When my daughter was younger, she would run up to me, jump up into my arms, and wrap her arms around my neck. As she held on as tightly as she could, I would give her a big bear hug and ask her, “How much does Daddy love you?” Then I would open my arms as wide as possible, she would hang on for dear life, and I would yell, “Daddy loves you thiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiss much!” We would smile and laugh, and I would remind her, “…and that’s a lot!”
From the earliest days, I wanted to make sure that my daughter knew that her father loved her, loves her, and will always love her. As a matter of fact, my wife and I want all three of our children to know how much we love them.
In Ephesians 3:14-21, Paul prays for the church in Ephesus to be filled with spiritual power and love. He wants them to realize the power they have in Christ and to know the love that fills them completely.
When we know the power and love that God gives to us, we will be ready for whatever challenges life throws at us. We will be ready to stand strong and victorious in Christ.
- Take a moment to think about the biggest challenges you are facing right now. What are they?
Let’s dig into God’s Word.
Ephesians 3:14-21 (HCSB)
14 For this reason I kneel before the Father 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named. 16 ⌊I pray⌋ that He may grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power in the inner man through His Spirit, 17 and that the Messiah may dwell in your hearts through faith. ⌊I pray⌋ that you, being rooted and firmly established in love, 18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the length and width, height and depth ⌊of God’s love⌋, 19 and to know the Messiah’s love that surpasses knowledge, so you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
20 Now to Him who is able to do above and beyond all that we ask or think according to the power that works in us— 21 to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
GOD IS AT WORK
In these verses, we see many references to the three Persons of the Godhead, the Trinity – Father, Son and Holy Spirit. This passage weaves together the working of the Father, the Messiah (the Son), and the Spirit beautifully. (Take a moment to look at the Scriptures again.) Therefore, it is theologically correct to say that God is working in your life, that Jesus is working in your life, and the Holy Spirit is working in your life.
THAT’S A LOT OF POWER
As we pray for each other (like Paul is praying for the Ephesians in these verses), we pray for others to be strengthened with God’s power. God’s power is at work as the Holy Spirit strengthens us in our “inner man” (v 16). This internal strength is realized by faith as we continually look to God and trust in Him for our strength. And with Jesus dwelling in our hearts (v 17), we have a lot of power!
- Take a moment to think of some times in the Bible when we see Jesus displaying power.
- Name five of them.
- What do they teach you about Jesus’ power?
- With Jesus the Messiah dwelling in your heart, what kind of power is within you?
- With God’s power within you, what do these verses teach you about having faith in God to overcome obstacles, to persevere in holiness and Christlikeness, to do the things that God wants you to do?
THAT’S A LOT OF LOVE
Pray for believers to know the love that they have in Christ.
- Pray that they will be rooted and established in love (v 17)
- Pray that they may be able to comprehend the vastness of God’s love (v 18) —
- how deep is God’s love
- how high is God’s love
- how far God’s love reaches
- how wide is God’s love
- Pray that they will know the Messiah’s love (v 19) which surpasses knowledge!
- Pray that they will be crammed full of the fullness of God, in every corner of their being
When we know how much God loves us, our perspective changes on everything. We can endure hardships. We can trust Him with our future. We can follow Him wherever He leads us. We can love others like He loves us.
- Take a moment to think of times that Jesus displays His love in the gospels.
- Name at least five of them.
- What do they teach us about His love?
- How does a proper view of God’s love impact your view on your current circumstances? Anything need to change?
- Since God has put His love in our hearts, what is one way that you need to display love to others?
ABOVE AND BEYOND ALL THAT WE ASK OR THINK
What can do in and through your life? He can do so much more than you can even imagine (v 20). He does above and beyond all that you ask (and I’m sure you could ask God for a lot – I know I can). So, dream big with God. Don’t limit Him. Follow Him. Trust Him. Lean on His power, stand strong in His love.
Give Him glory (v 21) every time He displays His power and love in and through your life. He deserves it. Tell others how good He is. Tell them how powerful He is, and how loving He is.
I can hear someone asking our Savior, “Jesus, how much do you love me?” And as He stretched out His arms on the cross He cries out, “I love you thiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiss much!”
And that’s a lot.