DEVOTION FOR MONDAY, JANUARY 15TH, 2017
PAUL’S PRAYER: ALL GLORY TO GOD
The doxology “Praise God from Whom All Blessings Flow” was originally written by an Anglican bishop named Thomas Ken for his students at Winchester College in England. He wanted them to be faithful in their Bible study, prayers, and personal worship times, and had written morning, evening, and midnight hymns for this purpose. The final stanza of each of these hymns was this doxology still sung today.
A doxology is a resounding statement of praise, as in today’s verses. Paul’s doxology here is a fitting close to the first three chapters of Ephesians and their focus on God’s extraordinary plan and work of salvation. It also signals a transition to the letter’s second half, which focuses on how to live out the gospel in daily practice.
The basis of Paul’s doxology is the character of God (v. 20). He is infinite in power, knowledge, and love, able to “do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine.” His omnipotence is not out there somewhere, but “at work within us.” It pushes forward the Spirit’s sanctifying work (v. 17), gives us an understanding of divine love (v. 18), and fills us far beyond what we can humanly hold (v. 19).
The ultimate purpose of Paul’s doxology is the glory of God (v. 21). The place in the world in which it is to be most on display is the church. Just as God is glorified in and by Christ’s mission of redemption, and by all He said and did during His life on earth, so also should God be glorified by all that we as Christ’s redeemed followers say and do.
The gospel transforms enemies into friends, Jews and Gentiles into one “household,” and dead people into ones who will live eternally with God. Amen, let it be so!
APPLY THE WORD
We rarely spend enough time praising the Lord! Often our prayers are overbalanced in favor of petitions or requests, and some church cultures minimize corporate times of praise. Spend time in praise and thanksgiving for who God is. Paul’s doxology in today’s reading, Romans 16:25–27, or Psalms 145 through 150 could help set the tone.
Today in the Word is a production of Moody Global Ministries
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