Posts Tagged ‘the love of God’

Be Strengthened and Filled

June 4, 2012

Here is the sermon outline from June 3, 2012.

Ephesians 3:14-21 (NKJ)

14 For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,[a] 15 from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, 16 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, 17 that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height— 19 to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

20 Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, 21 to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

I.  That You Would Be Strengthened

We all get tired sometimes.  Life can be very demanding.  It is important to recognize that we do not have to face the trials of this world in our own strength.  We can be strengthened by the Spirit of God.  When we are worn out, or overwhelmed by life, we should remember to take extra time in the Word and in prayer, allowing God to strengthen us in our innermost being.

II.  That Christ May Dwell In Your Hearts

When I was a young adult, I wondered where the idea of “asking Jesus into your heart’ had come from in the scriptures.  I was familiar with the concept of repentance, faith, and confession, but I was uncertain of the biblical grounding for the common prayer of asking Jesus into your heart.  Ephesians 2:17 settled that issue for me.  It is a very important part of what we believe as Christians.  We are not alone, Christ is with us.

III.  That You May Know the Love of Christ

God loves us.  This basic fact can really help us in times of trouble.  If we are rooted and grounded in the love of Christ we will be able to withstand the storms of life.

As we mature in the faith we are better able to comprehend more of the love of God.  The width and length and depth and height of God’s love for us is beyond human comprehension, yet we are able to sense, and understand, more and more as we grow in Christ.

IV  The Fullness of God

Paul prays that we might be filled with the fullness of God.  Of course, we cannot possibly contain the infinite God, but we can be filled with His Spirit.  We can grow in our knowledge, understanding, and experience of God.  This is one of the ways that Christians mature.

V.  Above All That We Ask or Think

Finally, we recognize that God is able to do more than we ask or think.  God is awesome and all-powerful and we should not limit God by our own imaginations or understanding.  We can trust God to do what is best, even if we do not understand in the moment.  God is able, and His grace is sufficient for us.

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Soul Value

February 3, 2010

Last night in ethics class we discussed John Stewart Mills utilitarian approach to ethics.  His view is labeled eudaimonistic because he defines pleasure as other than simple sensory stimulation.  Human beings are capable of pleasures that are different in kind from what mere animals are capable of experiencing. 

He goes a little further in stating that among humans, there are varying degrees of capacity for appreciating the good in life.  This leaves me with the sense that he places a higher value on those people who are capable of the highest pleasure.  “Oh, I am sorry, you are not able to appreciate the opera.”  “Some people just can’t appreciate the finer things in life.”

Some people are snobs.

God does not look at people in that way.  Our value to Him is not based on our intellect, our abilities, our cash value, our looks, our contributions to society, our potential, our past, or any other thing. 

We are all loved by God.  Our value as a soul; a human being, to Him is equal in His sight.  God loves us all equally.     

I take comfort in that thought.

“Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so.”