourish like you thought it wound or wanted it to? How does God feel about our being complainant and not having passion?
I do not want to be burnt out. I want to be on fire for You knowing it’s not my labor or the results that determine this. My fire needs to come from knowing the author and perfector. Forgive me for being a spectator and complainer in the church at times. Let me be one that performs labors in the church not only to bless the Christians around me with more fervor but to do it for Your glory and that of Your Kingdom. In Jesus Name. Amen.