EPHESIANS: The Karma Jar and God's Great Power

…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, 21 far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. 22 And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.
Ephesians 1:19-23

We've been in a series in Ephesians called "Realigned".  Our prayer is that we'll be aligned in Christ and know Jesus better every day. 


THE KARMA JAR
I’ve noticed a shift in what used to be called the “tip jar” at many coffee shops.  The tip jar in many places is now the “karma jar”.  The idea goes something like this: “if you show goodwill by tipping, then goodness will circle back to you. It’s a great sentiment.  But, it’s not in the least bit Biblical.  

You see, in Christianity, we get what we don’t deserve: grace.  Spiritual blessings. Power.  

AN EYE-OPENING EXPERIENCE: GOD DEFEATS THE BIGGEST, BADDEST DUDE
Paul prayed that the eyes of the Ephesian Church’s hearts would be enlightened to see God’s incomparably great power.  That’s hard to imagine in a world rocked by ISIS, school shootings, war, and every kind of abuse.  If God is all-powerful, why does He let people get away with this stuff?  Why isn’t He quick to judgment?  Why doesn’t He do something?  He seems either powerless or careless.  

I spent my school age years growing up in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada.  Every winter huge hills of snow would appear in our school yard at George Lee School from the snowplows and trucks.  They made for epic battles of “king of the hill”.  All was fun and games until the biggest 6th graders came out at recess.  And there he was, “Lovro Gustin”.  The biggest, baddest 6th grader of them all.  I was an overweight scrapper growing up in a family of 5 boys, but, I was no match for the brawn of the mighty Lovro.  If you really wanted to be “king of the hill”, you had to defeat the biggest dude.

The biggest, baddest entity in the universe is sin.  Sin’s results are abuse, murder, war, death, and everything associated with it.  When Paul prays that we would see God’s incomparably great power, he wants us to see that God, through Jesus, pushed Satan, sin and death off the highest place and conquered them once and for all!  

What hope does that give us?  That God in Jesus has no equal.  When you have a relationship with Jesus, there’s no higher appeal than him!  Even though smaller minions might seem to rule the day, there days are numbered.

WHO'S IN CONTROL? GOD, JESUS, AND AUTHORITY
Jesus is seated at the right hand of the Father.  He’s seated.  Two things come to mind.  First, Jesus isn’t bowing.  He bows to no one.  There is no greater power.  There is no greater authority. There’s no vague spirituality that interprets Jesus to be a good guy or gifted teacher.  He is a king!  Above all else!  And secondly, Jesus is seated. It is finished. The finished work on the cross and the resurrection is complete.  Salvation was earned there for you and me.  There is no more to do on God’s part.  Our part is to believe. 

IS THERE MORE TO LIFE THAN WHAT WE SEE?  THE HEAVENLY REALMS
This world is not all there is.  There’s another world.  If you don’t believe it, the Bible calls you a fool.  God is spirit.  We must worship him in spirit and in truth.  C.S. Lewis said that if we have desires that this world can’t feed or satisfy, it means we were made for a different world. There is a spiritual realm.  Lewis also says that most people go to one of two extremes.  They either deny the existence of a spiritual realm, or, they obsess over it.  The balance is in recognizing and understanding it, but not obsessing over it. There is a spiritual realm and it is real!

JESUS IS THE SENIOR PASTOR
In case there was any question, Jesus is the head of the church!  No man should ever rule over the church. No person can ever claim authority over it.  No one else is in charge. He won’t share his authority. It is Christ and Christ alone!  This kind of makes personality driven churches silly, doesn't it?

WHAT IT ALL MEANS
When you are part of a local church, you belong to the greatest, most powerful, most unstoppable force the world has ever known.  To be sure, the church hasn’t always gotten it right.  People have done awful things in the name of God and the church.  Unfortunately they still do.  But that is not the church's fault. That's deranged people doing dumb stuff and taking the love of God way out of context.  But, when the church gets it right, communities are transformed.  Hospitals are built. Schools are established. Wells for water dug. Jesus created, designed, predestined, loved, died for, maintains, and equips the church.  You and I should be a part of that!  We can’t go wrong! 

It also means, as we’ll see here in the coming weeks, that you and I have a share in God’s power...that same power that knocked Satan, sin and death off the hill!  

He is King Jesus.  His fullness dwells in the church and everywhere!  If a church is healthy, you will see signs of the kingdom present.  

Whether you live in Bothell, Woodinville, Kirkland, or somewhere on the Eastside, we invite you to the life-changing message of Jesus at NorthCreek Church.  We’re a great place to take your next step with God.

Posted on February 9, 2015 .