Death and life respond differently to trials. A spring walk at the marshes revealed some natural occurrences. Trees, mighty and tall, fall. Perhaps they have been lifeless for years. Insufficient roots on a living tree cannot support it during the wind.
Let’s keep walking through Ephesians. We’ve passed a gospel-filled greeting, received the shade of spiritual blessings, given thanks to God for the living Christ, and anticipated the immeasurable riches of His grace. This path has shown us again and again that we are one in Christ. The grace of God is for Paul who wrote this book, for the church who received this letter at Ephesus, and for us.
“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.” Ephesians 3:14-19 ESV
Paul, Apostle and prisoner, kneels before God the Father on behalf of the church. He longs for the believers to be strengthened. Why? That Christ may dwell in our hearts through faith. This is the Spirit’s work within the believer.
When we are rooted and established in love we have strength to comprehend the breadth and length and height and depth of the love of Christ.
“His presence means not only strength, but wisdom, inspiration, and above all love; and it is to love that the prayer now turns, and love continues as its theme to the end” commentator Foulkes shares.
Paul uses more than one metaphor to present the need of love. Foulkes writes “The roots of Christian character are to go down deeply and its foundation is to be firmly laid, and love is to be the means of both.”
A few years ago I was blessed to begin each school day with song in morning assembly. Together our school recited Psalm 1. This psalm points out the difference between those who sit in the seat of scoffers and those who delight in the law of the Lord.
Psalm 1:3-4 (ESV)
“He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers. 4 The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away.”
If we want to live and thrive we must be rooted and established in the right place.
Richards explains, “In Christ life is the only issue. Have we been made alive in Christ? Then we are one body, one family, one temple being constructed by the Lord.” (p.922)
How will we deal with the winds when they come? Christ will do this for us. We are rooted and established in Him.
Thank You for Your mighty work. Cause us to be rooted and grounded in love. We need your strength to comprehend the breadth, length, height and depth and to know the love of Christ. Please cause us to be filled with all the fullness of You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Questions to Ponder
When have you seen the love of God most deeply?
How can you share His love with others right now?
God of Creation (by Mary Rice Hopkins) is a joyful piece reminding us that God is surrounding us. When I think of the passage we looked at today, I think of this song.
Richards, L.O. (2004). Bible teacher’s commentary. Colorado Springs: David C. Cook.
More Ephesians Devotionals
You can find more devotionals on this book and other topics in the Life: Devotionals section of this site.
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