What Do You Want For People?

I am often preoccupied with what I want from people.  The list would be full of the fruit of the Spirit.  I want them to love me, be patient with me, and treat me with gentleness and kindness.  The egocentricity that many of us wrestle with does not cultivate a heart that looks out for god things to give others.  We have to confess, we are selfish.

The Apostle Paul, however thinks through a list of wonderful things that he wants the Ephesians to have.  The best things that he knows all come from God.  We can find encouragement by putting ourselves in the place of the Ephesians, and we should.  God has made the riches of the universe available to us through Christ.  However, we should also be challenged by the way that Paul wants good things for others and how he believes the best things that he can wish for people come from God.

Ephesians 1:15-23

15 For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all God’s people, 16 I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. 17 I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit[f] of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. 18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, 19 and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength 20 he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, 21 far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. 22 And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.

Questions

  1. What does Paul want the Ephesians to have?
  2. How would this possession help the Ephesians in a cosmopolitan, pluralistic world?
  3. How is a cosmic principle about Jesus mentioned?
  4. How do you pray to God for others to receive wisdom and insight of this kind?
  5. How does the last verse intersect with the New Age movement?

About Plymothian

I teach at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. My interests include education, biblical studies, and spiritual formation. I have been married to Kelli since 1998 and we have two children, Daryl and Amelia. For recreation I like to run, play soccer, play board games, read and travel.
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