Summary: Continuing to look are our call to accept the Spirit of God in our heart, which changes who we are called to be.
Rooted in God’s Love
February 24, 2019
I don’t usual give homework assignments . . . but last week I did.
My hope after last week’s message was that each of us would take time to allow God’s Spirit to fill our spirit. We would seek to draw closer to Him as we passionately celebrated who God is.
That’s kind of a big thing to do. Because we all look at God differently. Some come to God through experiences, some through their emotions, others are more intellectual, some are physical. It comes to us in different ways, but I wanted you to make the attempt to worship God on your own. Even for just a few minutes to give thanks, praise and adoration to God.
Then, my hope is that you would come here today, excited to worship because you experienced something new from God.
We’ve been talking about the mission of the church. And for the past few weeks, we’ve especially been looking at loving God with our heart, spirit, mind and body. It’s not always easy, life gets in the way, mostly, we allow life to get in the way and it pulls us further away from God. Then we need to intentionally draw back to God.
Last week we began to look at Ephesians 3:14-21. This is a powerful passage from Paul to the church. Paul wrote —
14 For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, 16 that according to the riches of His glory He may grant you to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith — that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. 20 Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, 21 to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen. – Ephesians 3:14-21
Paul humbly bowed before God praying that the people would be strengthened with the power of the Holy Spirit. He prayed that so that Christ would dwell in their hearts because of their faith.
That’s really an important prayer for us.
Some of you have family members, friends and co-workers - - people you deeply care about. When you talk to them, you sense there’s an emptiness in their lives. You see them trying to fill their lives by doing things the world tells us to do. Buy your happiness, drink a little more, please yourself at someone’s expense, cheat if you can . . . and that list can go on and you can fill it with nonmaterial things like gossiping, slander, malice, unforgiveness, bitterness, hatred and more.
We see those people don’t we? If we look close enough, they’re all around us. There are even some here this morning. You see, here’s the problem. I’m going to play Dr. Phil this morning - - for about 30 seconds and diagnose most problems in the world. I can put him out of business, but it will not end the dysfunction and evil in the world. So . . . I guess I’ll let his show stay on, because, at times, it’s ironically - - funny and sad at the same time.
OK, that’s the build up. Here’s the issue - - -
People don't understand the love of Christ. That’s it! Nothing more, nothing less. They don’t understand it and they don’t know the love of Christ! Now, let me say, knowing Jesus and believing in Jesus, doesn’t mean life will be easy and there will be no tragedies, sorrows or grief.
BUT . . . why are people so empty? Because their hearts don’t know Jesus. They don’t know about His love and compassion, His power and strength, His grace and mercy, His suffering and death . . . all for us.
What happens is that we end up treating people’s symptoms. We try to fix this or that. We tell people to get off of drugs, we tell them to stop drinking, to be less greedy, to quit worrying, to forgive, to let go, to stop shopping, to stop being bitter. We tell people to STOP doing wrong!!! We treat the outward sickness.
But the bottom line is that these are symptoms of a deeper issue. Those aren’t the real issue. That’s only what we see. It’s like an iceberg, that is deep underwater, we don’t see that. We only see what’s visible to our eyes.