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Scripture Reading: Ephesians 3:14-21 (NKJV)
For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height— to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

Ephesians 3:1-6, 8-10 (MSG) 1-3 This is why I, Paul, am in jail for Christ, having taken up the cause of you outsiders, so-called. I take it that you’re familiar with the part I was given in God’s plan for including everybody. I got the inside story on this from God himself, as I just wrote you in brief.

4-6 As you read over what I have written to you, you’ll be able to see for yourselves into the mystery of Christ. None of our ancestors understood this. Only in our time has it been made clear by God’s Spirit through his holy apostles and prophets of this new order. The mystery is that people who have never heard of God and those who have heard of him all their lives (what I’ve been calling outsiders and insiders) stand on the same ground before God. They get the same offer, same help, same promises in Christ Jesus. The Message is accessible and welcoming to everyone, across the board.

8-10 And so here I am, preaching and writing about things that are way over my head, the inexhaustible riches and generosity of Christ. My task is to bring out in the open and make plain what God, who created all this in the first place, has been doing in secret and behind the scenes all along. Through followers of Jesus like yourselves gathered in churches, this extraordinary plan of God is becoming known and talked about even among the angels!

Ephesians 3:16 (NKJV) that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man,

Ephesians 3:17a (NKJV) that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith;

Ephesians 3:17b-19a (NKJV) that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height— to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge;

Ephesians 3:18 (MSG) “Reach out and experience the breadth! Test its length! Plumb the depths! Rise to the heights!

Ephesians 3:19b (NJKV ) that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

Ephesians 3:20 (NKJV)

Ephesians 3:21 (NKJV) To Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

1. CONNECT WITH GOD – Commit yourself to living intentionally each day in the fullness of God, allowing Christ to strengthen your emotions, your thoughts and your actions.
2. CONNECT WITH OTHERS – Commit yourself to living intentionally in relationship with others, bringing glory to God.
3. DON’T GET SIDELINED – Commit yourself to fully embracing the Church as God’s plan for bringing Hope to the world, knowing there is no Plan B. We’re it.

BENEDICTION

Ephesians 3:20-21 (MSG)
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.

Glory to God in the church!
Glory to God in the Messiah, in Jesus!
Glory down all the generations!
Glory through all millennia! Oh, yes!

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01.21.18 – Don’t Get Sidelined – Bryan Starner