Pastor's Desk

A Closing Prayer

This past Sunday, we concluded our series on the church - a series spanning over a year and covering the major topics related to ecclesiology. As I pondered how to close this series, I was struck by the way that Paul ended his great discourse on the church in Ephesians 3:14-21: "For this reason, I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, 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, may have strength to comprehened with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work in us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen."

I will not rehash this past Sunday's message. You can listen to it here. I simply want to ask two questions:

Is Christ at home in your heart? Paul prayed that Christ would dwell in the hearts of the Ephesian believers. "Dwell" has the idea of making oneself at home, taking up residence. It is a simple thought, really. But if your heart is filled with idols, how could Christ make himself at home? Imagine Christ trying to make himself at home in your heart, while your heart is inundated with the idols of comfort, reputation, money, sex, and control. First, we need to repent and sweep away those idols. Then, through faith, welcome Christ to rule in our hearts.

Are you satisfied with the love of Christ? The heart of Paul's prayer resides in verses 17a-19b. This section focuses on the believer's comprehension of the love of Christ. Paul prays that we might understand the immense love that Christ has for us. He knows that if we really understood this, then it would move us to love God and others in the way to which we are called. C. S. Lewis' thought drives home this point: "It would seem that our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased" (The Weight of Glory and Other Addresses).

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