I pray that . . . he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. Ephesians 3:16–17
Sometimes the words of children can jolt us into a deeper understanding of God’s truth. One evening when my daughter was young, I told her about one of the great mysteries of the Christian faith—that God through His Son and Spirit dwells in His children. As I tucked her into bed, I said that Jesus was with her and in her. “He’s in my tummy?” she asked. “Well, you haven’t swallowed Him,” I replied. “But He’s right there with you.”
My daughter’s literal translation of Jesus being “in her tummy” made me stop and consider how when I asked Jesus to be my Savior, He came and took residence within me.
The apostle Paul referred to this mystery when he prayed that the Holy Spirit would strengthen the believers in Ephesus so that Christ would “dwell in [their] hearts through faith” (Ephesians 3:17). With Jesus living within, they could grasp how deeply He loved them. Fueled by this love, they would mature in their faith and love others with humility and gentleness while speaking the truth in love (4:2, 25).
Jesus dwelling inside His followers means that His love never leaves those who’ve welcomed Him into their lives. His love that surpasses knowledge (3:19) roots us to Him, helping us to understand how deeply He loves us.
Words written for children can say it best: “Yes, Jesus loves me!”
How does Jesus dwelling inside you give you great comfort? How can you grow closer to God knowing that His power gives you strength?
God, You’re not far off, but are close to me. May I delight in Your love and share it with others.
Paul’s typical pattern in his church letters was to include a section of teaching (doctrine) followed by a section of practice (application). In his Ephesian letter, chapters 1–3 form the doctrinal instruction, and chapters 4–6 apply that teaching to everyday living. Today’s reading (Ephesians 3:14–21) bridges those two sections and is one of the magnificent benediction/doxology portions of Scripture. In the benediction (a statement of blessing; vv. 14–19), the apostle prays that the Ephesian believers might comprehend the immeasurable love, greatness, faithfulness, and power of the living God. This benediction then becomes a doxology (a statement of praise; vv. 20–21) that finishes with “to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” What an appropriate way for Paul to conclude the doctrinal section of Ephesians by reminding us how blessed we are and how great God is!