Changed From The Inside Out

Ephesians 3:14-21 This is why I kneel before the Father. Every ethnic group in heaven or on earth is recognized by him. I ask that he will strengthen you in your inner selves from the riches of his glory through the Spirit. I ask that Christ will live in your hearts through faith. As a result of having strong roots in love, I ask that you’ll have the power to grasp love’s width and length, height and depth, together with all believers. I ask that you’ll know the love of Christ that is beyond knowledge so that you will be filled entirely with the fullness of God. Glory to God, who is able to do far beyond all that we could ask or imagine by his power at work within us; glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus for all generations, forever and always. Amen. 

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Paul is saying something really interesting in this passage. He is asking God to strengthen the people in their spirits from the riches of his glory. Why would Paul be asking this? I believe this has something to teach us today. We often look to the physical appearance of people and do not pay as much attention to the person on the inside; but God is more concerned with the heart. So, if we were strengthened from the inside out, we would be able to handle life on the outside.

So what is something we should be strengthened with on the inside? Love. When we are strengthened with love, we know Christ in our hearts, and we can begin to see just how big love is. We want to downplay love as a simple emotion; but love is so much more than that. Love has to do with actions, attitudes, thoughts. It is something that changes us from the inside out. This is what should ground us in our life.

God is love. When we know God, we can know love. As we allow Christ to live in our hearts, we will know how to see people with soft hearts and show them the love and grace of God through Jesus Christ. Paul is asking his people that they know the love of Jesus Christ; but he says that Christ’s love is too far beyond knowledge. This is something for us to think about today also. We should not want to make love as something easy to explain. Not should we make love as a check-list to fill out. The fullness of Christ lives in us, who know him, and this is what connects us together.

Every person and ethnic group is recognized by God. When we have love governing us, God gets the glory. Because the glory of God is so incredible, we cannot even fathom the incredible power he has. This is the same power that lives inside us when we accept love. The gospel of Jesus Christ is so powerful and life changing that we are changed from the inside out. Our challenge is to allow this love of God to change us.

Tomorrow we begin Ephesians 4.

#TheGospelChangesUs

Published by

Ryan Stratton

Ryan Stratton is a pastor in the Texas Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church. He serves with his wife, Amanda, along with their children. He writes about life, faith, and leadership through his blog.

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