The Apostle Paul’s prayer for the church in Ephesians 3:16-21, written while imprisoned in Rome, is one of my favorite passages in scripture. At a time when he is in desperate need of prayer, he’s praying for the church both then and now, the Body of Christ, us!
Paul challenges us to be “rooted and established in love,” not just any love, but the “love of Christ that surpasses all knowledge – that you and I may be filled with all the fullness of God.” Paul’s challenge for us to be rooted and established reminds us of Jesus’s teaching on the “vine and branches” in John 15:5, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”
What does it mean to be rooted and established? For me, it means learning, believing, and trusting in God’s love wholeheartedly, that I obey His word, teaching and leading regardless of how I feel about it. Jesus went on to say in John 15:9-10, “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love.”
What does that obedience out of love look like? For me, it means:
- Daily reading His word. 2 Timothy 2:15
- Daily dedicating time to converse, pray, praise, and purposely abide in His presence. John 15: 4
- Daily pray for others, those whom I love, and for those who don’t love or like me or what I believe. Matthew 5:43-45
- Daily share His love through my words, actions, and efforts whenever possible. James 2: 14-17
- To be part of a local church, giving my time, tithes, and gifts. Hebrews 10:24-26
- Daily make every effort to do the work that I was created to do. Ephesians 2:10
Like any garden or vineyard, being rooted and established takes daily time, effort and obedient humility that allows God to develop within us His heart, His mind, and His Spirit, enabling us to live and love like Christ.
I’m praying Paul’s prayer with and for you.
16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. Ephesians 3:16-21 NIV
“The Lord bless you
and keep you;
the Lord make his face shine on you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn his face toward you
and give you peace.”’
Have a Beautifully Blessed New Year!