Being Strengthened (3): Be Filled by the Fullness of God


HeartAndCrossWe have mentioned that Paul prayed for strengthening of the believers in Ephesus and that his prayer consists of 3 parts: indwelling of Christ, understanding of Christ’s love, and being filled to the fullness of Christ. From the book of Ephesians, being filled with the fullness of God could mean1: Continue reading

Feeling Downcast?


SadFace02“We have all been depressed at one point or another in our lives. Sometimes the reason or reasons are pretty obvious: an experience of grief or loss, stressful work environment…. Other time… we just feel the stress.”

Check out my second guest blog article on Paul and stress:

Comforted and Caring

(It might seem a little odd that I have 2 series going on, one on Ephesians and currently on being strengthened, but another on stress and currently on feeling downcast. The guest series on Paul and Stress has been arranged since October last year and I am following the schedule given by the host.)

“For when we came into Macedonia, this body of ours had no rest, but we were harassed at every turn–conflicts on the outside, fears within.  But God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us by the coming of Titus,  and not only by his coming but also by the comfort you had given him. He told us about your longing for me, your deep sorrow, your ardent concern for me, so that my joy was greater than ever.” (2 Corinthians 7:5-7) 

Being Strengthened (2): May We Grasp the Love of Christ!


HeartAndCrossScripture: Ephesians 3:14-21

In praying for the strenthening of the believers in Ephesus, Paul prays that they may truly understand the love of Christ. If we read the passage, we realize that what he is praying for is that they may grasp that which is immeasurable and that they may know that which is beyond knowledge!

But if it is immeasurable, how can one grasp it? If it is beyond knowledge, how can one know it? Continue reading

Can’t Take It Anymore?


SadFace02Have you ever felt so stressed out that you wanted to say (or scream) “I can’t take it anymore”? Maybe we all have. It might be hard to believe, but even Apostle Paul had said the same thing.

Recalling some troubles that he and his coworkers had experienced in the province of Asia Minor, Paul said, “We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure.” (2Cor 1:8 TNIV) In today’s language, the phrase “far beyond our ability to endure” is, in a sense, “we could not take it!” Continue reading

Christmas is about Glory to God


ChristmasStarsScripture: Luke 2:8-20

When we think of Christmas, We, as Christians, should be thinking about the birth of our Savior, but even when we are thinking about the birth of Christ and our salvation, we often think only of our side, our blessings and benefits. There is a God’s side that we often neglect. It is important to realize that the bible shows connection between the birth of Jesus and the glory of God. Continue reading

Christmas is about Wholeness in Christ


ChristmasStarsScripture: Luke 2:21-39

Third Sunday of Advent… one week closer to Christmas. This is the season we sing “Joy to the World,” but some people are already feeling some kind of sadness, holiday blues, or even depression. We are celebrating the birth of Christ who proclaims good news to the poor,1 yet the poor are experiencing financial stresses as Christmas is approaching. We know that “by his wounds we are healed,”2 yet many are especially reminded of their brokenness during Christmas season. We celebrate the birth of “God with us” (Immanuel),3 but many are experiencing loneliness around Christmas. Continue reading

Being Strengthened (1): May Christ Dwell in Our Hearts!


PrayingHands_200bScripture: Ephesians 3:14-19

Sometimes when things are not going well, we feel distressed and weakened in our faith. Getting some comfort is nice; being strengthened is even better.

Paul was talking about the mystery of the Church and how he was called to preach the gospel to different people. All was good, but eventually it came to a point where he needed to mention his suffering because of the gospel (Eph 3:13). His concern was not about himself but that the believers in Ephesus might get discouraged because of his imprisonment. For that reason1 he prayed to God for their strengthening or empowerment (v. 14 on). Continue reading

The Mystery of the Church (3): Called to Serve Him


EarthScripture: Ephesians 3:1-13

When God revealed the mystery of his plan of salvation to include the Gentiles, the news must be told to those who had not heard it. The good news either spreaded naturally from people who had heard it (Acts 2:5), or spreaded through the scattering of disciples due to persecution (Acts 8:1-4). Througout history, God also called people who dedicated their lives for the ministry of the gospel. Paul was one of them, and so were The Apostles and many evangelists throughout history. Continue reading