Ephesians 1:15-16. “Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints, Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers;”
The church at Ephesus showed the result of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in the way they loved each other, and reached out beyond their own congregation to encourage and help believers in other places. There is a wonderful unity of spirit among those who trust the same Jesus Christ, the same God.
Then why is there division and dissension among the saints in so many churches all down through the ages?
Good question. The answer lies, I believe in whether we are walking in the flesh or walking in the Spirit; whether we have been crucified with Christ, dead to self and sin. This awful condition of walking in the flesh happens in churches where Satan gets a foothold. He uses the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life to tempt both the people and the pastors. In some churches, the people have grown cold. Sometimes, it’s the pastors who have left the job of shepherding and are busy making a name for themselves. It is always heartbreaking when a pastor falls, but no more heartbreaking than when individuals in the church turn away from their first love.
Paul loved the Ephesian Christians because of their fervency. They had not lost their first love, and were busy about the business of reaching the lost. And so Paul was thankful for them, and mentioned them in his prayers.
Think of that. The Apostle Paul praying for people by name, because of their love for God, each other, and other believers in other churches.
Almost makes me jealous 🙂