The Apostle Paul had a deep love for the Believers at Ephesus. That church had a special place in his heart. In Paul’s missionary work and journeys he spoke in his letters to those churches later. The epistle to the folks in Ephesus bears a strong love for them. The scene preserved for us in Acts 20:17-38 is precious. Here Paul gives a parting speech that leaves the listeners in tears. Travel was slow in those days and they knew that indeed, they probably would not see Paul again until in Heaven. Parting is difficult.
This is not meant to be a thorough study. Instead it is to set up for two precious verses in that letter Paul wrote to them later. Some scholars call it a benediction and it is used in some churches as a classic benediction. Something can happen to those verses used in benedictions. We get accustomed to them and really don’t listen
I am listening to those verses tonight. Those verses (Ephesians 3:20-21) contain a powerful promise:
“Now unto him that is able to do exceeding, abundantly above all that we ask of think according to the power that worketh in us, unto Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end.”
I remind myself, “Don’t underestimate the power of God.” On my prayer list tonight is a woman who needs a heart transplant, someone with stage 4 cancer, someone in excruciating pain on a daily basis, and a little girl whose life needs to be settled and secure. That little girl is my granddaughter. Adopted. It should be secure but it is disrupted by a birth parent.
I am left with the mighty promise of God that He is able to do exceeding, abundantly above what my finite heart can cry out on the behalf of these urgent needs. Not just abundance in the answer: exceeding abundantly. I hold tightly to that.
My good Shepherd sees those struggles. He has a plan. He has power and love and mercy to meet those needs. Ah, exceeding, abundant plans above that which I can ask. Praise His Name, and as the benediction states, “Unto Him be glory in the church. . . Amen.”