If you have attempted any home improvement projects recently, you probably have noticed the price of lumber… You can’t help but take notice that 2x4s and 2x6s and other dimensional lumber has more than doubled in price. Now that swing-set in the backyard or the new deck out the backdoor has become really expensive!

Maybe you have thought twice about starting such a project, knowing the cost has risen so sharply.

Think about the cost of our forgiveness and the price Jesus paid upon the cross. Our forgiveness cost Jesus His life, and yet the Lord never thought twice about laying His life down for us. It is only through the blood of Jesus that we are forgiven!

Because Jesus gave His life, dying on the cross, we are set free to be God’s own people and given new life in Jesus’ name! This month I want to share and lift up what the Lord’s death has afforded and made possible in us as believers. The price Jesus paid continues to set us free!

Listen to these words from the letter to the Ephesians as Paul prays for the church to know among other things the very power of God that is in them because of Jesus.

“I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms…”

– Ephesians 1:18-20

Paul prays that the Ephesian church would know the hope, the riches, and the power of God. If Paul prays that they know these things, it can only mean that the very hope, riches, and power themselves are real in the here and now and part of the life of the Church!

This is the heart of Paul’s prayer for the Ephesians: that they would know the real power of God at work in them. This is not just a cliché or metaphor for God’s power, but the actual power of God that raised Jesus from the dead is also raising them! There was power in the church at Ephesus, and there IS power in the Church today.

Should this not be our prayer for each other too? What a humbling thought for us to pray for one another to see more of God’s power at work in us! We join Paul in praying that the Church would know the power of God at work in us all.

– Ian Conerly is the pastor at New Oregon United Methodist Church in Fort Payne.

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