Paul’s prayer for the Christians in Ephesus: “I pray that from His glorious, unlimited resources He will empower you with inner strength through His Spirit. Then Christ will make His home in your hearts as you trust Him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And you may have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep His love is” (Ephesians 3:16-18).

Of all the things that concern us, shouldn’t we seek the safest place there is? Shouldn’t we center our lives on that which offers us peace, confidence, and hope? What is the antidote for the poison that spreads its malevolent destruction all around us? Fear and violence seem to be default settings these days, whether we are talking about North Korea or Charlottesville.

We are not called to hide from the darkness; we are summoned tp bring light into a dark world. We start where we are – one relationship at a time, one situation, one decision, one attitude, one act. Infused by the power Paul sought for the believers in Ephesus, we draw upon the greatest force the world has ever known. Fueled by a growing awareness and experience of God’s love, we are transformed as ministers of reconciliation … as bearers of good news … as messengers of hope.

Does that sound trite to you? Have you read the Scripture lately? Jesus didn’t promise an easy road, but He did promise to be present every step. He called those who would follow Him to a radical commitment. He never suggested that discipleship was simple or convenient.

Until we take seriously our calling, we will never experience what Paul prayed for the Ephesians. Can we really be satisfied with a comfortable, convenient faith? How can we?

Let’s go deeper!

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About Mark Wilbanks

Dr. Wilbanks became Wieuca’s fifth senior pastor in February of 2012. Mark’s father, Oliver Wilbanks, served as Associate Pastor here from 1966 to 1982. Wieuca had a tremendous influence in shaping Mark’s call to ministry during his teenage and young adult years. A graduate of both Southern and New Orleans Baptist Theological seminaries, Mark has served churches in Kentucky, Florida, and Georgia. He pastored Southside Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Florida for 17 years and Bradfordville First Baptist Church in Tallahassee, Florida for ten years. He and his wife, Kim, were married in 1979 and have two sons, Andy and Jordan. Andy is married to Lindsay and they have a son, Cade, a daughter, Ruthie, and welcomed their third child, Samuel, in October.

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