The Father’s Model

Ephesians 3:14–15 “For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name.”

Observation: Paul had been expanding the concept of the body of Christ, enlarging it to include not only Jews who believe, but believing Gentiles, as well. He had just said that the riches of Christ are unfathomable, and that he had been given grace to bring to light mysteries that had been hidden in God for all the preceding ages.

Paul was stating his understanding of his mission, and then come these wonderful thoughts in verses 14 and 15 where, at least for a moment, Paul was no longer focused on complex theology, but instead, gives us a word picture. He says that every family on earth is to be modeled after the heavenly family. God the father and His dear Son were to be the perfect picture after which our earthly families were modeled.

Application: Who among us grew up in an earthly family like that, where there was a father who loved perfectly, who discipled and disciplined in perfect love? Who among us grew up being able to look at our earthly parents and see there reflected the breadth and length and height and depth of the Father’s love?

Obviously, the answer is that none of us had such parenting, nor have any of us been such parents ourselves. To the extent earthly parenting has fallen short of God’s model, I must deal, at some level, with issues of unforgiveness. God set the standard through His relationship with Jesus Christ. To the extent that His standard has not been experienced in the parenting I received is the extent to which release and forgiveness must be given if I am ever to know the fullness of the Father’s love.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, I pray that I might receive the riches of Your glory, to be strengthened with power through Your Spirit in my inner man. Cause me, Lord, to be full of grace and to have compassion for those who disappoint, those who fall short of being a perfect reflection of the Father’s love. I need Your mercy for my own shortcomings. You, O Lord, are able to do all these things and far more. I bless You and thank You for not giving up on me.

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