Devotions on Spiritual Strength
By Jill Briscoe
That Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love. ~ Ephesians 3:17
Paul prayed that the Ephesian Christians would be strengthened internally. He prayed for might in their spirit. He asked God that Christ would so settle down in their hearts and lives that their hearts and lives would be settled down. He begged God that the young believers would put their roots downward and bear fruit upwards. He wanted the church to be grounded in love, for to be established in love is the Christian life.
Jesus said that there is not much merit in merely loving those who love you - even sinners do that (see Lukas 6:32)! But when you begin to love people who don’t love you and even get around to loving your enemies, then you are becoming established in love.
This love requires renewal in the inner man. If the inner man is starved, the outer man will show it. If we ourselves are malnourished, we will be lethargic, self absorbed, and disinterested in anyone else’s misfortunes. But as we make Christ at home in our hearts, He will constantly shed abroad His love, supplying us with the ability to love the “whole family” (Eph.3:15).
If only Paul hadn’t said that! If he had said that we were part of a family or that there were a couple of family members he would like us to try to get along with...but he didn’t. He reminds us that we are part of the “whole family,” a family that needs loving and that is going to take a whole lot more love than just mine. It’s going to take Christ in the inner man – in all of us!