Motivation is the reason we do something. It is the why behind our actions.
Why did Paul write the letter to the Ephesians? What motivated these encouraging & empowering words?
The answer is Relationship.
Paul had lived with the Ephesian church for 2 years during his third missionary journey. The result of his time there was that thousands both Jews & Gentiles from throughout the province of Asia heard the Lord’s message.
In many ways Ephesus could be considered the headquarters for Paul’s ministry in that season of his life.
Paul cared deeply for the Ephesian church. He also understood the struggles & opposition this little church faced living in a 1st Century New Orleans . Perhaps they were just worn out in the battle. Maybe Paul had heard reports that indicated they had begun to lose their moorings. Perhaps he could sense that they were living more out of Principle than Presence .
To understand how Paul felt about the Ephesian church & to see what he desired for them we need look no further then his prayer found in the first chapter of Ephesians. Here is that prayer adapted from the New Living Translation of the Bible
When I heard
- Of the solid trust you have in Jesus
- Of how you pour out love to all the followers of Jesus
- I have never stopped thanking God for you
- I pray for you constantly
I pray that:
- The Father will give you spiritual wisdom & discernment so you will know what to do
- You will grow in your personal knowledge of God
- Your hearts will be flooded with light
- You will understand the wonderful future He promises to you who He has called
- You will realize what a rich & glorious inheritance He has given to you
- You will understand the incredible greatness of His power available to you.
Eugene Peterson in the Message version puts it this way:
I pray that the Father will make you intelligent and discerning in knowing him personally. I pray that your eyes be focused and clear, so that you can see exactly what it is He is calling you to do. That you would grasp the immensity of this glorious way of life he has for his followers,- oh, the utter extravagance of his work in us who trust him—endless energy, boundless strength!
For Them & For Us
Paul was motivated not only to pray but to enter into a virtual relationship through his letter. It took time & effort for Paul nearly blind & in prison to craft these words not only for them but for us through the centuries.
Grace & Peace
Presence & Power
An Inheritance & A Future