Summary: Love must be supernatural. In other words, it must be demonstrated in the worse possible moments to the most unworthy subjects, when we feel the worse. Or it is not of God.
The Power of Love
Corrie Ten Boom in the book, Reflections of god’s Glory (page 69), wrote, “In Africa a man came to a meeting with bandaged hands. I asked him how he had been injured. He said, “My neighbor’s straw roof was on fire; I helped him to put it out and that’s how my hands were burned.
“Later I heard the whole story. The neighbor hated him and had set his roof on fire while his wife and children were asleep in the hut. They were in great danger. Fortunately, he was able to put out the fire in his house on time. But sparks flew over to the roof of the man who had set the house on fire and his house started to burn.
“There was no hate in the heart of this Christian; there was love for his enemy and he did everything he could to put out the fire in his neighbor’s house. That is how his own hands were burned.”
Last Sunday, I said that Paul started to say something and got off on to something else. Eph 3:1 “For this reason I, Paul, a prisoner for Christ Jesus on behalf of you Gentiles—“
He then began to talk about the messenger and the mystery, not the action that he was going to state “for this reason”. He picks it up again in verse 14, beginning again.
Eph 3:14 For this reason I bow my knees before the Father,
For what reason does he bow his knees before the Father? Simply, God sent His Son to unite people of every nation under one Church. He removed the wall of separation between mankind and God, drawing us near to Him. He removed the walls of separation between all people, nations, culture, language and heritage, thus allowing unity. He revealed to us the mystery of the Church, people from every background worshipping together in unity that is not humanly possible, a supernatural unity.
Just to be sure we get that, he emphasizes it in verse 15. Eph 3:15 “…from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named…”
Remember, he had made us who were not family to be family, both those who were far off and those who were near. Remember, he was specifically called as an apostle to deliver this message across cultural lines.
With those foundation truths established earlier in Ephesians, now let’s get into what Paul was praying for this Church of people who were just like us in the most important way.
Just before we do, I want us to keep a few thoughts in mind that may address a simple question you might be asking.
First, When Paul prayed this prayer he is discussing, he is talking to the most important person in the universe. As a matter of fact, when he prays to God, he is talking to the one who he needs to be talking to.
Then why is it important for Paul to tell the Ephesians, and subsequently us, what was in his private prayer to God? Why do we need to know?
There are two possible answers, and they both may be right.
1. The first thing that comes to mind is that this would be a good way for Paul to teach us how we should pray for each other.
If the Ephesians needed this prayer to go from Paul’s lips to God’s ear, you need your pastor to be praying the same thing for you. If this prayer was so important that God included it in the Eternal Word of God, maybe it is something you need to be praying for in the life of your deacons, Sunday school teachers and pastor.
So let’s view this as something we need to pray for each other today.
But I think there may be another important reason for us to know this prayer for us.
2. What if everything in this prayer is already available to us through Jesus Christ and we just haven’t realized it?
What if this is already given as a promise from God? What if the purpose for this quoted prayer is for us to realize the importance for us to realize what Christ has already done for us?
I quote to you often 2 Peter 1:3, that God has already given us everything we need for life and godliness, or Christian life success…. In Christ Jesus. Maybe Paul is praying that these people will realize what they have in Christ and actualize it in their lives.
So let’s keep these two things in our minds, and any others that the Holy Spirit may impress upon us and see what are the actual nuts and bolts of this prayer.
Eph 3:16 that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being,