A series of homilies on Ephesians
A homily is “a short talk on a religious or moral topic; a usually short sermon; a lecture or discourse on or of a biblical theme.”
I am sharing a verse-by-verse series of short messages on Ephesians (as well as other passages of Scripture) specifically targeted at reviving families and encouraging and exhorting husbands, wives, fathers, mothers, and children to do what God has commanded them to do, for if the church is to be revived and the country is to be awakened, the family must be revived first.
TEXT: Ephesians 1:15-19:
15 Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints,
16 Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers;
17 That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him:
18 The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,
19 And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power,
Andrew Bonar said, “Revivals begin with God’s own people; the Holy Spirit touches their heart anew, and gives them new fervor and compassion, and zeal, new light and life, and when He has thus come to you, He next goes forth to the valley of dry bones. What responsibility this lays on the Church of God! If you grieve Him away from yourselves, or hinder His visit, then the poor perishing world suffers sorely!”
Leonard Ravenhill said, “There’s one thing we need above everything else; it’s something we don’t talk very much about these days: We need a mighty avalanche of the conviction of sin. David said, ‘My sin is ever before me.'”
In their book, The Ten Greatest Revivals Ever, Elmer Towns and Douglas Porter share with us: “According to J. Edwin Orr, the Chinese awakening occurred in three phases. From 1900 through 1905, a significant prayer movement emerged in many parts of the nation. These prayer meetings actually preceded the Boxer uprising, and many who were involved in the prayer movement became martyrs in the revolt. The years 1906-07 were marked by a widespread awakening as large numbers of Chinese nationals responded to the preaching of the gospel. The third phase of the awakening, an extraordinary revival, began in 1908 and continued up to 1911.”
Today, we continue looking at the importance of growing in the knowledge of God and communion with Jesus Christ as believers. God wants us to know Him better, but we must have a heart that is willing to learn of Him and from Him. Paul prayed for the Ephesian believers, that “the eyes of your understanding be enlightened.”
Later on in this epistle, Paul describes unbelievers as those who have their ‘understanding darkened.’ They are ‘alienated from God,’ so they do not have the knowledge they need to understand God and His ways. However, as believers, we are given the ability, through the power of the Holy Spirit, to know and understand God’s ways and what He would have us to do. Our eyes of understanding have been enlightened.
Some scholars and some translations of the Bible propose that a better translation for “eyes of understanding” is “eyes of the heart.” The term understanding implies that only the mental faculties are involved in knowing God. But, according to Steven J. Cole, “‘The eyes of our hearts’ refers to our total inner person, which includes the intellect, the emotions, and the will. In other words, this is not just an intellectual ability to understand or teach these truths. There are seminary professors who can exegete the Greek text here, but these glorious truths do not thrill their hearts. The knowledge that Paul is praying for includes an intellectual grasp of the truth, but it also grips our emotions and brings our will into greater submission to the lordship of Jesus Christ.”
Ultimately, the knowledge or enlightenment that we gain from God is not for the sake of the knowledge itself. God wants us to know Him better so that we can love Him better, obey Him better, live for Him better, love others better, serve others better, pray better, witness better, and preach better. To this end, we all ought to follow Paul’s example and pray for ourselves and each other that we would grow in the knowledge of God and Jesus Christ.
Now, if you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior, please keep in mind that the Bible says, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.” Just pray and ask Him to come into your heart and He will. I will be sharing more on the matter of salvation in the next segment of our service which starts in about 5 minutes.
Revival Prayer List
PRAY FOR SPECIFIC FAMILIES
Philippians 4:6 says, “Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.”
— Wesley in Wauconda, Illinois
heal his roommate’s friend, Jennifer, of heart problems
help Jennifer’s boyfriend to be caring
— Alice in Beijing, China
have her parents to become real Christians
— Caliph and Edith in Kenya
bless their evangelistic meetings, revivals, leadership training, and discipleship ministry
heal her son who is very ill
help him to get an education
PRAY FOR CHURCH LEADERS
Paul said in Ephesians 6:18, “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.”
Leaders of the Episcopal Church
Rt. Rev. James Magness
PRAY FOR GOVERNMENTAL LEADERS
1 Timothy 2:1-2 says, “I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.”
STATE CABINET MEMBERS
Celia R. Gould
Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books including the Essence Magazine, Dallas Morning News, and Amazon.com national bestseller, Letters to Young Black Men. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry.
He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others.
He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University’s Rawlings School of Divinity (formerly Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary). He is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Ministry degree.
He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica since 1987. God has blessed their union with seven children.