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Love Needing Divine Strength

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For this reason I [Paul] bow my knees before the Father… that … he [God] may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, … may have strength to comprehend … and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” Ephesians 3:14-19 (ESV)

John Stott shares in his commentary on Ephesians,

One of the best ways to discover a Christian’s chief anxieties and ambitions is to study the content of his prayers and the intensity with which he prays them. We all pray about what concerns us, and are evidently not concerned about the matters we do not include in our prayers.” (Stott, 131. Emphasis mine)

This is why we read the Bible. We want our prayers to be in line with God’s will and purposes, We want our lives to be concerned with the things that concern our God. We long to have our prayers answered, and those found in scripture will provide guidance for our prayers (see 1 John 5:14).

Previously in Ephesians 1, Paul has prayed that the Ephesians (and we) would receive wisdom and revelation, being enlightened to TRULY understand the tremendous HOPE, the RICHES of our eternal inheritance and the POWER beyond comparison, which God works in those who follow Jesus with our lives.

Here in chapter 3, Paul prays for divine strength that would reside in our hearts through Jesus. This divine strength is not for physical acts of heroics. This divine strength is in order that we might be able to know the UNKNOWABLE love of God, the Father, and Jesus, the Son. The purpose of this love and strength to comprehend it, is for completing our likeness to Jesus (who is the very fullness of God Almighty).

What is this love like? This love is great enough to overcome our deep racial, cultural and even doctrinal differences. John Stott states it this way:

“… the love of Christ is ‘broad’ enough to encompass all mankind …
long’ enough to last for eternity,

deep’ enough to reach the most degraded sinner,

and ‘high’ enough to exalt him to heaven.” (Stott, 137)

The wonder of God’s love should move us to worship, to meditation on who God is and what He has done for us, and the wonder of spending eternity with Him.

We should also recognize that Christ’s love is Central in EVERYTHING. We can only truly experience this love, express this love, in the context of the local church. Paul makes this clear in this passage and those before it.

There are NO “lone ranger” Christians. By isolating ourselves we deprive others of our gifts and we deprive ourselves of the blessing of seeing Christ in others. We are called to live and love in community.

In verses 20-21, Paul worships God. And the bottom line of his worship:

“TO GOD BE THE GLORY.” Let us live our lives likewise. Love Needing Divine Strength

By Bill Emmerling
Pastor-Gallup Christian Church

For this reason I [Paul] bow my knees before the Father… that … he [God] may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, … may have strength to comprehend … and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” Ephesians 3:14-19 (ESV)

John Stott shares in his commentary on Ephesians,

One of the best ways to discover a Christian’s chief anxieties and ambitions is to study the content of his prayers and the intensity with which he prays them. We all pray about what concerns us, and are evidently not concerned about the matters we do not include in our prayers.” (Stott, 131. Emphasis mine)

This is why we read the Bible. We want our prayers to be in line with God’s will and purposes, We want our lives to be concerned with the things that concern our God. We long to have our prayers answered, and those found in scripture will provide guidance for our prayers (see 1 John 5:14).

Previously in Ephesians 1, Paul has prayed that the Ephesians (and we) would receive wisdom and revelation, being enlightened to TRULY understand the tremendous HOPE, the RICHES of our eternal inheritance and the POWER beyond comparison, which God works in those who follow Jesus with our lives.

Here in chapter 3, Paul prays for divine strength that would reside in our hearts through Jesus. This divine strength is not for physical acts of heroics. This divine strength is in order that we might be able to know the UNKNOWABLE love of God, the Father, and Jesus, the Son. The purpose of this love and strength to comprehend it, is for completing our likeness to Jesus (who is the very fullness of God Almighty).

What is this love like? This love is great enough to overcome our deep racial, cultural and even doctrinal differences. John Stott states it this way:

“… the love of Christ is ‘broad’ enough to encompass all mankind …
long’ enough to last for eternity,

deep’ enough to reach the most degraded sinner,

and ‘high’ enough to exalt him to heaven.” (Stott, 137)

The wonder of God’s love should move us to worship, to meditation on who God is and what He has done for us, and the wonder of spending eternity with Him.

We should also recognize that Christ’s love is Central in EVERYTHING. We can only truly experience this love, express this love, in the context of the local church. Paul makes this clear in this passage and those before it.

There are NO “lone ranger” Christians. By isolating ourselves we deprive others of our gifts and we deprive ourselves of the blessing of seeing Christ in others. We are called to live and love in community.

In verses 20-21, Paul worships God. And the bottom line of his worship:

“TO GOD BE THE GLORY.” Let us live our lives likewise.

By Bill Emmerling

Pastor-Gallup Christian Church