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Devotion: STRENGTH!

The last couple of days we’ve considered how God’s Grace interacts with our weakness.  Christ died for us while we were weak. God continues to empower us in our weakness.

Today we want to consider STRENGTH.  Typically we pray for strength when we are weak. But, strength for what?  If we are being honest, we probably desire “strength to endure the pain and the problems”.  Paul prayed for strength, but his angle was a little different.

READ:  Ephesians 3:14-19

First, consider what Paul prays the ultimate outcome will be.  Verse 19: that you may be?

Where does “strength” fit into this?  Paul’s prayer, in verse 18 is that you may have STRENGTH to COMPREHEND.  Comprehend what?  

Let’s break this down.  Strength to overcome problems and adversity is problem-centric.  Paul’s prayer for you is that you will have strength to look completely past the problem itself and place your full focus and attention on JESUS. That’s Christ-centric. 

The progression is:

  1. You place your full faith in Jesus. This means you trust that even though you are weak and helpless in sin, his Grace is sufficient for your salvation (Sunday’s study).   This also means that although you are weak and unable to overcome the problems and pain you experience in life, he is strong and able to accomplish great things in and through you by his Grace which continues to be fully sufficient. 
  2. Jesus, by the work of His indwelling Holy Spirit, now strengthens you (verse 16).  In this way Christ literally dwells in your heart (verse 17). 
  3. Before, you were unable to comprehend or understand in any way the lavish nature of Jesus’ love for you. You probably thought God might love you if you could find a way to be of value to Him.  Now, you have strength through the work of the Holy Spirit to fully comprehend Jesus’ love for you. You realize that His love for you was fully realized while you were in a state of weakness and despair.  This is a SPIRITUAL COMPREHENSION of God’s love that is a miracle.  In fact, Paul describes this as the ability to spiritually comprehend a love of Christ that “surpasses knowledge”. 
  4. In this heightened state of spiritual comprehension, you become “filled with all the fullness of God”.  And just in case that isn’t enough, read verse 20.  According to the same POWER that is at work within us God is able to .... ?

Application

Are you ready to give up on being miserable in weakness?  Are you ready to embrace the amazing work God want’s to do in you this morning? It’s not about who you are or what you have to offer. It’s about Jesus’ grace and the power of His Holy Spirit to fill you right now with the fullness of God.  Take time to pray and ask God for this amazing gift.


 

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