Thursday 9 January, 2014

Ephesians 3:14-21

14 For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. 20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

What was Paul thinking about? Why was he falling to his knees in prayer and what did he pray for specifically? The verses preceding this passage talk about having faith in Jesus and this enabling believers to be confident and bold when coming before God in prayer.  Knowing this, Paul prays that the believers:

* will be empowered and strengthened through God’s spirit;

* understand and experience God’s love

This passage finishes off by stating that all glory belongs to God. Paul also reveals that because of God’s power in us, He is able to do more than we can dare to ask or even think.  How encouraging is this!  So keep thinking, imagining and ask away.

The New Living Translation talks about Jesus making his home in our hearts as we trust in him.  The more we trust Jesus day to day the more at home he will be in our hearts and therefore lives. I love this phrase, “home in our hearts”.  It speaks of a place of comfort, ease, safety, family, where you can be yourself.  A place where the guards come down.  Jesus loves the real you and as we allow Jesus into this space our roots will grow deep into the soil of God’s love.  This will keep you strong in the Christian faith.

The apostle Paul also distinguishes between understanding God’s love and actually experiencing God’s love. God’s love is far more than an intellectual understanding.  Paul encourages believers to seek both and assures us that we won’t fully understand God’s great love for us and that is OK.

Dear God, please come into my heart afresh and make yourself at home. Thank you that you can do so much more than we can think or imagine.  Amen

Written by Ainslie Woods

3 replies
  1. David Newton says:

    For me personally, I do not find the term “home in our hearts” as beneficial as you Ainslie. Granted I can be clinical but the phrase is not helpful when sharing the gospel in a modern relevant way.
    This is not trans-literal but a much more contemporary way of saying this phrases would be –
    “Because of what we believe we have permanently accepted Christ’s values and behaviors as our own”.

    I know this does not convey a deeper sense of a mystical connection but it is much more compatible with modern thinking.
    What do other people think?

  2. richard botta says:

    I like both thoughts – the relational ‘at home in our hearts’ and the sense of permanence and acceptance of Christ and all He is and stood for.

    David perhaps your thoughts are more compatible with a modern ‘corporate’ thinking – values, beliefs, behaviours have currency in corporations most people do not have these ‘labels’ as foremost in their minds, although they are thinking this way!

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