Leaping, Not Limping
Acts 3:3-6: “When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for money. Peter looked straight at him, as did John. Then Peter said, ‘Look at us!’ So the man gave them his attention, expecting to get something from them. Then Peter said, ‘Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.” Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man’s feet and ankles became strong. He jumped to his feet and began to walk. Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping and praising God.” (NIV)
“…he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God.”
Are you merely limping along when you can be leaping?
Ephesians 1:13-14: “…you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.” (NIV)
Peter said in I Peter 1:4 that we have “an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you…” (NIV)
By faith in Christ, we are ______________ with God’s _____________, the Holy Spirit. The Spirit guarantees what’s coming in all of its fullness.
“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 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, …” (vs. 15)
Paul wants them to know “the riches of his glorious inheritance.” (vs. 18) In effect Paul says: I pray that you will _____________ God, know what God has __________ for you, and what God has _______________ you.
- P __________________________________.
Ephesians 1:19 – he wants them to know about “his incomparably great power for us who believe – That power is the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead.” comp. Romans 8:10
• God has given us a new _______________: we are saints, sons, and daughters, his chosen ones, his possession.
• He has given us every ______________ ____________ in Christ – He has held nothing back.
• He has a rich _______________ for us in the future – We have the greatest hope.
• And we have the _____________ in us by God’s indwelling Spirit, to THRIVE spiritually.
What else do we need?
So, my question in closing – will you THRIVE, or simply SURVIVE? The decision is up to us!
QUESTIONS & EXERCISES
For Daily Devotionals or Bible Study Group
- What are reasons that you suppose some Christians choose to limp along spiritually, rather than finding the power to leap or thrive spiritually? What are issues you are allowing to keep limping mode? How do these truths in Ephesians 1 change your perspective on what’s possible?
- Prayer exercise: Write out a list of spiritual blessings that are yours in Christ and pray a prayer that is solely thanksgiving and praise, stating each of these blessings to God, and why you are thankful for them.
- What do you believe are the implications to your life of having the same power within you, through the Holy Spirit, that raised Jesus back to life? What are the ways that we put limits on what the Spirit empowers us to do and become?
- If someone was to ask you to describe your inheritance in Christ, what would you say?
- Put in your words, your understanding of what it means to “thrive” spiritually. What decisions do you need to make today to get out of ruts and to deal with barriers that are holding you back from having greater spiritual health & vibrancy?