Preparing for the Formation church trainees conference next week. I am doing a session on how to prepare talks and studies that glorify God. I have been struck by just how helpful Ephesians 1 is in addressing this question.
Paul really hits home that the purpose of our existence is that God's glorious grace gets praised:
- He predestined us to the praise of his glorious grace v6
- We are for the praise of his glory v12 and again in v14
But the excellent thing is what he then prays for them:
- That God will give them the spirit of wisdom and revelation to know him better
- that he will enlighten the eyes of their hearts so they will know:
- the hope to which they are called
- the riches of God's glorious inheritance
- God's incomparably great power
We are clearly meant to connect these things. That is, lives lived for the praise of God's glorious grace will be marked out by God doing these latter things in us.
If God doing these latter things in us is indicative of lives lived to his glory, and if Paul prays that God will produce them in the Ephesians, shouldn't they be key desired outcomes of Bible talks and discussions?
We should pray over every talk and every discussion evening we prepare or attend that God will pour to the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, that he will enlighten the eyes of the heart and that all the believers will rejoice over - and be saturated by - the hope to which we are called, the riches of God's glorious inheritance and intimations and evidences of his incomparably great power.
The desired result of talks and group Bible discussions is SO much more than us merely advancing our understanding a little more. Having that as our aim is to set our sights far too low