July 11, 2021

July 11, 2021

July 11, 2021

Benjamin Harding
Clergy
Appalachian District

Ephesians 1:3-14 (NIV) 

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding, he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, 10 to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.
11 In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, 12 in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. 13 And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.

Devotion
“The Power Within”

What do we associate with super?  Do we think of superheroes?  What qualities do they possess that makes them super?  Is it their strength; their wisdom; their speed?  These physical and personal qualities are usually amplified from some supernatural phenomenon, and they bring out the best of what we associate with goodwill. 
Did you know that we have this same capacity as believers in Christ and as children of God?  How so?  Let us examine one of the more popular superheroes in movies today, King T’challa of Wakanda, also known as the Black Panther.
The Black Panther has supernatural speed, strength, agility, hearing, and reasoning skills that are amplified due to a purple heart-shaped herb that all the previous Black Panthers have consumed.  T’challa also is the son of the previous king of Wakanda, as have been all the previous Panthers, and has access to the wisdom of his father and all who have come before him through a heightened state of existential awareness.  Here is the question; how does this information about the Black Panther have anything to do with who we are in Christ?
Like T’challa, we are children of God Almighty and adopted into royalty.  We have been marked with the seal of the Holy Spirit which grants us an inheritance that we have access to NOW!  Through the presence of the Holy Spirit within us, we are filled with supernatural strength and ability, and wisdom only available through the power of God which enables us to overcome anything we face because Jesus Christ overcame EVERYTHING through His death and resurrection.
We may not face such threats as Thanos, Mephistopheles, or any other universe-level threats such as the ones found in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but we do face the greatest threat of all through the forces of evil and the influence of the Devil.  Dismissing this would be foolish.  However, it is through God’s strength when we are weak, God’s peace when we are anxious, healing when we are sick, comfort when we are hurting, and God’s guidance when we are lost that we can overcome whatever obstacles we face.

Prayer

Heavenly Father, thank you for adopting us into your family and making our salvation possible through your son, Jesus Christ.  Help us to remember that we have all we need to navigate life through the power you give us through the presence of the Holy Spirit living within us.  Let us be a light for others in their struggles just as You are for us.  In Jesus’s name, Amen.