Chapter 3:14-21 (ESV) - 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 comprehend 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 all 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 within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
Question to consider: What does God do for us more abundantly than all that we ask or think?
Paul ends the theological portion of his letter with a prayer for the Ephesians to develop a deep faith and personal understanding of this unity we have in Christ and be encouraged by Paul’s sufferings for them rather than disheartened. In our own churches whether local or denominational, the source of our love for one another is going to be found by uniting around what Christ has done for us. The description of the breadth and length and height and depth of Christ’s love for us is a word picture of the cross. Even the heavenly angels long to hear about the grace of God through Christ in our churches.
Our level of understanding of what Christ has done for us is rooted in the recognition of our sin, not as a perpetual state of guilt but of gratitude for being forgiven. If we measure our faith by our works according to the Law, we tend to boast in our strengths and downplay our weaknesses. We elevate the seriousness of sins in which we do not struggle and diminish the sins in which we do. However, if we keep our focus on Christ and the cross, we can admit with Paul that we have been given a grace we can never repay, and we will overflow with this grace and love in our dealings with one another.
As evidence that the Gentile churches began to understand this grace, they took up a generous offering for the church in Jerusalem who experienced great difficulty during the famine prophesied by Agabus in Acts 11. Even though there were those in the Jerusalem church that refused to eat with Gentiles and tried to get them to be circumcised, the Gentile believers gave out of the abundance of grace given to them by Christ.
People tend to take Paul’s benediction at the end of his prayer and apply it to their expectation of worldly things - a future home or spouse, a career, a retirement plan, etc. However, this “good speech” was an assurance to his readers that if they united in Christ Jesus, He would cause them to abundantly overflow with the grace and love they’d received and build them up in the faith to endure all trials and tribulations. Even if Paul were to die in prison, he was assuring them that the church would remain strong and faithful in his absence if they focused on their unity in Christ.
Dear heavenly father, thank You for providing our daily needs. Please help us to be content in our circumstances and instead focus on bringing glory to Christ and Your kingdom. May we live in a state of gratitude for the immeasurable grace and mercy You have shown us in Christ which You renew in us every morning. Amen.