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RESIDENCE . . .

RESIDENCE . . .
      . . . Ephesians 3:14-21
 
". . . that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith.  I pray that you, being rooted and firmly established in love may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the length and width, height and depth of God's love." Ephesians 3:17-18 (NKJV)
 
Our lesson today focuses on a remarkable prayer Paul placed in the middle of Ephesians to effectively conclude his doctrinal section (See Ephesians 1-2).  This powerful lesson lets us kneel before the Father in worship, strengthened through His Spirit, and discern "Christ's love that surpasses knowledge" (See Ephesians 3:19).
 
PETITIONED (Ephesians 3:14-15)
Since Jesus had created a new multi-cultural church consisting of Jews and Gentiles, Paul prayed for God to strengthen the new life of believers who were "in Christ."  This prayer builds a bridge between Paul's earlier doctrinal teaching and the practical right living applications.  God granted Paul the right to participate in this grand "mystery" of sharing the gospel to both Jews and Gentiles.
 
Kneeling before the Father, Paul addressed the Creator "from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named" (Ephesians 3:14-15).  Does God's Spirit reside in you and in me?
 
INDWELLED (Ephesians 3:16-19)
Paul beseeched the Father to strengthen believers with power through His Spirit.  It was important for Christ to dwell in each heart through faith.  Paul's compassionate heart asked God to root and firmly establish each believer in love.  By so doing, spiritual eyes will be opened so all may comprehend the length, width, height, and depth of God's wonderful love.  Just sing along with me . . . "The love of God, how rich and pure, how measureless and strong!"
 
Paul's doxology concludes with . . . "He is able to do above and beyond what we ask.  Glory to God in the church and in Jesus Christ . . . forever and ever.  Amen!"  Live and work in me . . . O, Lord!
 
HONORED (Ephesians 3:20-21)
You can almost see Paul lifting his holy hands in praise declaring that God is able to do above and beyond all that we ask or think.  He is that powerful!  He is also ready to answer our prayers with power!  When we yield to the Spirit, God can do a work in us that is greater than anyone can imagine.  How does the church bring glory to God?  . . . Magnify the grace of God found in the cross?   And . . . Preach the good news that Jesus saves?  As people look at the church, may they see God's wonderful handiwork of Jews and Gentiles, wonderfully saved, forgiven, and transformed!  And if the devil ever reminds you of your past, remind him of his future!
 
Live in me . . . O, Lord!
 
Charles Foxworth
 
Professor and Director of Graduate Studies in Education (Ret.)--Louisiana Tech University -- Ruston, Louisiana
Supply Minister for Concord/Union Baptist Association -- Ruston, Louisiana 
  
eThoughts Team -- Extended Week-day Free Devotionals -- Vol. XIII, No. 10-81G -- Archived 
Dr. Nelda Hughes Spinks, Professor Emerita -- Editor and Publisher
Scripture is taken from THE NEW KING JAMES VERSION, 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission.  All Rights Reserved. 
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