Summary: Three things God wants us to do: Put the past behind us. Come alive spiritually in the present. Display His grace in the future.

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“Yesterday, Today, & Tomorrow”

Ephesians 2:1-10 October 26, 2008

OPEN: “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” - God’s thoughts are higher than our thoughts, God’s way are higher than man’s way

The issue is perspective. There is a great deal of difference between seeing life through a horizontal lens and seeing life through a vertical lens. God wants us to get a handle on a vertical perspective.

How do you get this? You won’t get it this view of reality by watching the news –by reading the paper, watching television or just by talking to Joe the Plumber. God’s perspective is different than ours. And it’s important that we get his perspective because it’s going to benefit us. His take on reality in the final analysis is the only that really matters.

This passage follows the discussion we started last week about three things God wants all of His children to realize in their life. He’s prayed that the eyes of our heart would be opened that we might know three things:

* The hope to which he has called you. The steadfast expectation that the God who chose us and adopted us and redeemed us and sealed us will one day finish His work by bringing His Church into complete conformity to Christ and restoring all that was lost after Creation due to sin. Paul is praying: “God don’t let your people get so caught up in the day to day stuff of life that they fail to comprehend your unswerving, unfailing purpose to bring your people and all of history to its final completion in Jesus Christ.”

* The riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints. “Father, help them to see who they are in your Son. Help them not to seek their identity and purpose in what they can make out of themselves, help them not to spend their lives trying to define their worth in secular terms—how much money or intellect or physical beauty or power they can try to muster or maintain—but help them to see that because of your grace and mercy invested in them and paid for by the blood of your Son—they have a preciousness that makes them your own treasured possession!”

* The incomparable great power for us who believe. This part of the prayer is where the rubber meets the road. It’s one thing to have pie in the sky—it’s quite another to actually start slicing it. It’s one thing to have hope on Sundays—it’s another thing to see yourself actually moving toward the fulfillment of that hope on Mondays.

- Paul’s great passion when he starts this letter is that you might know who you are.

- Paul’s passion last week was that your eyes would be opened to what is available to you. Paul is praying: “God don’t let your people get so caught up in the day to day stuff of life that they fail to comprehend your provision for them.”

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