February 27th

Spirit-filled Living 

I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge -- that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.   Ephesians 3:16-19 NIV 

This passage illustrates some amazing aspects of the “Spirit-filled” life.  Paul explains in Romans 8 that when we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, the Holy Spirit comes to live in us.  We also receive both eternal life and the opportunity to live a new life free of sin’s bondage.   

Jesus gives us a new nature that is able to put our old sinful nature to death. Living in the reality of that new nature is what the “Spirit-filled” life is all about.  As we obey the Holy Spirit, the fruits of his presence grow in us.  These include love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23). 

Love is one of the main areas that we are transformed in.  Paul wrote, "Be imitators of God as dear children, and walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us..." (Ephesians 5:1-2 NKJV).   If we are “rooted and established in love,” we will receive special power to understand the awesome dimensions of the love of Christ.  We’ll also be capable of showing God’s love for other people and be filled with the “fullness of God.”    

If we can come into this new understanding of perfect love and enjoy God’s fullness in our life, the daily struggle with sin will not be as difficult.  With God’s help, we’ll be able to recognize the devil’s lies in the temptations we face.  We’ll have power to turn away from those temptations and train our thoughts on Jesus.  We will be filled up with God, leaving Satan no room to gain a foothold in us.   

Questions for further thought:

Prayer:   

“Lord Jesus, I pray that out of your glorious riches you will strengthen me with power through the Holy Spirit in my inner being, so that you will dwell in my heart through faith.  Please help me to have your love for the people I’m in contact with each day.  Please help me to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is your love.  I pray that I will be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.  Thank you, Jesus!  In your holy name I pray, Amen.”