Waking with The Word | Ephesians 1:18 | Hope
Ephesians 1: 18-19
:18 The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, :19 And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power,
We want to start today by saying that Paul is still on the subject of the knowledge of Christ. Yesterday we talked abut the eyes of our understanding being enlightened, today we will speak of what we find as the we grow in the knowledge of Christ and eyes of understanding begin to open. Firstly Paul, under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, mentions the hope of his calling. He wants them to grow in the knowledge of Christ that they may know what is the hope of his calling. The two words that I want to bring our attention to today is "Know" and "Hope." When I first read these two words they are so different that I was puzzled because to know something is one thing but hope is not something you can know without experience. Hope is an emotion, although hope I believe to be stronger than a emotion for lack of better words we will call it an emotion. Emotions are something you can explain to someone but without them ever having experienced it they won't understand what your describing. I think of Hope as the that feeling you get when you are expecting someone or something. We live in Uganda now and my family is back in the States. At Christmas time we were expecting my mother and my aunt to visit. We planned this trip months in advance and at the point we made the decision they were coming we had a sense of excitement and looking forward to their arrival. We were excited, they were excited and our children were especially excited. As the day of their arrival drew closer we started planning and making arrangements for that day and our sense of excitement grew more with every passing day, we knew the day of our reunion with loved ones was drawing near and that caused a sense of hope or looking forward to something in the future, that being their arrival. During the months leading up to Christmas we would say only a couple more months and then weeks and then days. That sense of looking forward to something, that gets you trough a tough day, or month or year, is the sense of hope. Now we as Christians have something far greater to look forward to than the arrival of family members at Christmas but we have an eternity to spend with Christ, with believers that have went on before us, we will be reunited with loved ones, with the heroes of our faith and with God Himself, what a day that will be! That is hope, that exciting feeling of looking forward to something. Now that feeling of hope is attached to the knowledge or knowing that someone or something is coming. What I mean is this, it is impossible to experience hope for something you don't know is coming. We said before that knowledge affects how we operate and the reason I'm speaking so much about knowledge is because that is the subject of Paul's prayer for these believers. Knowledge determines how we operate but it also determines how we feel. How much or how little we know will determine how we feel about any given subject but let's consider ourselves; our past, our present and our future. You may feel a overwhelming sense of guilt about your past but when you know that old thing are past away behold all things are become new, then your feeling or sense of guilt is replaced with a feeling or sense of gratefulness and gratitude. You may at the present feel a sense of dread, fearing that you may sin and fall from God's forgiving grace but when you know that Jesus said this concerning His own:
John 10:27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: :28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. :29 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand.
Then your sense of dread and duty will be replaced with comfort and joy and when we look to our future we have nothing to fear if we are in Christ, nothing to fear in this life or the life to come. When we know that Christ said he would return, when we know He said Behold I come quickly, our knowing these truths brings us a sense of hope, a hope of his calling, that one day soon he will call us up together with Him in the air, a hope that he will judge all things righteously. As the days pass our sense of hope should grow, knowing we are one day closer to the day of His appearing, one day closer to the day of redemption, to which we have been sealed. The point I want to make is that what we know determines how we feel. How do you feel about your past? How do you feel at the present? How do you feel when you think of the future? Your knowledge of Christ will determine how you feel. If your your knowledge is little, then the hope you experience will be little but the more we grow in the knowledge of the Lord, the more the eyes of our understanding are opened then the more hope we will experience. When we understand the unsearchable riches of Christ, when we comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height of His great love wherewith He love us then our hope will increase. As you grow in knowledge you will grow in hope, concerning this life and the one to come. Have you any hope? Are you looking forward to His appearing? Is there an excitement in your heart about the arrival of our Savior or are cumbered about with worry and care of this present world? The way you feel, or your experience, will be determine by what you know. Grow in the Knowledge of Christ that you may know the hope of His calling.
According to the riches of His Grace!!