Listen to this devotional:
Ephesians 3:16-18 – I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ. (NIV)
When asked to give my testimony, I thought it was just to tell about my past, as a story. I was partially correct, but not entirely.
As I sat back to write, the thought which came to me was that of a puzzle.
Starting a jigsaw puzzle, one usually selects all the pieces that have straight edges to form the outside part. In our lives, that outside part of us is what people see first. It is the part we show best, and with a certain ease. But it's the pieces that are on the inside that we find harder to put into place. We might call them our inner being. In our Christian lives, often we can't seem to get it all together, and we do struggle that others might see our better side.
I can remember when I first started out on my Christian journey. I was baptized, and I joined the church. But that was only a straight piece in the framework of my puzzle. To be within the body of Christ is really an inner piece — or peace — that helps us grow in the Holy Spirit.
I attended my first communion service in an outdoor chapel. Under a clear blue sky, where I did this in remembrance of what Jesus did for me, God gave me a glimpse of heaven! Jesus suffered and died, taking away all my sin: past, present, and future. What a glorious feeling to know this! This piece of the puzzle fits at the centre of my life, as it does in all believers.
Having this piece in place, I came to realize that the Holy Spirit is in our presence, and offers us comfort and strength in all of our circumstances. As we grow in Christ, we find that other inner pieces begin to fill in the whole picture of our own puzzles. The Holy Spirit works within us, as we are striving to study the Bible, reading God's holy Word; as we are working with our youth in Sunday school; as we are singing in the choir or playing an instrument; as we are leading in prayer one for another; and as we are giving of our time and talents, including our money for use in His service.
These pieces are all used to praise God, who has loaned us all the pieces of the puzzle, which only He can take apart — and we can all be assured that won't be until completion comes, and the puzzle is finished.
Prayer: Dear Lord, our God and our Father, we pray that You will help us to put the pieces of our puzzles together. When our puzzles are completed, may we know that it is You to whom we owe all the honour and glory. Amen.