Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Ephesians 3:16-17

that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love,

The troubles of this world can destroy our inner being, steal our joy, and disable us for the Lord’s service. But the riches of the Lord are immeasurable. If He gives to us out of His riches we can trust that all we need will be supplied. We will be strengthened beyond human comprehension - able to withstand any trial. “We are the possessors, says Paul, of the unsearchable riches of Jesus Christ. The great and almighty God of the universe has set His affection upon us and then given us His redeeming love in Christ, drawn us into His own family and poured out all the full riches of the inheritance of His mercy on us. We are rich beyond imagination. Our resources are limitless. We are more than conquerors. Life in time and life in eternity will bring before us thrilling fantastic fulfilling and utterly comprehensive riches from the goodness of God” (MacArthur).

At the moment of salvation Christ enters your heart, so you may wonder why Paul would pray that Christ would dwell in the Ephesians’ hearts. The Greek for dwell here is atoike, which means to settle or inhabit. It is not a matter of salvation but a matter of whether or not He can actually be at home there. Can he rest in your life or does he have things to fix? There’s a big difference between being in a house and being at home. John MacArthur posed the question to his congregants, “Is Jesus comfortable in your heart? Is He at home there? Or is He always up fussing with something?" It’s like your parents coming to visit. If things aren’t exactly the way they should be your mom might spend the trip cleaning your kitchen while your dad makes needed home repairs. But if things are together you can all have a nice visit in the living room. Jesus isn't satisfied if you have even one small closet in your heart that needs to be cleaned out.

If we are rooted and grounded in love then what will grow from our hearts will be have its roots in love. Our natural inclination will be to speak words that build up, not tear down. We will long to see others come to know Christ more deeply in their lives. We will begin to see the world around us through the eyes of God. Out of the overflow our our hearts, our mouths speak.

The Christian world of today... is woefully and abysmally ignorant about the resources that are available in Christ. Christians... chase around in every direction madly trying to find the solution to life's problems when they have them resident if they're genuinely Christians in the indwelling Christ. We need to understand that. And we need to apply it.
- John MacArthur

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