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God's Efficient Endowment

by Julius Hovan

We welcome you to his broadcast on the Words of Life radio ministry. What a joy and a privilege it is for to be able to come into your home or your office or your car wherever you are today and to share with you the wonderful words of life. For those, indeed, are the words we wish to share with you.
I would like to turn to a passage of Scripture found in the book of Ephesians, one of the letters, one of the books that the apostle Paul wrote in chapter three beginning with verse 14. This is one of the prayers of the apostle and it is the second prayer that he prayed in the book of Ephesians. Listen to the words.  ‘For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named.’
Now notice the request. ‘That he would grant you according to the riches of his glory that you be strengthened with power through his Spirit in the inward man, that Christ may dwell in your heart through faith to the end that you, being rooted and grounded in love may be strong to understand or apprehend with all the saints the breadth and length and heighth and depth and to know the love of Christ that passes all knowledge and that you may be filled unto all the fullness of God’.

Pray with me, please. Lord, we come to this rich, precious passage that speaks to us of your blessings upon your people. Help us to have an understanding of it. Help us to know what it means to receive blessings from you. Make them real in our lives. Bless the hearts of every listener today. May their minds be open for your spirit to teach them. Bless the speaker as well. In Jesus’ name, amen.

This second prayer of the apostle Paul is prompted by his deep interest in the people of God. He directs this prayer to the heavenly father, recognized by Paul as the source of every blessing.  He shows his humility, his submission, his intensity in this prayer. He bows his knee unto God.

Share with me as we establish some things today from this passage of Scripture. We are introduced, first of all, to God’s efficient endowment. He refers to the riches of his glory, the abundance of what God has to provide, not 10 dollars offered out of millions of dollars, but all the riches and glory of God are provided for us as his children.  Paul said this to the Christians in Philippians chapter four and verse 19:  ‘My God shall supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory, riches’. Our God, indeed, is a wealthy God with spiritual blessings.  Paul’s request shows us some of what God supplies out of this great endowment.  Let me suggest some things that are part of this endowment. First of all, there is an induement with power, power in the inner man, power of the Spirit.

A man who greatly blessed me in my early years of ministry and learning was brother Winston Allen and he loved to quote to us young men 1 Corinthians 16:13.  ‘Watch ye. Stand fast in the faith.  Quit you like men. Be strong. Have the power that you need to serve God’. Paul says in this same book of Ephesians, the 19th verse of the first chapter, ‘What is the exceeding greatness of his power to usward who believe according to the working of the strength of his might which he wrought in Christ when he raised him from the dead’.  God offers us an endowment of power, of strength in the inner man that we might live victoriously. And the agent of that power is the Holy Spirit.  And so there is this as a part of this endowment.

But notice, secondly that he refers to an enthronement. He says that Christ will be Lord in your hearts. He is Lord. There is no question about that. Paul’s desire for these people in Ephesus and for us is that we make him Lord in our life.  Paul describes him in Ephesians 1:22, ‘He has put all things in subjection under his feet and gave him to be head over all things to the Church’.  If he is head, he is king, he is Lord and the request is for us to make him Lord in our lives.  I love the way Mr. Philips translates this. He says, “I want God, the Lord Jesus Christ to finally settle down and feel completely at home in your heart.”  Does Jesus feel at home in my heart or in yours?  As he indwells us, what happens? Well, one thing is he strengthens the inner man. That is where I am the weakest.

Secondly he gives me the power to reason, the power to think, the power to then draw the right conclusion to make the best choice. How many of us under the sound of my voice can say, “I think of some of the choices I made and what sorrow came because of those choices”?  When Jesus comes to settle down at home in our heart he brings with him strength. He brings with him the power to reason, to choose wisely and to keep our consciences sensitive to the will and the working of the Holy Spirit. And he gives us the want to do the will, to do what is right.

Many years ago a man whose hymn is found in many hymnals, a man named Henry Lyte wrote these words under the title, Abide with Me.  Listen to it. “Not a brief glance, I beg, a passing word.  But as you dwell with your disciples, Lord, familiar, condescending, patient, free. Come not to sojourn, but abide with me.”
Abide with me, we call on the Lord to come and live within us and stay with us. And that is all possible by faith, the heart of faith, the exercise of my will that enthrones Jesus as Lord in me.
In that 17th verse of this passage of Scripture that Paul gives us in Ephesians we learn, indeed, in that 17th verse of the heart of faith and being rooted. Not only do we have an endowment of power and an enthronement of Christ as Lord, but an establishment. The picture is of something that has a foundation, something that is built on a solid rock. And Scripture often refers to such.   Colossians says:  We are rooted and builded up in him. And the foundation of that is, indeed, love.

The apostle Paul has a great many things to say about that as well throughout that book of Colossians as he talks about the foundation on which we are built as followers of and believers in the Lord Jesus Christ.  We are then able to stand strong because we have been established in that foundation of love. If we have not love, we are told, then, indeed, we have nothing. Paul says in that same book of Ephesians: Walk in love only as Christ loved you and gave himself up for us an offering and a sacrifice of sweet smell and that you will, as he says in 4:15 of Ephesians, speak the truth in love that you may grow up in all things unto him who is the head even Christ.

When we become grown people, we can stand. We have the ability to be strong and to stand, but the necessity of love is emphasized here in this passage.  Verse 18 in Ephesians chapter three tells us, then, that we are to be strong to understand or apprehend. Not only is there an establishment of us on this foundation of love, not only have we enthroned Christ as Lord, not only have we been endued with power, but now there is an enlightenment. We are able now to have a comprehension like we never had before.

I have some better understanding of Gods’ eternal purpose of the ages, that God wants to save lost mankind like me and like you.  I can have a better understanding of how great is his love that would send him to the cross with the suffering he underwent because of my sinfulness. And I am able to choose this great one as a part of my life.
Paul said it is the love of Christ that constrains him, that causes him to live faithfully for the Lord.  Oh, to have this enlightenment. The light comes on and we say, “Oh, yes, I understand more than ever the great love of God found in Jesus Christ and I want him to have this part in my own heart and life and will.”  The 19th verse speaks to us of an enlargement. Notice:  To know the love of Christ which passes knowledge.  That is impossible, is it not? If it is past knowing I can’t know it. What is he saying to us? Know in a sense the unknowable. As we continue our daily faith walk and our experience in the love of God, we more and more see our thought is  enlarged, our understanding is enlarged from that enlightenment. The breadth of the love of God, what did Jesus say?  Come unto me all ye who labor. That includes you, my friends, and me.  Oh, the breadth of the love of God.  And the length of that love before the foundations of the world from eternity past to eternity yet future. And the depth of that love from heaven to earth and from earth back to heaven again. From that manger to the dark waters of judgment for all mankind. And, yes, the height of that love into the very heavenly places.

As you see across some time, notice that arm reaching up into the heavens.  Notice that one that reaches down and touches the earth. And notice that cross beam as it spreads out to bring under its blessing all who will come in faith.  This is the experience, Paul says, with all the saints to know this marvelous love of our wonderful Lord Jesus. All who come in faith can enjoy it. Oh, to be with the saints of God where we experience such joy and such blessing. The invitation is for all who will come and receive it.

Christian members of the body of Christ. Though we are imperfect, though we have our thoughts, though we may not be what we ought to be or all we want to be, we are in the fellowship of the love of God.  What a precious thought.   Ah, but Paul continues in that 19th verse that we are to be enriched, filled with all the fullness of God. How can we be filled with all the fullness of God?
Another passage says we are more than conquerors. More than conquerors? How can you be more than conquerors?

 

And so the result, my friends, of God’s endowment to us of power and the enthronement of Christ and to establish us in love and to enlighten our minds and to enlarge our thoughts and our thinking and our understanding is this marvelous enrichment.

Someone said it is sort of like going down to the seashore with a seashell. And you can fill that little shell with all that it will hold of the ocean but there is still an awful lot of ocean out there. And so God fills us. But, oh, how  much of him there is yet left to give.

That 23rd verse of Ephesians chapter one says, talking of the Church: Which is his body the fullness of him that fills all in all.   The fullness of God is beyond our ability to comprehend.  Paul puts it this way in Colossians two beginning with verse eight: Take heed lest there should be anyone that makes spoil of you through his philosophy and vain deceit after the tradition of men and the rudiments of the world and not after Christ.

Verse nine now: In him, in Christ dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. Listen:  And in him you are made full.  He is the head of all principality and power. What an enrichment he offers to us.  We can be filled with all of the fullness of Christ.

Well, we must bring this lesson to its conclusion today and Paul gives us a benediction in the closing verses of chapter three of the book of Ephesians.  Listen to it, if you will: Now unto him who is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think according to the power that is working in us unto him be glory in the Church and in Christ Jesus unto all generations forever and ever and amen.

Here is the one who is able, indeed, to meet our every need and to provide our every emptiness with a  filling. How great it is. The little epistle of Jude says it this way: Unto him that is able to guard you from stumbling and to set you before the presence of his glory without blemish in exceeding joy.

Is that your hope today, my friends? God is able. Greater is he that is in us than the one that is in the world.  He is able to do about our asking and thinking. What? According to the power. Where is it?  Working in the Christian.  But let’s not miss the point before we close. It is imperative that he gets all the glory.  If there is any glory, God himself, we must be giving it to him. It is he who has given us this great endowment, the endowment of his abundance and endowment of power, the possibility of enthroning Christ in our hearts, establishing us in love, enlightening our compassion and our willingness to do his will, enlarging the knowledge of his love in our minds and enriching our hearts and wills to be filled with all of his fullness.

It is my understanding that in 1917 a lady by the name of Heady Green passed away and she left an estate of 116 million dollars. The sad part of that story is that her son had died because she was looking for a free clinic to take him to instead of being willing to spend the money that she had for medical care.

Oh, my friends, we have the abundance of God and we can live like paupers if we choose to or we can choose to come to Jesus. It is our prayer for you, that you will come to know this wonderful Lord Jesus. We are praying that you will come to give your life to him in due time.

Julius Hovan is the minister of the Bohon Church of Christ in Bohon, KY.

 




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Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.

2 corinthians 1:3-4