An Act of Grace Devotion
Faith United Methodist Church, August 2013
Scripture: Read Ephesians 3:14-4:6; Acts 4:31-35
“I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. Ephesians 3:16-21
Reflection: This passage found in Paul’s letter to the Ephesians is one of my favorites, a powerful and inspirational reminder of the depth and power of God’s love and the wondrous and unlimited possibilities of God’s work in the world! My heart swells with excitement and anticipation and I get goose bumps every time I read it. Oh, how I long to be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God and to share this love that surpasses knowledge with others. I wonder where and in what ways God is going to show us that he can do more than we can ever ask or imagine next!
As a Christian community, we are called into partnership with God. A partnership is defined as a relationship between individuals or groups that is characterized by mutual cooperation and responsibility for the achievement of a specified goal. Partnership is a community sharing a common focus with each member making some contribution. Faith UMC is charged with the responsibility of forming a partnership that exists to live out the mission of Christ (Matthew 28:16-20). Our congregation is blessed with the joy and privilege of serving the Lord together. This partnership is a precious gift.
Part of the excitement of belonging to Christian community is trusting God as he calls us to partner with him in his work in the world. Often that means participating in what might seem impossible. I hope you find that exciting! We will not always know where God will lead us, but we are reminded that we can trust God because he is able to do far beyond all we could ever ask or imagine. Our partnership with God releases God’s miraculous power in us. As we become rooted and established in the love of Christ we are able to grasp the depth of this love and trust God as he leads us to do what might seem impossible.
The early church is an example of a community partnership anchored by trust in the love and grace of Christ. The passage from Acts 4 describes some of the amazing experiences of the early church. As the community of believers was filled with the Holy Spirit they shared God’s word with confidence. “The apostles continued to bear powerful witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and an abundance of grace was at work among them all (Acts 4:33 CEB).” The power of God’s grace at work is inspiring.
This summer our congregation is called to trust God and believe that he will do more than we could ever ask or imagine as we seek to reach out to families in our community as an Act of Grace through Faith’s Camp Read-A-Lot, our Youth Missions, and Kingdom Rock VBS. We are trusting and believing as we plan and prepare small groups and Sunday school classes for this fall’s church-wide sermon and study series, The Story, so that children, youth, and adults might experience God’s word in fresh new ways! May God’s power be at work in and through us as we seek to live out the mission of Christ here at Faith UMC!Blessings in Christ, Kathy Schmucker, Director of Christian Education & Spiritual Formation
Questions for Reflection and Sharing:
- What does it mean to be rooted in the love of Christ? What might happen if more people were rooted in the love of Christ? What might happen to you?
- What does it mean to be filled with the Holy Spirit?
- What would our church look like if everyone were filled with the Holy Spirit?
- In what ways have you observed the power of God’s grace at work?
- What do you think God has in store for your ministry team? Our church? Our community?
Prayer Focus: Pray for Faith’s ministry teams, and our summer and fall ministries. Pray for our community.
Prayer: Lord, fill us with your Spirit so that we might experience the power of your grace at work in and through our church and community. Help us to trust you and believe that you can do immeasurably more than all we could ever ask or imagine. Set us on fire with passion to take your gospel wherever and however you call us. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
A Prayer of John Wesley: “O that we may all receive of Christ’s fullness, grace upon grace; grace to pardon our sins, and subdue our iniquities; to justify our persons and to sanctify our souls; and to complete that holy change, that renewal of our hearts, whereby we may be transformed into that blessed image wherein thou didst create us.”
Means of Grace Challenge: Pray for our church and community. Pray for families, ministry leaders, pastors, and staff.
Help provide food for someone who is hungry.To access previous Act of Grace Devotions, visit our website at www.faithumchurch.org or our Faith Formation Blog, www.faithumchurch.wordpress.com.