Healing the Heart through the Power of Love
Last updated 11/22/2021 at 2:52pm
Many times, when the world, non-believers in Jesus, talk about the issue of power, they refer to using your inner power to obtain success. The world says you just need to focus on the positive and tap into your inner child and focus on yourself. They say spoil yourself, look after yourself, and treat yourself. These are common catch phrases associated with personal accomplishment and reaching your dreams. In North America we saw the abuse of power with the way some early settlers treated us as Indigenous People with the power of government, church and law.
When we look at Ephesians, we see Paul writing to the early church community. In this letter, he spent the first three chapters talking about the truths that God wanted the people to know about. He wanted the Jewish people and all the non-Jewish people to know that when Jesus walked among them and lived for 33 years on earth, His death and resurrection had the purpose of not only forgiving people for their sins, but was also for the purpose of uniting all people into the family of God. All the tribes and nations across the world can now approach God through Jesus Christ with confidence.
In chapter three, Paul talked about his sufferings and said that these sufferings were for the glory of the Gentiles-all those who weren't Jewish. All non-Jewish people weren't used to being placed on the same religious and spiritual level as the Jewish people. They were now all part of the same family of God, and they could all pray to God and call him Father. All believers now had this same access, and they all had the same access to the glorious riches of Jesus Christ. Jesus was directly connected with God as his Father, and now all believers in Jesus are connected with God as Father.
The first three chapters of Ephesians consist of Paul giving three chapters of theological instruction about our relationshisp with each other and with God through Jesus and the Holy Spirit. In the last three chapters, the application comes into play.
When we read verses 14–21, we see Paul saying that we need to learn to grasp how magnificent the love of Jesus Christ is. This love is so magnificent that it can't be measured. When we start to realize how great this love is, then we'll start to experience the fullness of God. All this love and fullness points to the fact that whatever dreams we may have of what we'd like to see God do in our lives and in the local church, our dreams can never compare to what God through Jesus Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit wants to really do.
Paul led up to the fact that God does His greatest work in and through the local church. It's all about God and what He wants to do in His ways. In chapters four to six Paul gave practical instructions of the relationship between children and parents, between husband and wife, between workers and bosses. Then in chapter six he talked about the armor of God and how vital it is to prepare for spiritual battle when living your life as a believer in Jesus.
Ephesians 3: 19-20 in the First Nations Version of the New Testament says, "I pray that you would feel how deep the Chosen One's great love is. It is a love that goes beyond our small and weak ways of thinking. This love fills us with the Great Spirit, the one who fills all things. I am praying to the Maker of Life, who, by his great power working in us, can do far more than what we ask for, more than our small minds can imagine."
This seems like a hard way of describing how we think, but this is what we see when we compare the way we think and the way God thinks.
God wants to us to accomplish things beyond our imaginations, but these great things can't happen until we completely understand how immeasurable the love of Jesus is. Paul constantly talked about the love of Jesus in his writings. He knew what it was like to live in rebellion towards God. He knew what it was like to kill Christians and watch them be killed. Then his experience on the road to Damascus transformed his life.
He knew what it was like to experience this love firsthand. He wanted the same for others through the ages, and for this love, working through his power, to take place specifically within the church among believers. He wanted this power to transcend any great plans we may have or even think about having. History has abused power and still does, but Jesus' power is the greatest kind, because it heals, restores, and dwells in our hearts. Allow that to sink in and then see what God does.
Parry Stelter is a doctoral candidate with Providence University and Seminary and is an active member of his church in Stony Plan, AB, Canada. He also offers workshops on dealing with grief, loss and intergenerational trauma. Visit his website at wordofhopeministries.ca.