Sermon:  The Eyes of Your Heart

Summary:  God wants us to have discernment concerning our place in his
overall, cosmic plan, and not get bogged down with peripheral things.  This
discernment begins with knowing the hope of our calling, the riches of our
inheritance, and the greatness of his power in us.  Only with this understanding
can we as a church be the fullness of Christ in the world.

Know:  God wants us to see the ourselves and the world with spiritual eyes in
order to keep us from getting distracted and losing sight of our place and
purpose to be the fullness of Christ in the world

Feel:  Futility of placing hope in the things that belong to the sphere of this world.

Do:  Reflect on the role of hope in your life and how it shapes your perspective,
actions, and goals, and on how peripheral things compete with the central hope
that lies in Christ.   Formulate things to pray for to help "enlighten the eyes of
your heart" concerning the world, and your place in it, and commit to pray for
them this week.

Text:  Ephesians 1:15-23

Scripture Reading:  John 18:36

1.  Phillip Yancey tells about watching documentary of WW2, soldiers
	a.  About how they spent a particular day in the war
		- One sat in foxhole all day, one a German tank came by, shot at it
		- Others played cards to pass the time
		- Others in furious firefights
		- Day like any other day for infantryman on the front
	b.  Later found out they participated in the Battle of the Bulge, one of most 
            decisive battles of the war
		- Didn't feel decisive to these soldiers
		- Reason:  They didn't have the big picture
2.  This can happen to us as Christians
	a.  Everyday stuff, focus on what in front of us, lose sight of big picture
	b.  When lost sight of the big picture, several things can happen
		- Church becomes amusement park - Activities, food, - Main thing 
   		  to enjoy self
		- Oldies Radio Station - Hit songs from the past, glory days gone
		- Bureaucracy - Enforce rules & policy, no one sure reason for them
		- Business - Vendor of Religious goods competing with others
		- Morgue - Habitually religious but spiritually dead congregate until 
   		  bodies catch up with their souls
	c.  Throughout history, this has happened, usually gradually
	d.  Still happening even today
3.  The book of Ephesians is just what the doctor ordered for this
	a.  Last week, Paul begins with the big picture of God's purpose
	b.  It is all summed up in Christ v.10
4.  Text:  Eph 1:15-23 - Now Paul begins to narrow the focus
	a.  He prays is that we keep central things central in our lives
	b.  How?  Through wisdom, revelation, in true knowledge of Christ
		- Through eyes of our heart being enlightened
		- See everything through God's perspective, not world's
		- Then will understand what we are, and what God intends for us 
	c.  God wants us to know three things

I.  The hope of His calling (v.18)
	A.  How many of you have accepted Jesus as Lord and baptized?
		1.  Your sins washed away, and he saved you with his blood
		2.  (2 Tim 1:9) - Saved us & holy calling not according to our works, 
      		    but according to his purpose
		3.  He has called you for a purpose
	B.  This calling has forward perspective - "hope"
		1.  What is hope? (Rom 5:3-5)
			a.  Not mere wish like - I "hope" to get a Ferrari for birthday
			b.  Hope goes along with perseverance and testing
			c.  Hope is single minded
		2.  Example of faith and hope - Heb 11
			a. 11:1- Faith assurance of things "hoped" for
			b. List of people who called by God
			c.  Placed hope in something beyond what in front of them
			d.  Noah, Abraham, Moses, etc.
	C.  ILL:  Old Christian gentleman in twilight years of life
		1.  Minister preparing for funeral.
			a.  Had a wonderful life, kids, home, involved in activities
			b.  Minister finished. "Think have good summary of your life"
		2.  "Oh no," said the man.  That not summarize my life
			a.  Summarize my time on earth, but not my life
			b.  My hope for God, that is what summarizes my life!
	D.  What do you hope for?
		1.  How would you answer that question?
			a.  Make the team, Graduate, college, job, retirement…
			b.  Should be bigger than these
			c.  These "goals" should be defined by hope of calling 
		2.  (Eph 4:4) - There is one hope of your calling
			a.  Not called to be a student, athlete, mechanic, etc.
			b.  Called to be a Christian
			c.  Everything else falls under that calling
		3.  Ultimate "hope" is God - Summed up in Christ

II.  The riches of his inheritance (v.18)
	A.  Like hope, this is also forward looking
	B.  Paul calls it the "riches" of our inheritance
		1.  When you hear the word riches, what do you think of?
			a.  "He is rich" "He is poor" what does that mean?
			b.  We use worlds definitions for rich and poor
			c.  Don't let world shape view of rich and poor
		2.  Take spirit of wisdom, enlightened heart to recognize "riches"
	C.  ILL:  Saw a video about Teresea of Calcutta (Mother Teresea)
		1.  Mission to the poorest of the poor - Many left to die on street
		2.  Went to the Bronx to minister to poorest of the poor there
			a.  Poor not withered to nothing like Calcutta
			b.  Most had some sort of housing
		3.  She remarked that there was a much deeper poverty here
			a.  Even though many not starving to death
			b.  Even though they had food, housing, etc.
			c.  There was a poverty of spirit that ran much deeper
			d.  With spiritual eyes saw what true poverty & riches were
		4.  We are the "riches" country in the world
			a.  That statement comes from worldly eyes
			b.  Some look and see a dry, weary, poverty stricken land
	D.  But Bible says our citizenship is in Heaven
		1.  We are strangers and aliens
		2.  We have immeasurable riches
			a.  New Jerusalem in Revelation, no one is poor, starving
			b.  Streets of gold shows that no one is poor or starving
			c.  No sickness, death, crime, etc.
			d.  That is the inheritance we have
		3.  So don't let the world define what true riches are for you
		4.  If Christian, raise hand - You are rich!

III.  Unsurpassed Power (v.19)
	A.  The surpassing greatness of his power
		1.  Paul previously focus on the future, now focuses on the present
		2.  Spiritually, brute strength or weapons is not about power
		3.  Who is the most powerful man that ever lived?
			a.  Ask on the street, might hear names of world leaders
			b.  This answer comes from a worldly perspective
		4.  Jesus is the most powerful man that ever lived
			a.  No army, brute strength, weapons, etc.
			b.  That type of strength is spiritually useless
	B.  How does God demonstrate true strength?
		1.  (v.20-22) First of all, he demonstrated it in Christ
			a.  Raised him from the dead
			b.  Placed about all rule, power and authority
			c.  All things in subjection under his feet
				- Image of conquering power, foot on neck…
				- Ps 110:1 - Until I make you enemies a footstool
				- Ps 8:6 - Made him to rule over works of hands, 
   				  placed all things under his feet
		2.  Irony:  He came in weakness of the flesh
			a.  Heb 4:15 - Tempted in a respects as we are
			b.  Temptation was real
			c.  Christ became vulnerable, was killed
			d.  God displayed power in his weakness
		3.  (2 Cor 12:7-10) - God displays his power in weakness
			a.  Paul's experience with spiritual power
			b.  Power is perfected in weakness
			c.  With enlightened heart, insults, distress, persecution, etc.
			     help to perfect strength in you
	C.  ILL:  I started prayer meeting in Library before school in High School
		1.  Some people called me a Bible-Banger and teased me
		2.  Ever had something like that happen to you?
		3.  Satan wants you to feel weakness, embarrassment, shame,
			a.  He wants you to feel marginalized due to faith
			b.  Have you	been insulted, distressed, persecuted, etc.?
		4.  Some of you have been criticized, shamed, etc.
			a.  At work, among "friends" 
			b.  Doesn't mean you did wrong
			c.  May be because you did right
	D.  Jesus power is far above anything that looks like power
		1.  (v.22) - He has been given to be "head over all things…"
			a.  Head over those who think they have power over us
			b.  Those hostile to us have no authority of power over us
		2.  Lord, so powerful, he commands wind, sun, rain, storm
		3.  So powerful, he overcame death by overcoming sin
		4.  He is on our side, so that is the power that is backing us!  
1.  When we have enlightened hearts and recognize these living by them
    Then we can be the "fullness of Christ" on the earth (v.23)
	a.  Will expand on this in future lessons
	b.  For now, summary - church is full expression of Christ on the earth 
2.  In order to do this, need an enlightened heart
	a.  Hope of his Calling - Single-minded focus on our Lord
	b.  Riches of our Inheritance - True Riches
	c.  Unsurpassed power
3. Have you taken hold of these things?  (Invitation)
4.  If have already done that, pray for enlightened heart, for good vision
	a.  Will help us to keep the big picture in mind
	b.  And be able to be the fullness of Christ as a church  

Questions for Small Group Discussion