When I think of all this, I fall to me knees and pray to the Father, the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth. I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God's love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God's people should, how wide, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.
Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work withing us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. Glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen, Ephesians 3:14-21NLT
You may have heard that the Bible was written to be lived, not just read. Above is Scripture worth living. I encourage you to ponder Paul's prayer for the Ephesians found in chapter 3. Paul really cared for the believers in Ephesus, and he wanted the very best for them. Since we are now disciples of Jesus, this prayer was meant for us, too.
Notice that "power" is the main thing Paul asks God for his beloved friends. A simple definition of power in science is the ability to accomplish work. Paul doesn't pray his disciples be strong, rather that their strength come through the Holy Spirit. He reminds the readers that God has unlimited, infinite resources, so is able to give us as much as we will ever need. Note he asks for "inner strength", not physical power.
We read that once we have been given inner strength through the Holy Spirit, then, progressively, Christ will make his home in our hearts. In Colossians 3:9,10 tells us that when we have Jesus, who is the "fullness of God", we are complete, lacking nothing. As we learn to trust Jesus, our "roots", those things we rely on for sustenance, will be established, rooted, in Christ's love, not in some exterior source.
Don't miss this, as I did. Something in us is searching for God, like the roots of a plant in dry soil, Our spirits recognize that only God's love has the power to sustain us, to fill us with his life and strength. So, the more we allow God to fill us with his love, the stronger we become and the more ability we have to accomplish what we are created to be and to do.
The more we experience God's love, the more we understand that the power within us can accomplish infinitely more than we ever imagined. Therefore, God does not want us to just read about his love, but to really experience the power of it. We do that by consciously coming into his presence. (Eph.3:12) Empowered by Christ's love, we can change environments, bring the lost to Christ, intercede for others, bring healing, comfort and transforming truth to the wounded, and infinitely more.
God's unlimited power is accessible to us in abundance through allowing him to root us in Jesus' love. So, let's ask the Holy Spirit to strengthen our faith, so we can be filled to overflowing with the powerful love of God. Let's ask Jesus how we wants to use us as we are empowered by him. It's time to plug into his love!
Pray with me: Father God, thank you that you gave me the way to rely on your strength to accomplish all that you created me to be and do. Plug me into Jesus' love now! I want to experience more of you and your power. Holy Spirit, teach me to pray Paul's prayer and multiply my faith, so I can remain strong and bring Jesus much glory. In Jesus' powerful name. Amen.
Dear friend, be blessed as you pray Paul's prayer in Ephesians 3 for yourself and others. Be surprised by the power available to you by faith. Be blessed as you are filled and overflow with God's love. Amen.
Above all, you must live as citizens of Heaven, conducting yourselves in a manner worthy of the Good News about Christ. Philippians 1:27a NLT
This has been a mild winter so far, but it wasn't long ago when the roads were filled with potholes and the tire businesses were booming. Just driving one's normal route could be hazardous. If the tire wasn't damaged, one needed to have the wheels realigned to restore a smooth ride. As we begin this new year I have been sensing we need to be realigned and restored, too.
Our everyday lives can have "potholes" that throw us off course and one can go for a while without even noticing the change in the ride. When was the last time you made the time to sit down with God and ask the Holy Spirit to show you where you need to be realigned? Are you living as a citizen of Heaven, a daughter of Most High God? Would someone recognize you as a follower of Jesus?
I love Ephesians 2:6, "For he (Father God) raised us from the dead along with Christ, and seated us with him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus." Have you let the truth of your position in Christ soak into your heart? Does it feel true that you are seated with Jesus in Heaven right now? It is the truth. Are you living aligned with that truth? How would your life change if you began every morning remembering you are in Heaven?
Yes, our bodies still occupy space on earth, but our real home, where we are living right now, is in Heaven with Jesus. As we begin to believe that, we should feel more peaceful. We are secure, known and loved. We are never alone. All the promises God has made to us are being released. God knows what we need. He knows the past, present and is already waiting for us in the future. Nothing surprises him, so we can trust that he is preparing us for the future. We can be confident that Jesus hears our prayers because he is looking into our eyes as we pray them.
The world can leave us bruised and battered at times. "But God.." We belong to a gracious, tender and compassionate God who desires to restore all that was lost or stolen. His restoration leaves us stronger, more beautiful than before. So why not take the time to go to him and let him restore you? You are more than worth it!
Pray with me: Father God, it sounds too good to be true that you love me so much that your Spirit transferred me out of darkness into your glorious Kingdom of light where I am now with Jesus. Thank you, Jesus, for blessing me with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because I belong to you. (Eph.1:3) I choose to be realigned with the truth of my position in you. Please, restore me, cleanse and strengthen me. I want to live a life that honors and glorifies you. In the precious name of my Lord Jesus, I pray. Amen.
Dear friend, be blessed as you learn to live as a citizen of Heaven and glorify God in all you are and do. Amen.
January 14, 2020
Therefore, since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God. 2 Corinthians 7:1 NLT
Lately I have been marveling at the masterpiece of design and makeup of our human bodies. For example, the ingenuity of getting oxygen, new life, to every cell in our physical bodies by the heart pumping oxygenated blood to them, then sending that same blood, now contaminated with carbon dioxide, around our lungs where the toxins are removed and replaced with fresh, life-giving oxygen.
In the verse above, we are asked to remember the amazing, good promises we have been given, and asked, that, if we believe them, to get rid of what may prevent them from coming into fruition. In the same way that our bodies need to be rid of toxins, and given new life, our souls and spirits need to be emptied of contaminates and given fresh spiritual and emotional life. The Holy Spirit wants to teach us how.
Little children hate to be told to brush their teeth and take a bath, but as they mature, they begin to appreciate the importance of those simple acts of cleanliness. In the same way, as we mature in our faith, we gradually come to acknowledge that God is good, and wants to give us good gifts, and, in order to receive them, we must learn to cleanse ourselves of all that contaminates us, filling us with darkness.
As you come to God asking him for the good things he has planned for 2020, have you made room for them? Could there be anything that may prevent God from releasing them to you? God has great things planned for 2020! Let’s commit, right now, to come to the Lord Jesus with clean and empty hands, so that he may fill them with all that he has purposed and promised for this new year.
Pray with me: Father God, thank you that you love me and call me your child. Send your Spirit now to show me what needs to be cleansed in me, so that I may honor and glorify you by enjoying the good gifts that you make available to me through Jesus, my Lord.
I kneel before Jesus now, and release to him, all that defiles me, body, soul and spirit. (Wait for him to show you. Then release them. Feel them leave.) Thank you, Jesus, for taking all of my sin, unforgiveness, fears, all the lies that harm me and others, and every other unclean thing. Now fill me with new life. I breathe in that new life now, in Jesus’ name. I receive all that you have promised. Thank you, Lord! In Jesus’ holy name. Amen.
Dear friend, be blessed as you learn daily to allow God to cleanse and restore you. May 2020 be filled with joy as you daily pursue more of Jesus and allow him to bring his Kingdom to earth through you. Amen.
January 3, 2020