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Paul’s Prayer for Spiritual Growth Ephesians 3:14-21

Divine Note #19 - May 11, 2009
Ephesians 3:14-21 (New Living Translation)
Paul’s Prayer for Spiritual Growth
14 When I think of all this, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, 15 the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth. 16 I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. 17 Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. 18 And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. 19 May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.
20 Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. 21 Glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen

I’m always amazed by the message God has for Divine Notes and it’s no different this week. I was given the Scripture earlier in the week and on Sunday I received the message from our very own pastor on the topic of friendship. Pastor Paul defined the meaning of a true friend and his sermon was based on the relationship between Jonathan and David in 1 Samuel 20:16-17.

F A friend is focused on the needs of others
R A friend is one who develops real relationships
I A friend also shares intimacy with us, revealing their true heart
E A friend is one who encourages us
D A friend is someone who is dependable

When you look at all the traits described in FRIEND, you see the true picture of Jesus Christ who commanded us to love God with all our hearts and souls and then to love our neighbors.

Matthew 22:37-39 (New Living Translation)

37 Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”
Through lay ministry training, I learned a very important lesson: Most of us don’t take time to listen because we are not willing to enter into or feel another person’s pain. That was eye-opening for me because that is me! Most of us would rather send e-mails, text messages or chat on SpaceBook (as I call it) instead of taking time to listen and talk to the people around us who may need us the most – and this includes our immediate family, friends, neighbors or coworkers! Last year, I told my closest friends that I would be calling them at least once a month, and I didn’t do it!

Today I was feeling bummed out and yet I put on a happy face at church. I didn’t feel comfortable sharing my true feelings even though at least one person asked how I was doing. So, I believe that God’s Word today is to encourage us to become more real in our relationships with others. How can the church community meet the needs of its people if we aren’t real with each other? I suppose I have a hard time taking off the smiling mask, as the speaker told us at the Captive No More conference.

I want to be a friend who is real, encouraging and dependable and all those other things -- but I don’t know if I have the strength or the time! I can hardly focus on the things I have to do each day for myself, my child, my home and my job! Do you ever feel that way? But the bottom line is that regardless of our busyness we need to make that extra effort to reach out to everyone around us.

The Holy Spirit has also been guiding me to be very sensitive to those people in my everyday life. Last week a fellow employee who rides the same bus confided that He spends lots of time “meditating” because he lives alone after I told him that I love riding the bus because it’s my “alone” time spent listening to worship music and reading. He seemed lonely and I told him that the only way to fix that loneliness was to understand that the hole in his heart belonged to Jesus. I also urged him to look up a church community in his neighborhood.

Tomorrow is a new day and I’m going to resolve to be real in my relationships and to care more about those people who are in my personal mission field. Have a week full of Big God Hugs! Take care.
Love, Blanca


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