Monday, March 5, 2012

Rooted and Established in Love...Ephesians

This is two weeks in one post.  Sorry, I know its alot of words at once.
The verses were Ephesians 3:14-21 and 4:1-16 

The main things I noticed in these verses:

1) vs. 3:14-15:  Paul is "kneeling before the Father".  I so often, ok pretty much every day, forget to "kneel" before the Father.  When talking this over with a friend, she said that kneeling is a sign of honor, submission and reverence.  This is the fear of God that I am suppose to have.  But I get so busy talking to God about my wants and needs and the needs of others that I don't praise and honor Him nearly as much as I should.  I pray, but how much of that prayer is praise and worship to God for his love and his creation?

2) vs. 16-17:  Christ strengthens us with power in our "inner being" through the Holy Spirit.  Paul is praying for inner strength for them as they put their faith in God.  "Rooted and established in love..." -- everything we do should eminate love.  Love should be the basis.  The message says "with both feet planted firmly on love.." BOTH feet.  Where your feet go the rest of your body follows...clever huh?

3) vs. 18-19: My commentary says, "God's love is total, says Paul.  It reaches every corner of our experience.  God's love is WIDE - it covers the breadth of our experience and reaches out to the whole world.  It is LONG -  it continues the length of our lives.  It is HIGH - it rises to the heights of our celebration and elation.  His love is DEEP - it reaches to the depths of discouragement, despair and even death.  When you feel shut out or isolated, remember you can never be lost to God's love." 
Can we really "grasp" the love that God has for us?  Nope, it "surpasses all knowledge".  That's one of those mystery's of God I love. :)  And should cause me to praise God for all he has done.  Makes me think of:
Psalm 139:6  Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, to great for me to know.
4) vs. 20-21:" Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine according to his power that is at work within us."  -- God can do ANYTHING, even the things that seem impossible to us.  He can do anything through us by the Holy Spirit living in us.  Yep, God can do the impossible. Woohoo!  Do I truly believe that God can do absolutely anything? Anything through me? And that he can use me to bring him glory?  I pray that when I face a situation that seems impossible I will hold on to the faith that he can do the impossible.  And He not only does the impossible, but He does it even more or better than I could imagine. 

5) vs. 4:1-3: Paul is telling them to live a life focused on God.  Being humble, gentle, and patient with each other.  Working through differences to keep the unity in Christ.  Paul is saying "You have been given this awesome gift and opportunity, now go live your life in a way that it will be seen and bring glory to God.  Don't let what you don't have or envy of others keep you from doing this.  You fool, can't you see that differences are a good thing, not a bad thing?  The difference are what makes this work!  And don't forget that you are united to everyone in the body in Christ.  We are all given different gifts, strengths, roles. 
Differences are strengths not weaknesses. 

6) vs. 4-6: There are alot of "one's" in these verses.  One body, one Spirit, one hope, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God.  Paul is continuing to remind them that they are one body united by their faith in Christ.  There is only one way to salvation, not many -- just one, God.  God is over all, working through everything, and present in everything that happens.  
"Everything you are, think and do is permeated with oneness." -- The Message  

7) vs. 7-13: To be honest, verses 7-10 confuse me.  I guess I interpret that as Paul saying that God is all over the place, he fills the whole universe with his presence.  Verses 11-13: The spiritual gift that God GAVE us is all his doing.  It's not something we create ourselves.  And the point of these gifts is to prepare God's people for works of service, to glorify God, to be able to share the gospel with everyone in different ways.  All of these gifts work together and we can accomplish more working together in unity than we can individually, because where one person maybe weak, another person can be strong -- we build each other up.  We should work together to mature in Christ, to reach unity in the faith, to attain the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.  What is/are your spiritual gift(s)? Are you using them? Are you working with the body of Christ to use your gift?  Are you respecting the gifts of others?

8) vs. 14-16:  Paul is saying if we work together in unity, using the gifts God has given us and building each other up in our faith, we will stand firm in our faith.  We won't be "blown here and there by every wind of teaching".  And we won't be deceived by the schemes of men.  Instead we will ignore their schemes, knowing that they are all lies.  We will "speak the truth in love".  We should always speak the truth to each other but....only in love.  This isn't an excuse to go ranting and raving at someone because they have made you angry or hurt you and they deserve to know what they are doing to you.  Wait until you calm down, then if it is something that could really benefit them in their walk with God, go to them "in love" and tell them about it - it has to be for their benefit, not yours.  I guarantee they will be more willing to accept what you say if you come at them in love rather than in anger or selfishness.  (got off on another branch on that one, sorry)
We need to rely on each other to grow up in Christ. 
As iron sharpens iron....right? :)

Note: I need to add here that I am by no means "preaching" at you.  I am preaching at myself in the things that I say.  So please don't feel like I am telling you what to do or well....that I am preaching at you.  I AM NOT!!!  Trust me, I am the last person who needs to be preaching to people. I definitely don't have this all figured out, but am just trying to learn and grow and it helps me to type out my thoughts as I go.  The above is merely my thoughts on the scriptures and you get to read them.

Lucky you...ha! :)

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