So here's today's verse and a half :-)
"Ever since I first heard about your strong faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for God's people everywhere, 16 I have not stopped thanking God for you."
I love that Paul had only heard about the Ephesians strong faith and love for God's people! Isn't that amazing?!?! That's how I want to be known. I want people to be talking about me because of me strong faith and love for God's people. I think that's an incredible reputation to have. And it's one I desire because it means I look like Jesus. We've already looked at what an amazing reputation the Ephesians had in the world at the time of Paul's writing. It's something he mentions in the very first verse of the letter. Yet, here he adds something else that the Ephesian church was known for: their love for God's people.
If you would have told me three years ago, that I would fall in love with people and how God is working in them and through them, I would have thought you were out of your mind. I was not a people person. I would have much rather spent an evening alone with a good book every night of the week than go somewhere to spend quality time with people. Then God started changing my heart. I began to have a heart for people. I love them. I still love a good book and an evening to myself, but I also love hearing people's stories, seeing how God is working in their lives, and watching them grow in their faith. Can people say that about you? Do you honestly have a God given passion for people? Do people who meet you come away from that encounter thinking that you really love people? That's what I want. Because Jesus loved people. People are messy. Relationships are not easy. But Jesus loves people and he loves you and me, so we should love people too.
I love the last part of this verse too. Paul was "always" thanking God for the people the Ephesian church had become. Do other people "always" thank God for the man or woman of Christ you are becoming? Do you thank God for the people around you and the men and women of God they are becoming? Let's thank God for the work he is accomplishing in you and me and the people around us.