This study of Ephesians was originally developed for my church, The Father’s House, as a compliment to the Hope is Here message series this August. Check out http://www.tfhny.org for message videos and more information.
Day 7 – Cultivating Spiritual Strength
We all know that person! The one who used to be out of shape without a shred of muscle, and then all of a sudden they begin to work out, eat healthy, and begin to bulk up and get super strong? Or that person who never used to run, but then you hear they ran a marathon, and you scratch your head because you know that 26.3 miles is a crazy long distance! These people don’t change over night. Changes like this take time, determination, and dedication.
Today, we continue to explore how we can become great neighbors as we prepare for the next few weeks teaching in the “Hope is Here” series at church. The passage we are reading today is one of my absolute favorite set of verses in all of Scripture. We get a glimpse into a spiritual strengthening that Paul is desiring for his friends in the city of Ephesus. Just as fitness addicts have a physical workout plan for strengthening their physical bodies, you and I can develop a spiritual workout plan to help us become stronger spiritually. As you read, look for words like “strengthened”, “rooted”, “grounded,” and “filled.” Consider the ways Paul uses these words to help us identify habits that lead to spiritual strength.
READ – Ephesians 3:14-21 (ESV)
14 For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, 16 that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
20 Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
REFLECT – Take a moment to answer the following questions in a journal or the notes app on your phone:
- Question 1: What ideas or actions can you identify in today’s reading that will help you develop your spiritual strength?
- Question 2: What did you learn about Jesus in today’s reading that can help you be a better neighbor?
RESPOND – Spend some time developing a plan for how you can grow spiritually this week. Remember, while we benefit from spiritual growth ourselves, God is looks to benefit others from the work He does in our lives. What specific steps can you take this week to grow in a way that will help others?
- Sign up to serve our neighbors around the city on the Day of Hope
- Bring a friend to church this coming Sunday
- Share what you learned from today’s study with a friend
Leave a comment in the space below and share what you have discovered as you read this passage today.