Read thru New Testament Devotional – October 1, 2017

Ephesians 3
Ephesians 3:1-6:20-The message of God given to the Gentiles Ephesians 3:1-13-Gentiles are equal members of the body of Christ

(Ryrie) "the mystery spoken of here...that Jews and Gentiles would be equal heirs in the one body of Christ (Ephesians 3:6)". Paul says that God gave him a "revelation" (:3) of the truth concerning this mystery and appointed him to be a "minister" (:7-diakonos) of it. As a result, he has suffered "tribulations" (:13) but tells them to not "lose heart" (:13) over them.

Ephesians 3:14-21-Prayer that they will be filled with the fullness of God
Paul tells the Ephesians that he prays for them (:14): 1.-that they would be given the strength of the Holy Spirit in their "inner man"...the Greek says "by power to become mighty through the Spirit of Him in the inward man" (:16), 2.- with the result that Christ will "dwell in your hearts through faith" (:17), 3.-and that they, being "rooted and grounded in love"...will be able to "comprehend" and to "know" the full extent the love of Christ "which surpasses knowledge", 4.-so that they may be "filled up to all the fulness of God". Paul prays that through the work of the Holy Spirit, the Ephesians will experience all the fulness of the love of Christ...a love which cannot be comprehended through simple human knowledge...and as a result, they will then be "filled with all the fulness of God" (:19). The word "full" means to be "abounding in, wholly occupied with, completely under the influence of, or affected by...to pervade with an influence" (The Analytical Greek Lexicon, pp. 328, 329). As the power of the Holy Spirit works in us it gives us faith to trust Christ to rule in our lives...and, since we are rooted and grounded in His love, that love will begin to grow and develop in our lives until we fully embrace it...and are completely filled by God.

Ephesians 3:20-21-Paul says that when that happens...when God's Spirit and His power inhabit our lives through love...then He is able to do "exceeding (to a higher degree, fuller measurement) abundantly (more abundantly, superabundance, over and above) beyond all that we ask or think" (:20).

Prayer: Oh, Lord...please fill me with all of the influence of Your love...help me to be wholly occupied and completely under its influence. Holy Spirit, please strengthen me with Your power in my most inner being...so that Christ can live (have a dwelling, inhabit) in my heart through faith...and as the one who lives there, be the one who rules there.

*take a moment to meditate on the love of Jesus...listen to the song, “Oh, the Deep, Deep Love of Jesus” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dPXapfFfesA)

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