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Refuel - The Fullness of God

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Running on Empty?

If you are running on empty with your car, that means that the gas light is on, and you are just hoping that you don’t run out.
What’s the danger there? That you are stranded on the side of the road.
There are times when it feels like you are spiritually running on empty.
Instead of a gas light coming on the dashboard, its a feeling of being tired, or apathetic, or just dry.
Evaluate yourself? How are you doing?
This
Empty. Half a Tank. Full
Empty?
tired, where is God?, not really learning or growing, knowing there is way more
2. Half a tank?
doing Ok, could be better, could be worse.
3. Full?
Its amazing, your life is changed every time that you read your Bible, you have this overwhelming sense of God’s nearness and goodness in your life.
OK, you’ve evaluated, that’s helpful. That gives you a place to work from. But where do you want to go.
OK, you’ve evaluated, that’s helpful. That gives you a place to work from. But where do you want to go.
If you said that you were full, think of this lesson as preventative maintenance. Or you might even learn through our study that even though you are full, there is more.
If you said that you were at half a tank, listen to learn what might fill in the holes. What would it look like for you to live your life with a full tank, completely powered up?
If you say that you are on empty, then I want you to know that you don’t have to stay that way. God wants to fill you up with his love, and we are going to see what that looks like now.

The central message of this letter is the re-creation of the human family according to God’s original intention for it.
We were created to be in good and healthy relationships. We can have a full relationship with God and we can have full relationships with people.
The Church should be the best example of good relationships.
And this prayer that we are about to read in the letter to the church in Ephesus is one that prays for that reality.
When it says “You”. It means you, the people in the church, and also you, the individuals hearing and reading this letter.
Ephesians 3:14–21 HCSB
For this reason I kneel before the Father from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named. I pray that He may grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power in the inner man through His Spirit, and that the Messiah may dwell in your hearts through faith. I pray that you, being rooted and firmly established in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the length and width, height and depth of God’s love, and to know the Messiah’s love that surpasses knowledge, so you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to Him who is able to do above and beyond all that we ask or think according to the power that works in us— to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
THE GOAL - Be Filled with the Fullness of God! That is where this prayer ends up. That is what I hope we all want. But Paul prays some other really important things that lead up to that goal, and even make it possible.
If you need to fill your car up, you first have to turn on the ignition, then put it into gear, then drive to the gas station, and then pay, and then pump the gas.
Strength
Knowledge
We will see that this spiritual refuelling also has many steps.
Ephesians 3:14–15 HCSB
For this reason I kneel before the Father from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named.

Every family in heaven and on earth is named by God the Father.

By named, it means, ownership. God is the creator of all, he is over all, he is over every family, weather they acknowledge him or not.
This means that God can surely hear and answer the prayer that is about to be prayed
Ephesians 3:
Ephesians 3:16 HCSB
I pray that He may grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power in the inner man through His Spirit,
Paul is praying for a supernatural kind of strength for your inner man.

What is the “inner man?

The inner man is not merely our mental self. It is not merely our intellect, emotions, and will. Rather, it is the spiritual self which was reborn when we received Christ (John 3:16; Eph. 4:24). Paul distinguishes clearly between the inner man and the flesh in Romans 7. This inner man “wants to do good,” “delights with God’s Law,” “is a slave to God’s law” (vv. 21, 22, 25).

Paul prays that in this inner man “he may strengthen you with power through His Spirit.” In 2 Corinthians 4:16, Paul writes that “outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.” A part of a Christian is getting old, decaying, deteriorating. A part is also getting fresher and more vital, increasing, and becoming richer, deeper, and stronger. That is the inner man.

This inner man is the true us; this is who we are. That true “us” is recreated in the likeness of God, in holiness and true righteousness. It wishes to do good; it joyfully concurs with the law of God; it experiences no condemnation; it is not destroyed by bad circumstances; it is renewed by feeding on eternal truth. That is who you are. That is where God strengthens you through his spirit with power.

Are you on empty? God can strengthen your spiritual self. He can give you strength in the place where you can’t even help yourself.
We should all crave having a really strong spiritual self. Paul prayed for the church that through the Holy Spirit, each child of God’s spiritual self would be made stronger and stronger.
This is something God can and will do for you.
Are you on empty? God can strengthen your spiritual self. He can give you strength in the place where you can’t even help yourself.
When you are feeling empty and low, you don’t even know what to do, and you don’t know that anything that you try will work. That’s why we are going to pray for you. Because God can strengthen you.
Ephesians 3:17
Ephesians 3:17 HCSB
and that the Messiah may dwell in your hearts through faith. I pray that you, being rooted and firmly established in love,
Ephesians 3:17a HCSB
and that the Messiah may dwell in your hearts through faith. I pray that you, being rooted and firmly established in love,
That the Messiah may dwell in your hearts.
This verse is not about becoming a Christian. Its about you living your life in a way that your attitude and your actions are welcoming God to be a part of how you live.
Jesus sends a message in the book of Revelations to 7 different churches. To the church in a city called Laodicea Jesus includes this promise.
Revelation 3:20 HCSB
Listen! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and have dinner with him, and he with Me.
Here are some ideas of what it could look like for you to open that door.
Spend time reading your Bible. You might want to read through the book of Ephesians this week.
Ask a Christian friend to pray with you, and to help you think through some spiritual things in your life.
Open the door to Christ. What other ideas do you have?

Rooted & Established in Love

Rooted & Established in Love

Paul’s prayer is that the church, and that means the people who make up the church, become rooted and established in love.
If you are rooted in love, like a plant, that means that the part of you that is under the surface is finding its strength and its power from the love of God.
If you are rooted in love, like a plant, that means that the part of you that is under the surface is finding its strength and its power from the love of God.
There is a quiet part to who you are that others don’t necessarily get to see on a regular basis. But that time that is spend with Christ roots you in his love, and there is a strength that comes from God’s love that is unlike any other strength you can know in your life.

Strength, Love…

You want to be a friend to someone, the foundation for that is established in the love of God in your life.
What are some other examples of things that you might want to do in life that will be made possible by being established in love?

Strength, Love…

Ephesians 3:18–19 HCSB
may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the length and width, height and depth of God’s love, and to know the Messiah’s love that surpasses knowledge, so you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
Ephesians 3:18 HCSB
may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the length and width, height and depth of God’s love,
Ephesians 3:
Paul is praying that we could know the unknowable.
Specifically he prays that we might, “know the Messiah’s love that surpasses knowledge”.
How do you go about knowing a love that surpasses knowledge.
For starters, you are clearly going to need God’s help with this one. That’s why this is a prayer to God, and not a command to you.
So it starts with prayer, knowing the unknowable love of God.
Think about the times where the Bible talks about knowledge. It most often talks about the type of knowledge that is gained through experience.
For example
John 8:32 HCSB
You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
Let me ask you a question, how many of you know the truth that God can and will forgive sin?
Is it enough to just know that with your mind? Is mental understanding enough to get you forgiven?
No, you are forgiven when you live out that truth, when you experience that truth in your life.
You are forgiven when you place trust for your life now and forever into God’s care, and you put your entire hope for the future onto Jesus, and you accept his rule for your life. And in so doing, you say that the way that you were living was sinful, and would he follow through on his promise to forgive you, and to give you a new heart and a new mind that will desire his goodness and life over sin.
And God forgives you, but its not because you know the right answer, it is because you are living it out. It is an experiential truth.
Now we are going to see how that makes sense in knowing the love of God that surpasses understanding.
As you are being strengthened, as you are using your actions and attitudes to give Christ room in your life, you will begin to know (experience) God’s love. It will be because God loves you, and wants for you to experience his love.
And part of that love will overflow from you, and you might want to talk abut it, or write down what you are experiencing. But part of that love is going to be very difficult to describe, its just going to be better than you thought it could be.
There is a sense where from now to eternity, we will be learning and knowing God’s love and be filled, and then filled again and filled and more and more forever.
What does this result in?
“so you may be filled with all the fullness of God”.
God is able to make this happen in our lives. And He deserves all the glory for this amazing foundation of love in our lives
Eph 3:
Ephesians 3:20–21 HCSB
Now to Him who is able to do above and beyond all that we ask or think according to the power that works in us— to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
So what does it look like to be re-fuelled?
Pray this prayer () right from your Bible. Now that we know what it means, lets ask God to help us to experience it.
Live out the truths that we have learned here. You aren’t going to fully experience God’s love through education, instead, it will be through putting your trust in God, and living through the principles of this passage.
Write down what you think is the most important thing you learned tonight, and make a plan to put it into action
We are made for relationship.
Our inner man, or spiritual self, can be strengthened by God’s Holy Spirit
Love. Jesus is standing at the door of life knocking, are you going to leave him outside waiting for an answer, or are you going to invite him in.
Be firmly rooted and established in love. This is the foundation for everything else in your life.
Know God’s love through experience. Don’t just learn the Bible, live the Bible.
Its all possible because of God’s power, and so we God all of the praise for what happens next.
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