(Download the entire Ephesians Devotion.)
It is not by our hands that we are saved, nor is it by our feet, not even our brains. Instead it is by our eyes that see and our ears that hear. It is our lungs that receive the breath of God. It is these receptive organs that allow us to perceive and receive the grace of Jesus Christ. It changes the way the see the world.
Peter Drukard said that we are all in one of three stages
- Trying to win the rat race
- Being crushed by the rat race
- Realizing the rat race is not winnable.
Fred Craddock swears this happened to him.
He was visiting in a home of one of his former students after graduation, and after a great dinner, the young parents excused themselves and hustled the kids off to bed, leaving Fred in the living room with the family pet—a large, sleek greyhound. Earlier in the evening Fred had watched the kids roll on the floor playing with the family dog. “That’s a full-blooded greyhound there,” the father of the kids had told Fred. “He once raced professionally down in Florida. Then we got him. Great dog with the kids, that greyhound.”
Well, sitting there with the greyhound, the dog turned to Fred and asked, “This your first visit to Connecticut?”
“No,” Fred answered. “I went to school up here a long time ago.”
“Well, I guess you heard. I came up here from Miami,” said the greyhound.
“Oh, yeah, you retired?” Fred said.
“No, is that what they told you? No, no, I didn’t retire. I tell you, I spent ten years as a professional, racing greyhound. That means ten years of running around that track day after day, seven days a week with other dogs chasing that rabbit. Well, one day, I got up close; I got a good look at that rabbit. It was a fake! I had spent my whole life chasing a fake rabbit! Hey, I didn’t retire; I quit!”
I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and your love toward all the saints, I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers.
Having the eyes of your hearts enlightened that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you.
- How has your perspective of what is important changed? Are you chasing the allure of the fake rabbits of success?
- How has the rat race crushed you? Where do you turn when you feel crushed by it?
- Does prayer work? What role does prayer play in your life? When are you the most likely to pray?
- How has prayer helped you to perceive circumstances with hope instead of shame, guilt or worry?
- Who is someone of deep prayer that you respect? How do they show both their love for God and for others?
- Paul’s prayer (v17-19) is that they will know Him, Hope and His Power. Where do you need prayer?
- To know the loving presence of Jesus Christ will be with you no matter what you do?
- To have hope that He will do the good things He has promised?
- To trust His power instead of trying to do it under your own power?