Posted in holy spirit, martyn lloyd-jones

The Holy Spirit’s work through Common Grace explained by Martyn Lloyd-Jones

By Elizabeth Prata

I listened to a wonderful sermon recently. I’ve been enjoying and savoring Martyn Lloyd-Jones’ series called “The Great Biblical Doctrines.” The one I’m referring to was called Creation and Common Grace.

Jones was a preacher in the UK in the last century. The bio states, “

“David Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981) was a Welsh Protestant minister and medical doctor who was influential in the Calvinist wing of the British evangelical movement in the 20th century. For almost 30 years, he was the minister of Westminster Chapel in London.”

It’s only 27 minutes long, because unfortunately the beginning portion has been lost. Nevertheless, you can easily understand the points this great pastor is making from the jumping off point where the sermon does open.

I was struck by the multi-layered aspect of the sermon. The sermon puts so many pieces together. The Bible is one great, unified work. It’s the revelation God wants us to know about Him and His work among the people and of earth. It is THE TRUTH, not a truth and not many truths. As you study to understand it precept by precept, a jot here, a tittle there, you begin to see a large picture emerge.

This sermon explains the work of the Holy Spirit through His ministry of common grace, and through understanding common grace, you’ll understand how when the restraining ministry of the Spirit ends at the rapture, this will be a dramatic moment as the Tribulation begins. (2 Thessalonians 2:7). You’ll understand how men could be so sinful that without the common grace of the Holy Spirit’s restraint we’d all kill each other immediately. You’ll understand why Jesus said that unless the days of the Tribulation were cut short, no flesh would survive. (Matthew 24:22). You’ll understand that the Holy Spirit has been working on earth since before earth was created. You’ll understand that it’s the Spirit who sustains all, Jesus does it through the Spirit. (Colossians 1:17).

“You stiff-necked people, uncircumcised in heart and ears, you always resist the Holy Spirit. As your fathers did, so do you. (Acts 7:51).
The Spirit is the conscience that exists in all men. Though Jones’s sermons sadly are not transcribed on the site, someone took the time to publish long excerpts of this particular sermon here.

Jones said of man’s conscience,

You will remember that we are told in the prologue of John’s Gospel about ‘the true light which lighteth every man’ (John 1:9). It does not matter how you translate that verse – ‘the light which lighteth every man that cometh into the world’ says the Authorised Version; ‘the Light that lighteth every man was coming into the world,’ says another. We are not concerned about that. We are interested in the phrase ‘the light which lighteth every man’. And there is such a light. It is a kind of natural light, as we call it, natural understanding. It is the light that is in the conscience and there is that light of conscience in every person born into this world. Now that is one of the operations of the Holy Spirit in what is called common grace.

You will remember that in 2 Thessalonians 2:7 it is written, For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work. Only he who now restrains it will do so until he is out of the way. When the Spirit lifts his retraining hand from man’s conscience, sin will be loosed in such a way that it is today impossible to comprehend. No man will have a conscience. Sin will reach its full expression. The horror of the few believers who come to faith in the Tribulation and live long enough to see these horrors will be permanently scarred by what they see, save the promise that God will not allow them to remember. (Isaiah 65:17).

Dr Lloyd-Jones’ delivered this sermon in 1954, and already back then he could see the decaying effects of a society being given over to its sin. That was 68 years ago, and how much more we see the accelerating effects of societies being given over to sin now. He said,

God, through the Holy Spirit, restrains the foulest manifestations of sin, but there are times when He gives people up to them. Are we, I wonder, living in such an age? Compare the twentieth century with the nineteenth. It is obvious that the moral level is very much lower today. That does not mean that everybody was a Christian in the Victorian era, but it does mean that even people who were not Christians were better men and women, speaking generally, than people now. Why? It was because of the general influence of the Holy Spirit. But it does look as if again, today, God is giving humanity over ‘unto vile affections’ as Paul outlines in Romans 1.

The Holy Spirit’s influence in the world and upon the world is not to be underestimated in light of the more visible qualities of the Messiah Savior and Father God. Please listen to the sermon and its part 2, The Significance of Pentecost, where the Spirit’s ministry dramatically changed when the Church was formed.

EPrata photo
Posted in eternal, God, martyn lloyd-jones, sovereign

Spiritual Journey, MLJ & the Eternal Decrees of God

By Elizabeth Prata

There’s a meme going around where people post photos of the men who have been part of your spiritual journey. It’s interesting. Of course the moment I posted mine, a person came on and commented “How about following Christ, not men?” Sigh. There’s always one.

Anyway, mine went like this:

Joel Osteen, Adrian Rogers, John MacArthur. Some didn’t know who Adrian was, I posted part of his bio that he was three time President of the Southern Baptist Convention, was conservative and stood for those theological principles, his ministry was Love Worth Finding and you can still tune in and hear his sermons today, and was a four point Calvinist or sometimes confused Arminian. He had his own theological journey, lol.

Of course someone immediately came on and started crabbing about Calvinism. I replied a few times then just deleted her comments. There’s always one. Sigh.

But they represent a journey that’s apt for me. I was new to the faith. Osteen was at the height of popularity. I listened to Osteen because I loved the arc of his rhetoric, because I thought with such a large church he must be THE guy, and because his man-pleasing speeches touched me. But as I grew and opened my Bible more and more along with what he was saying I saw pretty quickly thanks to the Holy Spirit that he was far from it. I ditched Osteen.

I loved Rogers’ clear delivery and deeper theological concepts. His focus on the sovereignty of God was a balm to my increasingly sanctified soul.

Yet as I studied it became clear that God was sovereign also in salvation, that He pre-ordained whom He would choose for salvation, and once I heard MacArthur confirm what I’d been learning from my study of the Word, that was it for me. I’d found my guy.

Not to say that I wasn’t also influenced by my own pastor, or by other men. There’s Sproul and the men at Ligonier. There’s The Master’s Seminary and the men under JMac. In the discussion on my Facebook page of who we enjoy listening to, someone mentioned Martyn Lloyd-Jones. The Doctor, the man of Logic on Fire. I agreed he was a good one also. Aren’t we blessed in this day and age to have such opportunities to hear such men of God expound the word?!

Martyn Lloyd-Jones

When the commenter mentioned Lloyd-Jones, it reminded me of a blog post I’d published a few years ago on MLJ’s sermon series on the Eternal Decrees of God. It’s the best sermon I’ve ever heard on the “Eternal Decrees of God”, and one of the best sermons I’ve heard on any topic, ever. It is by UK preacher from the last century, Martyn Lloyd-Jones, and it’s 50 minutes long. This is the first sermon in his wonderful series, Great Biblical Doctrines. Please take a listen, I know you will be edified.

Blurb: “Scripture: The character of God’s activities; antinomy explained; the importance of understanding the harmony of the Biblical doctrines; God’s unchanging plan; the decrees of God are unconditional and sovereign; problems in understanding this doctrine; God is not unjust.

The Eternal Decrees of God

MLJ’s other sermons are at the Martyn Lloyd-Jones Trust, here. I recommend him. Who do you enjoy listening to?

Posted in biblical resources, Uncategorized

Resources on Depression and the Christian

depressed
Depression is something Christians don’t talk about much. Some are embarrassed by it, deeming it a weakness. Others believe that they are supposed to present a joyful countenance all the time, every day. Others adopt a plan of fake it till you make it.

So I was surprised and heartened to read Drew Dyck’s heartfelt sharing of his own journey through a long-term depression which was also punctuated by panic attacks. Mr Dyck is an acquisitions editor at Moody Publishers and a senior editor at CTPastors.com. He’s the author of Yawning at Tigers (2014) and Generation Ex: Christian (2010).

It’s always risky when one is open about something that some parts of society stigmatize. He muses on some of that in his article, as he shares the lessons he’d learned. His article is here:

You Can Break Your Brain … And 4 Other Things I’ve learned from My Struggle with Depression and Anxiety

Did you know that the Prince of Preachers, Charles Spurgeon, suffered from depression? It seems strange that on the surface, this man who was a global success at preaching, writing, pastoring, founding colleges, orphanages, and married to a wonderful woman, could ever be depressed. But he was. There are numerous resources available recounting it, including many of his own writings, but this can get you started:

The Anguish and Agonies of Charles Spurgeon

Martyn Lloyd-Jones was a physician and then a preacher. In 1960 he began preaching on depression in a lengthy sermon series which can be listened to here. The sermon series was also made into a book, “Spiritual Depression: Its Causes and Cure”. The Amazon blurb introducing the books states,

[Lloyd-Jones] carefully and compassionately analyzes an undeniable feature of modern society from which Christians have not escaped — spiritual depression.

What robs Christians of the joy that is theirs? Why does faith’s vitality drain away, leaving melancholy and anxiety it its place? In the sermons, Lloyd-Jones explores the cause and the cure.

Martyn Lloyd-Jones Spiritual Depression series

David certainly had his own ups and downs. We read in Psalm 43:4,

Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.

Mr Dyck says that prayer and Scripture were a tremendous source of comfort in the valley (especially the Psalms). It would be wrong and neglectful of me to leave off the Bible itself as a resource. Especially the Psalms.

depressed guy
Though the Bible is its own premier resource, Mr Dyck shares that the person suffering from depression “finds it hard to even muster the energy or concentration to engage deeply in spiritual practices.” He advises asking others to pray for you when your depression sinks you too low to open His word.

Therefore we have the greatest resource of all: the Body of Christ in prayer and supplication, appealing to the Great Physician, Jesus, in prayer.

All these resources and more are available to you if you happen to be suffering from persistent panic, anxiety or depression.

Further reading:

Insufficient Help, Part 1: Grace To You’s recounting of a depressed, suicidal young man seeking help from church counselors in addition to doctors and secular therapists, who eventually took his own life. The church was sued. Did the church offer insufficient help? Are Biblical counselors qualified to use the Bible in therapy?

Overwhelmed by Anxiety? A blog series on attacking the anxiety that is attacking you.

 

Posted in encouragement, Uncategorized

What does ‘disciples’ mean?

In listening to Martyn Lloyd Jones today I was struck by how he brought out nuances to the word ‘disciple.’ All that the word disciple really means is learner. More on Lloyd-Jones below in a moment.

I’ve thought a lot about education over my lifetime. My foremost profession has been an educator in various capacities. I’ve attained a post-graduate degree, a Master’s in Education with a 4.0 average. However my family is one of high achievers, and a Master’s in my family is the low end of the educational totem pole. Many of my family have Doctorate degrees. They’re Professors or Deans in universities, or are doctors or are highly educated in other professions. They all worked very hard for their education and they are all very smart.

I am second and third generation immigrant, so the family emphasis on education was great and for that I’m grateful.

So often, I ponder my family’s well-earned achievements in the secular world (for none are saved that I know of, except perhaps one). Their brilliance, thirst for learning, and great intellectual capacity will become as nothing on The Day. Their wisdom which is of the world and which the world admires, will be as dung on Judgment Day. It’s an upside down notion that takes getting used to.

Where is the wise man? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not come to know God, God was well-pleased through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. (1 Corinthians 1:20-21).

And in an even more upside down twist, the uneducated, the simple, the ignorant, have the mind of Christ.

Finally, after three days they found Him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. And all who heard Him were amazed at His understanding and His answers... (Luke 2:46-47).

This is because Jesus had no sin. His mind was pure, undefiled, and divine, and therefore the top mind in the universe.

Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus. (Acts 4:13, KJV).

No doubt Paul had a great intellect, and had been trained in the only secondary school there existed for Jews at the time: the Sanhedrin. However most of the apostles were as the verse says, uneducated and ignorant men. They were simple men, fishermen and craftsmen, jailers and soldiers. The Holy Spirit dispenses the mind of Christ to His followers, and with it, the thirst to learn His word. The men went from being fishermen to being disciples. What are disciples? Learners. Here is Martyn Lloyd Jones on disciples and learning:

The Holy Spirit can make any man new, it doesn’t matter who he is. The Holy Spirit can regenerate an ignoramus quite as easily as He can a great philosopher. Perhaps even more so! He does the same thing in both cases. And when He does, He does the same thing to both of them. He creates a desire and an appetite in them for the truth.”

And they [the 3000 souls just converted at Pentecost] devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. (Acts 2:42).

The thing that is put first [in the verse] is the teaching, the doctrine. These people, suddenly converted from ignorance and darkness, from the vileness of their lives…what do they want? They want more teaching. They’ve suddenly got an appetite and a desire for teaching! Have you ever heard of such a thing? People who have never read, who’d never thought. People who had lived for gambling and for sex and for drunkenness … people who hadn’t seemed to have brains at all, suddenly they want teaching! They wanted it daily. They continued steadfastly. … This is the miracle of redemption, and it is proof of the fact that they have become a Christian.

Many people are “making decisions” but they don’t want to be taught. They don’t like teaching. They grumble at it. They say sermons are too long. They want something nice and simple, bright and breezy. When a man is born again, he wants teaching. He’s a disciple. ~Martyn Lloyd Jones, Acts 6:1-7, The Church and Her Message

Disciples are learners. Anyone and everyone can learn, when the Spirit puts the thirst for the word of God into you. The most formerly foolish and ignorant drunken gambler now seeks the highest wisdom that exists, and is given access to it by the Holy Spirit Himself.

Before I was saved, all my accumulated learned wisdom from University stood me no closer to understanding Jesus and gave me no advantage or wisdom that counts with God. I was equally as ignorant as the most ignorant person on earth. Yet when He gives us the new man inside is, comes with is a capacity for unfolding the wisdom of heaven, direct from the mind of Christ. We’re disciples, praise God.

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; all those who practice it have a good understanding. His praise endures forever! (Psalm 111:10).
bible with glasses

Posted in encouragement, Uncategorized

God cares very deeply and eternally for His people

If you haven’t listened to Martyn Lloyd Jones’ series called Great Biblical Doctrines, you’re missing out. I listened to two this morning, Redemption: The Eternal Plan of God and The Covenant of Grace in the Old Testament. These  and the other sermons in the series edify and encourage.

Tomorrow I’ll continue with the final essay in the 3-part series I’m doing on the vessels of wrath, but for the Lord’s Day, which is a day of rest, prayer, and exaltation of His glorious name, here is something encouraging Dr Lloyd-Jones said in both the above linked sermons.

God is so loving and concerned with His people that he declares in both the Old Testament and in the New, His faithful and eternal love for us. He restates His covenant of Grace over and over, to reassure us. he is our God, and we are His people! The Jews are His chosen ones, and grafted into that family of Abraham, are the church age saints, the Gentiles.

Because God is in heaven and we were not, we would otherwise never, ever know of His plan since before the foundation of the world to bring a people to Himself. But He condescended to tell us, and more than once. Here, see:

At that time, declares the Lord, I will be the God of all the clans of Israel, and they shall be my people.” (Jeremiah 31:1)

And they shall be my people, and I will be their God. (Jeremiah 32:38)

And they shall know that I am the Lord their God with them, and that they, the house of Israel, are my people, declares the Lord God. And you are my sheep, human sheep of my pasture, and I am your God, declares the Lord God.” (Ezekiel 34:30-31).

You shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers, and you shall be my people, and I will be your God. (Ezekiel 36:28)

What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; as God said, “I will make my dwelling among them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.” (2 Corinthians 6:16)

and I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to me, says the Lord Almighty. (2 Corinthians 6:18)

For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my laws into their minds, and write them on their hearts, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. (Hebrews 8:10).

And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. (Revelation 21:3)

Doesn’t that just make your heart swell with love and also crush your pride? Why, why does God want us? We’re awful, sinful, dirty, and depraved. It’s to show the riches of His mercy, His faithfulness, His righteousness, His love.

God Himself is such a blessing. Praise Jesus, and may His spotless name be revered throughout all eternity by His people.

god's love for us verse

Posted in discernment, Uncategorized

What the devil cannot do

martyn lloyd jonesHere is Martyn Lloyd Jones with a few thoughts on something the devil cannot do.

Putting God first…herein lies the stifling of the passions that defeat us. Herein lies the quietness that calms our tumults. Herein lies the peace of knowing that our sins are forgiven and forgotten by God and so they can be forgotten by us.

When men seek things before they seek God, they throw themselves into what has come to be known as the ‘rat race’. An earlier phrase described it as ‘the pace that kills’. But it was never the pace that killed, it was the fear of tomorrow that made the pace necessary.

The devil has never praised God. He can make people happy. But whisky can make people happy. The fact that a thing can make you happy doesn’t prove it’s right. There are drugs that can make you happy. You see, the devil can come, and he can counterfeit all these things. If a man says “I am happy”, it doesn’t prove he is a Christian. It can be counterfeited. There is only one thing I know of that the devil cannot counterfeit: praising God. The devil never does that. Never. The devil has made anybody praise God.

He can counterfeit a belief in God. But that’s a very different thing. The Apostle James tells us in his epistle, ‘the devils also believe, and tremble.’ The devil has never praised God. He can persuade people that they believe in God. If it suits his purpose he can transform himself into an angel of light, and encourage people to believe in God and to be religious. He is doing that to large numbers today. But there’s one thing he’s never done and he can’t do it, and that is to make people praise God. He can give you a counterfeit intellectual interest. He can give you a counterfeit interest in God’s people. A counterfeit interest in communion service. A counterfeit interest in prayer, a counterfeit joy and gladness. He has never made anybody praise God. Why? Because he hates God.

But these people [in Acts 2] were praising God. That is why I say in many senses it is the ultimate test of the profession of the Christian faith – praising God! My friends, are you praising God? I’m not asking if you believe in Him, or if you try to worship Him. I’m not asking if you make requests of Him. I’m asking one thing only. Do you praise God?

Sermon- Praising God, Acts 2:46-47.

It occurred to me that this test would apply to a false teacher. Someone who teaches about God but is not saved, (2 Timothy 3:5) and who is the son of the devil will never praise God. Sons of the devil, those who are energized by satan and are in bondage to satan, cannot praise God because the devil cannot praise God. His minions can’t either. Use it as a test, as MLJ noted. Not that a false teacher can’t say the words, though oftentimes they can’t, they choke on them. They might say off-handedly, “Praise God it rained!” but a life lived in praise to Him, sincere, thorough, zealous praise, will never pass their lips. Look for it…or in this case, the absence of it.

Posted in Uncategorized

Discernment Lesson: Comparing a Beth Moore & Martyn Lloyd Jones teaching on on the same verse

I recently did a discernment lesson on the most popular story Beth Moore tells, The Hairbrush Story. Chris Rosebrough has dismantled it sentence by sentence, and I pointed readers to that link, and then offered some of my own insights.

Because writing a discernment lesson about a false teacher takes so much time, which means I have to spend a lot of time wallowing in her muck, it necessitates a spiritual wash afterwards. I got curious about Moore’s teaching on Ephesians 3:19, which The Hairbrush Story was allegedly about. She focused on the part of the verse which promises the full measure of God (NIV), or the fullness of God (ESV).

and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. (Ephesians 3:19)

I love Martyn Lloyd Jones’ sermons, especially on Ephesians, which I am going through anyway. I decided to listen to his treatment of the verse, the same verse, the one and only verse, and see what I could learn. After hearing Moore, I really did want to know more about the full measure of Christ it is a majestic topic. The phrase kept rolling around in my head. So I headed over to the Martyn Lloyd Jones (MLJ) Trust Sermons and listened so my mind could be cleansed from the mud and I could learn about Jesus from a credible preacher. I found the MLJ sermon All the Fullness of God

As I was pondering these things, a tweet came up from my twitter friend Landon Chapman at Entreating Favor website and Fire Away! podcast. Here it is:

This is very, very wise. I take his advice to heart.

I have never immediately compared a false teacher’s lesson on a verse to a credible teacher’s treatment of it. Of course I always compare the false teacher’s lesson to the Bible. Also, it’s not often I can find a false teacher having focused solely on one verse for the point of her lesson and then find a preacher who also preached on that exact sole verse. Comparing would be easy. Not uncomplicated or fast, but easy as in apples to apples. The Moore teaching was still fresh in my mind, as I listened to Jones’. I listened to MLJ’s sermon three times in fact.

I found that Beth Moore and Martyn Lloyd Jones, having taught the same single verse, came to exactly opposite conclusions. Totally at odds with each other. One says yes, the other no. One says black, the other says white. One says up, the other down. By the picture below, you can easily see which Bible teacher’s teaching I found biblical.

Lloyd Jones’ well known nickname; A nickname I dub Moore

Moore taught that the full measure of Christ in us believers is something we do not currently possess.
Jones taught that the fullness of Christ is something we currently do possess.

Moore taught that we could possess it IF we do certain things.
Jones taught that the fullness is something every believer already has as a gift.

Moore taught that the reason we want the full measure of Christ is so we can get blessing and power.
Jones categorically rejects this.

Moore taught that the fullness was a feeling.
Jones taught that the fullness was a doctrine.

Moore taught that we want the full measure of Christ so we can get something, power, love, blessing.
Jones taught that having the fullness of Christ is something we aspire to because Christ is the prize.

They even have a different summation point-

Beth Moore teaching the point of lesson: “I’ve got to know somebody totally loves me.”
Lloyd Jones says the point of the verse is: “It is the highest doctrine of all.”

I won’t go on, you can see it on this chart I made. I included the links from which I delved into each lesson, and the minute at which I heard each teaching so if you care to check it out yourself, you can. Below the chart are the two illustrations each teacher gave. Moore’s was with the measuring cup and Jones’s was about a bottle. They come to opposite conclusions. Moore believes the fullness has a quantity to it and Jones says the full measure is about the quality of it.

Note: MLJ preached the Ephesians series between 1957 and 1980. Moore’s hairbrush story was re-published on LifeToday in 2012 and that is where I reviewed it, though she had delivered it at least as early as 2011 and maybe a year or two earlier than that. The comments in the chart are direct quotes.

The illustration: Moore’s measuring cup and liquid.

With this visual prop, Moore was teaching that we do not possess the full measure. However if we do certain things in our own power and then ask for the fullness, Christ will give it AND “the power that comes with it”. In Moore’s interpretation, we are all 16 oz measuring cups and some of us have 2 ounces of the fullness and others of us have 4 ounces and others get to be filled up completely. A total filling is not something that will happen on this side of eternity anyway.

Lloyd-Jones teaches the opposite. He focuses on ton the vessel but on the quality of the filling. He said we already possess the fullness of Christ in us when we’re saved. He said the power of God (omnipotence) is an attribute of God that is NON-communicable. MLJ also said the fullness is not a quantity, but a quality. Why?

because the amount varies. It varies in the same man from time to time. It varies from one of us to the other, and yet we all can have the fullness.

Here is an illustration to show how you can possess the fullness and yet have more of it. Take a bottle and put it into the sea. You can fill it. Then you can say that bottle is full of the sea. Then you can take a great tank and do the same thing. They both have a fullness but they haven’t the same amount. And the sea is always the sea. The little bottle full of sea has just the same characteristics of the sea in fullness as the tank has.

The drastic difference between the two teachings comes from their view of Jesus and of self. Jones’ eyes are on Christ, Moore’s is on herself. With her, the fullness is something we get, power comes with it, we do things with this power, we get blessing, we receive affirmation of love, and we can have more of it. We, we, we. Her eyes are on self.

Jones shows us where our eyes should be. Not on the bottle, not on the amount that is IN the bottle, not on the tank, not on anything we might think we get, but on the SEA. It is what is IN us that matters. It’s all about Christ in us, His righteousness, His fullness. It has nothing to do with our works, our deeds, our emptying, our effectiveness, our requests, or anything whatsoever to do with us. He bestows His fullness of Himself to us on salvation. It is all about Christ.

For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen. (Ephesians 3:14-21)

[By Elizabeth Prata]