Summary: If you want to be the Lord’s disciple, the understanding of the love of Christ for you is critical.
The Love of Christ for You
The whole emphasis of Paul’s prayer in Ephesians 3:14 – 21 is on your understanding the love of Christ for you. If you want to be the Lord’s disciple, the understanding of this truth is critical. Listen to Paul’s prayer:
“14. For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15. from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name, 16. that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, 17. so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18. may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19. and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God. 20.Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, 21. to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.”
Paul prayer is not only for the Christians at Ephesus and in Asia Minor but also for you today. He speaks from a position of experience for he knows first hand what it means to be a disciple: “Are they servants of Christ? -- I speak as if insane-- I more so; in far more labors, in far more imprisonments, beaten times without number, often in danger of death. Five times I received from the Jews thirty-nine lashes. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, a night and a day I have spent in the deep. I have been on frequent journeys, in dangers from rivers, dangers from robbers, dangers from my countrymen, dangers from the Gentiles, dangers in the city, dangers in the wilderness, dangers on the sea, dangers among false brethren; I have been in labor and hardship, through many sleepless nights, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure. Apart from such external things, there is the daily pressure on me of concern for all the churches.” (2 Corinthians 11: 23- 28)
Paul is also speaking to you from a position of authority as an Apostle: “For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received…” (1 Corinthians 15:3) He knows that “…all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.” (2 Timothy 3:12) So why is it so important you be rooted and grounded in love? (vs. 17) Paul is praying FOR YOU because he knows Satan hates everything associated with Jesus Christ -- let alone those who bear his name. The Bible says in John 1:12: “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name,” (John 1:12). If you have received Christ as your personal Lord and Savior, you are a child of God. Therefore, Satan hates you and the name you bear. He will attack your every attempt to serve the Master. No holds are barred in his efforts against you – this is spiritual warfare with the highest stakes – warfare for souls and your service for the Lord. Your response to it determines your love for God and whether you set on the bench for God or become active in service for the King.
This need for you to be rooted and grounded in the love of Christ is best illustrated by Jesus in Matthew 7:24-29. Listen to his parable of the two foundations: "Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock. "And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock. "Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. "The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and it fell--and great was its fall." When Jesus had finished these words, the crowds were amazed at His teaching; for He was teaching them as one having authority, and not as their scribes.” (Matthew 7:24-29).
Do you want to be a disciple for Jesus Christ? Realize that every storm the enemy can muster will be blown your way. He will attack your love for Christ and Christ’s love for you. If you haven’t nailed down the truth of Christ’s love for you and realize it is unchanging and unceasing, you are going to fall as a disciple. You, as a servant of Christ, will be under constant attack. The enemy will speak to your mind questioning whether Christ really loves you and accepts you. He will twist circumstances and people you encounter to cause you to question and doubt Christ’s love for you. If you haven’t been rooted and grounded upon the Rock, your faith is going the waver. The enemy will have you where he wants you to be. You will be like the house Jesus describes which is build upon the sand when the storms come.