Summary: We need to recognize the power of God's love for us, which should compel us to passionately serve Him. part 1 of 2
Rooted in God’s Love
February 24, 2019
Has your mind ever wandered? I would assume for most of you at some point, maybe it’s already started - - - your mind will wander during this message. I don’t want to plant any wandering seeds, but it happens, doesn’t it?
You’re in a conversation and you’re listening and have a comment, but you forget that comment, and your mind was not even wandering, you were paying attention.
What about when you pray? Maybe I’m the only one it happens to. I start out praying really good. Then without realizing it, I start to think about what I need to do that day, then I’m off thinking about what I need to buy at the grocery store, then I’m thinking about the game from last night, then sometime later, I realize I have really wandered off in the wrong direction in my prayer.
This happens to us in most Wednesday night Bible studies. We’re on task, then somehow we get off and go on some rabbit trail. It’s always good, it’s always fun, but before we know it, we’re off talking about something different.
It seems that this happened to Paul in his letter to the Ephesians. In Ephesians 3, Paul starts the chapter saying –
1 For this reason I, Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus on behalf of you Gentiles —
And then he seems to go off on a tangent. He wanted the people to understand something about himself and his call as an apostle, then in verse 15, he got back to what he really wanted to get at. And when he does, he uses the very same beginning that he used in verse 1.
We’ve been talking about the mission of the church, but really we can’t fulfill the mission of the church without having the most important relationship, one with Christ. So, we’ve looked at Jesus’ call to make Him first in our lives, and last week we were looking again at the call to love Jesus, and today, we’re going to read an amazing passage from Paul about his prayer for the church. So, if we keep reading in Ephesians 3, Paul continues in verses 15-21 –
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
Friends, there is so much power in Paul’s words in this passage. What he’s asking for, what he’s praying for is so foundational to our lives in Christ. So, let’s look at what this prayer and what it means in our lives.
Paul wants something to happen in our lives. I feel like I’m about to give away the end of the story, but it’s really where we want to end up. This passage builds up in what Paul wants. In the end, he wants so much for us, that to say he wants one thing is almost like doing a disservice to Paul.
Paul’s telling us - - He wants us to be strengthened with power through God’s Holy Spirit. Why?
So Christ may dwell in our hearts because of our faith in Him. What for?
So that we would be rooted and grounded in His love. So what?
So we would somehow be able to comprehend the incomprehensible - - the magnitude of God’s love. Then what?
THEN we would be filled with the fullness of God!!! WOW!! That’s what Paul is getting at! Really, I should be done preaching! If we could really take that in, I should really be done, because I can’t add to what Paul has said. But, nah . . . I want to unpack this message.
I think one of our main problems is the fact that we don’t really comprehend how much God loves us and how good God really is. Even in the midst of so much evil and so much tragedy. God is good . . . and God is good all of the time.