Paul prayed that the Ephesian Christians would be strengthened internally. He prayed for power in their inner spirit. He asked God that Christ would so settle down in their hearts and lives that their hearts and lives would be settled down. He begged God that the young believers would put their roots downward and bear fruit upwards. He wanted the church to be grounded in love, for to be established in love is the Christian life.
This love requires renewal in the inner spirit. If the inner spirit is starved, the outer person will show it. If we ourselves are malnourished, we will be lethargic, self-absorbed, and disinterested in anyone else’s misfortunes. But as we make Christ at home in our hearts, he will constantly shed abroad his love, supplying us with the ability to love the “whole family” in heaven and on earth (Ephesians 3:15).
If only Paul hadn’t said that! If he had said that we were part of a family, or that there were a couple of family members he would like us to try to get along with . . . but he didn’t. He reminds us that we are part of the “whole family,” a family that needs loving and that is going to take a whole lot more love than just mine. It’s going to take Christ in the inner spirit—in all of us!
For Further Study: Ephesians 3:14-21
Excerpted from The One Year Devotions for Women, Copyright ©2000 by Jill Briscoe. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers. All rights reserved.
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