Summary: You must first fully know the love of God before you can show it to others.
Ephesians 3: 14 – 21 / To Know
Intro: A chicken crossed the road and saw a KFC. He turned to his friend and said, “I know why we are here and it’s not good!” / At one time or another, everyone reflects on their life and wonders why they are where they are and how things might have been different, IF! What if I had married someone else? What if I had taken another job? What if? The problems with the What if’s is that it is too late to do anything about them. What if’s applied to the past change nothing. But when applied to the present and the future, they can change everything!
I. What if . . . we became a praying church? --- But, you say, “Pastor, we do pray!” / I ask, “What do you pray for?”
A. We pray for the physical needs of others. We pray for their health, their safety, their guidance, their mental health, their financial well-being.
B. How often do we pray for the spiritual needs of others? How often do we pray that a person’s spirit may be changed and that they may find Christ Jesus or live more in tune with God?
C. V. 16 “I pray that according to the riches of his glory, he may grant that you may be strengthened in your inner being with power through his Spirit,” --- Paul prayed that the inner being, the spirit would be strengthened because it is the only way we will every truly be all that God wants us to be.
II. V. 17 “And that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith, as you are being rooted and grounded in love.”
A. Paul’s prayer is for the Ephesians to have a deeper experience of Christ Jesus. He wants the people to have an intimate relationship with Christ, not just a superficial, nodding acquaintance.
B. Barbara and I were privileged to have lunch with one of the members of this church this week. As we were preparing to sit down at the table to eat, the hostess began to ask us to take carry things to the table and assist in the serving of the meal. She explained to us that after 5 minutes in her home you were no longer company. After 5 minutes, you became family.
C. Paul is praying that Christ will make Christ a part of their family. How many of us would truly be comfortable entertaining Christ in our homes? Yet, that is exactly what Christ Jesus wants. He doesn’t want to be a guest in your home or your heart; he wants to be a part of the family.
III. The final petition of Paul’s prayer is recorded in VSS. 18 – 19 “I pray that you may have the power to comprehend, with all the saints, what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.”
A. Paul prayed for the church to be able to grasp the extent of God’s love for them.
B. There is a story of a preacher who sat on the local bus every day condemning the sinners of his city. One day a drunk got on the buss and the preacher went to work. He concluded his remarks with, “You lousy drunk! Do you not know that you are going straight to hell?” The drunk looked down at his ticket and replied, “Did I get on the wrong bus again?”
C. Loving should be the one thing the church does best and yet, sometimes it can be the most hateful place on earth. --- We need to be rooted in the love of God, sharing that love, especially with those we deem “unlovable.”
Conclu: No person can teach another what they do not know, or give to another that which they do not possess. Before we can bring the love of Christ Jesus to others, we must find Christ’s love within Christ’s church. --- In order to show, you have to know! --- To show the love of Christ, you must know the love of Christ! Let us join with Paul in praying that each of us may come to know the fullness of the love of God in our lives, in our homes, in this place and in oour community and IN KNOWING, WE MAY SHOW!