AMAZED IN HIS PRESENCE
by John Kashorek
We might not think of “amazement” when we consider motivation for Christ-like behaviour but that might be a good recap of what the first half of the book of Ephesians is presenting. What God has already done for us is amazing. He has acted out of a love for us that is beyond comprehension and He has chosen us who follow Christ for an incredible purpose. This is part of an amazing “mystery'' being revealed. We who were lost and without God in this world, without any hope or any promise or any expectations, have been rescued and given a very special purpose. The God we may have understood from the Old Testament to be dictatorial and harsh is actually loving beyond comprehension and seeks not just obedience but fellowship. He wants us to be with Him.
“In Christ” we are made holy, with the result that God can associate with us. So much so, that we are becoming a dwelling place in which He resides. We are being made into a living temple for God. That is a totally amazing concept. If we are willing, God will live and dwell within us as a group we know as the church, and He will utilize us as the church, the body of Christ, to reveal His nature of light and love to all of Creation.
It is significant to realize that God is not done with Creation yet. There are still things happening “out there” as well as in our personal lives. Persons need to see the light (and love) of God shining. Not just humans, but also heavenly beings need to see the light (and love) of God shining. We, the church, are God’s chosen instrument to reveal His character and His reality to all those beings as they are brought into reconciliation with Him.
We are not naturally of such a character that we reflect the truth about God, but His power is now also at work within us to accomplish His loving purpose. That is also amazing. People do not naturally love folks who are very different from them or may even be antagonistic to them, but God loved us while we were enemies and with His power at work in us, we can grow to love others in that way as well. Although we were very broken, God can mend us and utilize us to manifest His glory.
Realizing these amazing things is motivation for our paying attention to God and to our growing into what He intends for us to be so that we reflect that reality. If we are amazed at what God has done and by what God intends for us, the second half of Ephesians will help us see how this is accomplished.