Thursday in the Third Week of Ordinary Time

Ephesians 3:14-21

That You Might Be Filled with All the Fullness of God

This might be the most beautiful part of Paul’s letter to the Ephesians; but then again there are many beautiful parts in this letter.  You will remember from our first devotion that some have called this letter the “crown of Paulinism,” and this particular prayer of the Apostle, though short, really shows us his heart for God’s Church.

Paul bows his knees.  I won’t make much of this, only to say that posture during prayer says more than we know.  He makes this prayer to the Father, who is God and Father over all as Creator, but only over His people as Redeemer.  And for what does Paul ask?  That we may “be strengthened with power through His Spirit in [our] inner being, so that Christ may dwell in [our] hearts through faith.”  Consider that Paul is speaking to Christians, so Christ already dwells in their hearts through faith.  But Paul wants more of Christ; Paul wants more of the Spirit.  And Jesus himself said, “If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!” (Luke 11:13).  And as Christ dwells in our hearts, we are thus “rooted and grounded in love.”  There is no way to truly love without Christ in our hearts.  Sadly, there are many of us with Christ in our hearts who show little love.  How comes this?  Perhaps we should set aside our personal prayer requests and instead pray the prayers that are written in the Bible.  Perhaps then we shall receive more of His Spirit and hence experience more of the overflowing love of God in our hearts for people we don’t even know, and may even dislike.

And this love is necessary for one other thing: “to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that [we] may be filled with all the fullness of God.”  This is the best the Christian can ask for in this life—and I suppose in the next—to be filled with all the fullness of God.  Of what that consists, I cannot say.  It must have something to do with love as that is what Paul has been discussing—an all-encompassing, enveloping love where one is lost in God’s love, yet found at the same time—a love that includes others as it spills out for God’s sake.  Well, I guess I’m wandering.

The last part of the prayer is what is called a “doxology,” a word of glory to God and a “benediction,” a good word, to us.  And notice that Paul says, “To Him be glory in the Church and in Christ Jesus.”  In the Church.  Amen!

Author: The Reformed Baptist

My name is Stephen Taylor, ordained Baptist minister of eighteen years pastoral experience with a Ph.D. in Historical Theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Better than that, I am married to a godly woman, Karla, who has been very patient with me since 1989. I have two daughters, both of whom I homeschooled for extended periods of time, who became godly young women, and who ran off and married godly young men, all of which is very proper. The oldest daughter has even seen fit to bless me with a grandson and a granddaughter, and my youngest daughter with a grandson, all three of whom are bundles of exceeding joy. As you can see, I am quite blessed. This website is dedicated to helping people grow in the wisdom and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ through the gift of writing that the Lord has given to me. It is specifically about helping His people grow in godliness, the theme you see repeated above. I write devotions with this aim and hope that they might be of some help to God’s people. Full disclosure: I am of a Reformed bent, meaning that my understanding of Scripture is primarily informed by the Reformers and their successors of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. However, as a student of church history and theology, I strive to remain true to that teaching handed down once for all unto the saints through every age of the Church. I like to think of myself as a “catholic” Christian, as the Reformers thought of themselves. At any rate, feel free to read, pray, and contact me if you wish, or correct me if need be. As you can see, I tend to follow the church year. Of course, I make no special claims about these devotions. I know very well that others have written better and plumbed the depths of God’s word with greater insight. But if my musings help someone draw closer to the Lord, well then, I have my reward. Blessings to you and may the God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ speak to you that word which He knows you especially need to hear. Grace & peace, Stephen Taylor

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