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Day 40: Empowered to Pray, Act, Pray Again

Day 40. Empowered to Act

Adapted from Ephesians 3:20-21. Now by You who is able to do exceedingly, abundantly more than I could ever ask or imagine, according to the power that works within me, to You be the glory in the church and in Jesus Christ to all generations forever and ever. Amen.

My goal in this Lenten Bible Study has been to help us see God’s image in each of us. While God empowers us to live on earth as in heaven, God will not coerce us into obedience. We get to choose our responses. I have often wondered why God gives us so much freedom if God knows we will all deny, desert and/or disappoint God many times. Over the years I have come to believe that this choice I have before me matters to God. God wants me to live on earth as in heaven because it is the best thing for all of creation—not to earn merit. The ability to live this way is not accomplished because we are better than others—it is the direct result of our embracing “the image of God that works within us.” I wish all the religions of the world would stop trying to claim they are exclusively better and start obeying the Great Commandment to love.

On this Holy Saturday, we remember a time when the opposition to God was both spiritual and physical. I am thankful for the women and men who made the choice to follow Jesus and accept the Holy Spirit into their hearts so that 2000 years latter, we can know the truth. I appreciate their decision to embrace the Holy Spirit and continue following the teachings of Jesus after the resurrection. I take great comfort that we can communicate with God through prayer and action.

I will end with one of my favorite passages from John 14.11-13. “Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; but if you do not, then believe me because of the works themselves. Very truly, I tell you, the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do and, in fact, will do greater works than these, because I am going to the Father. I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.”

We can do “abundantly more” than we could ever ask or imagine, according to the power that comes from the image of God that works within us. We have a part to play in this journey called life. Will we choose to let God into our hearts so that God’s image will shine through us and allow us to live on earth as in heaven? Will we pray, act, and pray again?

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