We have entitled this series First love and the rebuke of the church in Ephesus of losing their first love for Jesus. Paul is going to sum up what was lost at the end of chapter 3
When we consider all God has done for us, Paul is encouraging the church of Ephesus not to lose courage even when we are going through struggles.
The more we understand the less we are able to give way to any kind of discouragement or weakness in the midst of trials
What are we called to understand?
- Holy and blameless
- Everything we need to live a life of holiness
- We are adopted into the family of God.
- We have a destiny to live with God forever
- We have unlimited power at work for us
- Even in our rebellion we have been extended grace so we can be knit together with Christ
- We are the temple of God
- Walls between us and God and others have been destroyed.
Vs 14 When I think of all this I fall to my knees and pray to the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth.
Who Do I pray to?
Glorious Father = we are God’s offspring
What do I pray?
Vs 16 glorious unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit.
Result of prayer?
Vs 17 roots go down deep.
Last week whole root system of those things that destroy us and stop us from bearing fruit was destroyed.
To replace it, we now have roots that grow down into God’s love. Psalm 1 be like a tree planted by the river bearing fruit.
2. Corporate Pursuit of Love
Vs 18 Pursuing the Love God is demanding cannot be done individually. It has to be a corporate pursuit.
- Length = The eternity of the Love of God Jeremiah 31: 3
- Depth = reach us no matter how deep I may fall
- Height = present privilege and future happiness
So many that don’t understand the love of God. Maybe never experienced it through parents and have lived a lifetime of fear, confusion and rejection.
Jude 21 Keep yourselves safe in God’s love.
We know the Bible says God so loved the world, but do we know what it means to be kept in the love of God.
3. Being Kept in God’s Love
God loves us like he loves Jesus
John 17: 24 Father you loved me before the creation of the world.
Vs 26 Love you have for me be in them.
- Ephesians 1: 22, 23 God put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church which is his body, the fullness of him that fills all in all.
- Ephesians 5: 30 For we are members of his body, of his flesh and of his bones.
When did this love start?
God didn’t love you when you accepted him, he loved you before creation.
He will stop loving you when he stops loving his son.
Keep yourselves in the love of God means know you are loved
- incredible heights
2. Trusting his love in the midst of struggles.
1 John 4: 16 God is love and all who live in love live in God and God lives in them.
Live = stay in a state of expectancy God wants us to expect the love of God to renew us everyday.
God overlooking sin? Of course not, those he loves, he disciplines Hebrews 12: 6
Hosea prostitute go back and marry her again.
Prodigal Son returning to God.
Israel in Wilderness
- 20 years into exile and 20 years to go. People dieing everyday
- Miriam the prophetess dies and is no longer with us.
- No water for the people to drink.
How much worse can it get?
people complaining and wanting to go back to Egypt. UNDER A SENTENCE OF DEATH ANYWAY BECAUSE OF THEIR ACTIONS.
KEY HERE IS GOD’S RESPONSE IN THE MIDST OF THIS.
Vs6 speak to the rock and it will pour out water to the community.
New Testament states that that rock was a type of Jesus and represented how Jesus wanted to satisfy us in the midst of trouble.
Moses did not speak to the rock. He used the opportunity to yell at the people. Then he struck the rock twice until water came out
The people got water, but do you think there was much joy there?
Moses and Aaron gave a wrong picture of God and because of it they were not allowed to enter the promised land.
Moses should have known the love of God and been able to share it with the people because 20 years ago, he cried out from a rock to have an understanding of the love of God.
Exodus 34: 6, 7God is merciful and gracious, long suffering and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin…
2 Corinthians 5: 19 For God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself no longer counting people’s sins against them and he gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation.
Keep yourselves in love of God through experiencing Jesus.
Love does not give us a license to sin and live the way I want. It gives me a ministry of reconciliation.
1 John 3: 16 We know God’s love because he laid his life down for others. So we OUGHT to give up our lives for others.
Proof of Christianity in New Testament was love of Christians for each other.
A anonymous letter written in 120 – 140 A.D. about what Christians are like.