Devotionals During the COVID-19 Crisis: Lesson 10

Monday March 30, 2020 – From Pastor Joyce Donigian

15 That is why, ever since I heard of your strong faith in the Lord Jesus and of the love you have for Christians everywhere, 16-17 I have never stopped thanking God for you. I pray for you constantly, asking God, the glorious Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, to give you wisdom to see clearly and really understand who Christ is and all that he has done for you. 18 I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can see something of the future he has called you to share. I want you to realize that God has been made rich because we who are Christ’s have been given to him! 19 I pray that you will begin to understand how incredibly great his power is to help those who believe him. It is that same mighty power 20 that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in heaven, 21 far, far above any other king or ruler or dictator or leader. Yes, his honor is far more glorious than that of anyone else either in this world or in the world to come. 22 And God has put all things under his feet and made him the supreme Head of the Church— 23 which is his body, filled with himself, the Author and Giver of everything everywhere.

Ephesians 1:15-23 Living Bible (TLB)

Do you remember times in your life when someone praised you? Someone you admired who was now applauding your accomplishments? Or perhaps you remember winning an award or winning a sporting event and heard shouts of encouragement. Or perhaps it was an unexpected encouraging word from someone whom we have admired.

Whatever the situations, those memories bring smiles to our faces and warmth to our hearts. It is part of who we are to feel pleasure at getting compliments.

These words of Paul’s recorded in his letter to the Ephesians bring thoughts of comfort and pleasure because they remind us that God is pleased with us when we follow in Christ’s footsteps. Paul commends those reading this letter for their strong faith in Jesus and the love that they share with others.

What a compliment! Paul has not been with these folks to see first-hand how they are witnessing their faith and love; instead, he has heard reports from others. This means that their faith is faith in action – faith shown in how they relate to one another and to others. They are showing love in a way this can best explained by the shape of the cross – their love is both vertical – love for God in Christ and horizontal – love for those around them. This is a good reminder to all people. Too often we rely heavily on our own efforts, driven by our own wisdom, carried out by our own abilities. We too often can become more reliant on ourselves and less reliant on God.

Paul tells them something we all know – that we cannot be faithful to Jesus and not love the other Christians. Nor can we love other Christians rightly and not be faithful toward God. Christianity is built on these two principles – to love the Lord our God and to love our neighbor. We are called to live beyond ourselves. We are called to live for Christ and for one another. Paul praises them and declares that he has heard of their faithfulness to Jesus and the love for the saints. This causes Paul to pray continually for the Ephesian Christians with thanksgiving to God. But listen to what Paul wants God to give these Christians.

Paul is also encouraging them to do more because their faith will lead them to greater wisdom and understanding. In other words, by continuing to live their faith, they will grow in the knowledge of who Christ is and what Christ has done for them. What he has heard about them is wonderful, but even greater things are in store for them as their faith continues to grow. Additionally, Paul knows from his own experience that as wisdom and understanding increase, they will gain greater insights into the indescribable power of God.


We have just heard that the President has extended social distancing guidelines until the end of April. We cannot know what this coming month might bring. Our lives are in so many ways put on hold. We are asked to rely on ourselves more than ever before since we are no longer able to rely on friends, social gatherings, and other activities that might add additional benefits to our lives. But we are not alone. We have our faith in God and our love for others to uplift and uphold us.

We are encouraged to find ways to show that faith and love in order that we might continue to grow in wisdom and understanding. Our all-powerful God is with us, seeing how we respond to this crisis. By staying home, even from church, we can slow down the spread of COVID-19 in Quakertown. While we are sheltering in place, we can pray in thanksgiving for all of those who have stepped up to care for those who are sick – the doctors, nurses, techs, EMTs, police, and all those unnamed folks who clean, mop, wipe, empty trash, and all of the other behind-the-scenes activities that are necessary to keep our hospitals as safe as possible. And to all of the volunteers who are making masks at home, all who are looking for ways to help during this difficult time – we give thanks to God for all these folks who are witnessing to their faith.

In all things we are to continue to grow in faith – faith in action – because we desire to grow in wisdom and understanding of the power, might, and love of our God.

There is a song that describes this longing for greater heart-knowledge of God. The title is “Open the Eyes of My Heart, Lord.” Below are the lyrics, but if you want to listen to these wonderful words, it is available on YouTube Here!


Open the eyes of my heart, Lord
Open the eyes of my heart
I want to see You
I want to see You (repeated)

To see You high and lifted up
Shinin’ in the light of Your glory
Pour out Your power and love
As we sing holy, holy, holy

Open the eyes of my heart, Lord
Open the eyes of my heart
I want to see You
I want to see You (repeated)

To see You high and lifted up
Shinin’ in the light of Your glory
Pour out Your power and love
As we sing holy, holy, holy

To see You high and lifted up
Shinin’ in the light of Your glory
Pour out Your power and love
As we sing holy, holy, holy
To see You high and lifted up
Shinin’ in the light of Your glory
Pour out Your power and love
As we sing holy, holy, holy

Holy, holy, holy
We cry holy, holy, holy
You are holy, holy, holy
I want to see you

Holy, holy, holy
Holy, holy, holy
You are holy, holy, holy
I want to see you

Holy, holy, holy
Holy, holy, holy
Holy, holy, holy,
I want to see you

Source: LyricFind
Songwriter: Paul Joseph Baloche

May you be blessed this day with the knowledge that our faith in Almighty God and our love for others will bring wisdom and understanding – even in such times as these. We (Pastors Doug and Joyce) have witnessed your faith and your love, your growing wisdom and understanding, and we thank God for you all. We pray for you. We love you. Be safe. Be well.

Blessings, Pastors Doug and Joyce

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s