Thursday, January 14, 2016

From the riches of God

14 For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.  Ephesians 3:14-19

Paul's letter to the Ephesians contains great insight into God's love for believers.  Chapter 1 contains a prayer where Paul is praying on behalf of the Ephesian Christians.  That is prayer number one.  It's a powerful prayer and one that you should read.  Ephesians 1:15-23

The prayer in the text above is a second prayer Paul is praying on behalf of the Ephesians and that is the one I point you toward today.  Before getting into the prayer in which he asks for specific things for these people, Paul acknowledges God as the one from whom every family in heaven and earth derives its name.  The greatness of God is seen in these words, and profoundly expressed by Paul as an example to all of us who wish to recognize God's power.   Now note in the prayer:

1.  Paul prays that from all the glorious riches of God, he will give us strength by the power of the Holy Spirit which lives inside us. That is the power that puts Jesus in our hearts through faith. 

2.  Paul further prays that Christians, being rooted and established in love, will powerfully, along with all God's people, to take hold of the truth concerning the width, height, and depth of the love of Jesus.  Paul continues to pray that we can know that love as a love that surpasses knowledge, and that we can be totally filled us with all the fullness of God. 

Now I am going to say a prayer for you and for me, and it is a prayer seeking forgiveness.  We need to seek God's forgiveness for our lack of faith.   When problems surround us, we complain, we moan and groan, we give up, we throw in the towel.  We might even walk away from God because we view life's difficulties as a form of his punishment.  
Our view of the problem shouldn't lead us to complaining to God for something he has done.  It should be a renewed view of who we really are because of God's magnificent love for us.  Remember, it all comes from the storehouse of the riches of God.  

Doesn't it stand to reason that we can handle any problem, tackle any adversity, and defeat any foe by the power of Jesus who lives in us?   In Paul's prayer, he is praying for us to have the faith to accept that Jesus powerfully inhabits his followers.  Part two of that prayer is that we come to experience the fullness of his love for us.   I'm saying that's the faith and love we need to learn and live. 

The prayer ends with these words.  20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. 

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