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“The Secret of Joy” (2 Cor. 8:1-4)

Surprise Exclamations of Praise (Eph. 3:20-21)

Surprise Exclamations of Praise (Eph. 3:20-21)

WONDERFUL THING IN THIS PASSAGE – Have you ever been awestruck with God? It was a frequent experience of the authors and main characters of the Bible. At various times, as they were describing God’s actions or explaining His truth, the Lord would pull back the veil of heaven just enough to allow them to get a glimpse of Him in His glory – with either their physical or their spiritual eyes. And they would stop, sometimes in mid-sentence, and make a spontaneous declaration of the praise welling up and overflowing from their heart.

We see Paul recording such an experience at the end of today’s chapter. He was describing his prayer for the saints to grasp “the length and width, height and depth of God’s love, and to know Christ’s love that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God” (Eph. 3:18-19). As he prayed for them, he himself was so filled with the knowledge that surpasses knowledge, that he broke into this exclamation of praise:

“Now to him who is able to do above and beyond all that we ask or think according to the power that works in us – to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen!” (Eph. 3:20-21).

He realized that, were he to pray as hard as he could and teach as much as he knew, the great God they served could do still more, much more, literally superabundantly more, beyond anything they or he could comprehend. And Paul saw that this wouldn’t even require God sending more power. He could so dramatically transform His church that it would bring glory to Him forever, and He could do this with the superabundant power already at work within them.

After that sentence, I can almost see Paul sit back, compose himself, and then pick up his pen to continue his letter.

WONDERFUL THING IN MY LIFE – Several years ago, I read through the New Testament to identify as many of these exclamations of spontaneous praise as I could. I found 37. I’ve been very blessed to study and meditate on these declarations and to make them my own. I’ve found it especially beneficial to me and, I think, pleasing to God when I speak them aloud to Him.

I’d like to share them with you. To open a copy, click here.

You should be able to read, download, and/or print this three-page document. If you’re reading a version of this devotional that can’t be clicked, just email me at pastorjeff@newlifedenton.org, and I’ll email or mail you a copy.

It is such a privilege to serve you.

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