Allow Jesus to help you improve Your life!

What is needed to nourish a plant and make it grow strong? Three things: Water, sun and fertilizer. When I was a child, my mother always had a summer vegetable garden. My brothers, my sister and I always helped out. We watered. We fertilized. We weeded. And then we waited for the sun to do its job. And it always did. When we cared for and nourished our garden, it produced abundantly – tomatoes, green beans, cucumbers and squash – more than we could eat.Needhelpagain2

What do we need to be nourished and strengthened in our lives so that we grow strong, so that our lives produce abundantly? In the letter to the Ephesians, Paul reveals what we need. Paul makes three petitions to God for the christians in Ephesus and for us.

“I pray that according to the riches of his glory, he may grant that you may be strengthened in your inner being with power through his Spirit, and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith, as you are being rooted and grounded in love. I pray that you may have the power 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, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” (Ephesians 3:16-19).

Let’s look at these three petitions and see the ways in which Paul prays that we may be made strong.

His first request is that Christ may dwell in our hearts through faith. Sometimes people think of faith as intellectual understanding, but that is theology. Faith is more like trust.

Recently I heard a good metaphor for faith. This person said that faith is like sitting on a chair. To use the chair, you have to trust that the chair will hold you. Faith requires trust – stepping out. Though this faith requires a willingness, Paul also reminds us that it is also a gift. It is the presence of God’s Holy Spirit which makes faith possible.

Paul’s second request is that when we do step out in faith, God will be with us and we will know his love. Paul asks that we be able to comprehend the vastness of God’s life. Paul asks that we might know “the breadth, and length and height and depth.” Paul is asking that we might have just a taste of the fullness and the mystery of the glory of God. Paul then prays that we may comprehend that this God – the creator of all that is – loves us so much that he sacrificed himself for us. This kind of love surpasses human understanding. But it is this knowledge that allows us to live the life that God calls us to live today.

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In his third petition Paul reveals the results of the first two. Stepping out in faith, accepting the love of God will yield fruit in our lives. Our lives will be filled with the fullness of the life of God. To be clear, this is not something we earn. It is a gift. But it is a gift God wants to give us. God wants to share with us the fullness of his life.

When we are filled with the life of God, there is no limit to what we can accomplish for God. “Now to him who by the power at work within us is able to accomplish abundantly far more than all we can ask or imagine…” This Scripture reminds us that after we are nourished and strengthened by God’s presence, we are then sent out into the world to do God’s work. God blesses us. He nourishes and strengthens us. But this gift has a purpose, so that we can go out into his world and accomplish far more than we can ask or imagine.

So what does God’s power working in us look like? I saw that power recently when our community pulled together to collect school supplies so that all students in Fort Mill would be able to return to school fully equipped to do their best.

I see the power of God present whenever people pull together to make God’s kingdom present by loving and serving their neighbor.

When we allow the power of God to work through our lives, God will use our lives to produce his fruit. He will use us to pass on to others what we have already received. When this happens, our lives will yield abundant fruit.

Want your life to improve? Say this prayer; Dear Jesus, I invite you to come in my life to become my personal Lord and Savior. Please forgive me for my sins and take charge of my life. Dear Jesus, please help me improve my life daily. Clear away the dross and the residue that does not belong in my life, help me incorporate the 3 things, I’ve learned in this article in my life on a daily, weekly and monthly basis, in your name I ask and pray, and as always I will give God all of the honor and all of the Glory due Him because He is worthy to be praised, honored and followed. – Amen!

 

 http://www.peacewithgod.net/

-Rev. Sally Franklin rector of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church

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