Spiritual Growth

Hi, everybody. It’s Pastor Dave Shepardson from Word By Mail, here with another Alone With God Journal guide. If you have your Alone With God Journal, grab it. If you don’t, you can order one wordbymail.com or download the Word By Mail app from your app store. So, if you’ve got an Alone With God Journal, open it to your next “Daily Journal” page. If you don’t have an Alone With God journal and you don’t want to order one or you’re still waiting for yours, grab some journal.

We’re going to go through three steps today in our “Daily Journal” Guide Day. The steps are Meditate, Apply, and Respond, and then we’ll ask you to Pray. The scripture you’re turning to is Ephesians Chapter 3. Awesome verses. We are going to focus on verses 16 and 17.

So, Paul has been talking about the mystery of Christ in us. It’s such a powerful section before this in Ephesians Chapter 3. And so, he starts this section by saying When I think of all of this (the mystery of Christ in us), I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, then verse 15 says, the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth.

And then come our focus scriptures, verses 16 and 17.

Ephesians 3:16-17 (NLT)
16 I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit.
17 Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong.

So, we’re going to start in a Meditate section of our journal. And we’re just going to kind of chew on these verses, and I’m going to help you kind of focus on them a little bit. Paul says I pray (in verse 16) that from God’s glorious, unlimited resources. . . That may be a thing you need to grab on to, that your God is the God of glorious, unlimited resources. Paul prays that he would empower you. . . That He would empower you (Dunamis – dynamite power) with inner strength through his Spirit. Capital “S.” That’s the Holy Spirit. That God would empower you with inner strength through his Holy Spirit.

And then verse 17 says, Then Christ will make his home . . . It’s that great word, Abide or dwell. You can find it through John Chapter 15. That Christ would make his home in your hearts, that He would dwell in your heart as you trust in him. That’s a conditional statement. As you trust in him, Christ will make his home in your hearts. And then as you trust in Him, as you cry out to him for that inner strength, to empower you with inner strength through his Holy Spirit, Christ begins to make his home in your hearts as you trust in Him, as you give him more and more of your life, then he makes himself more and more at home. He abides more and more. And so, he’s leading and guiding and being the strength and the peace and the provision and all you need. As that occurs, verse 17 ends by saying, Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. This is what we want. This is what God wants to do for us.

So, in that Meditate section, let me point it out one more time. The God of glorious unlimited resources will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit, through his Holy Spirit, then Christ will take up residence, make his home in your hearts AS (capitalized “AS,”) as you trust in him. And then that spiritual growth sentence at the end of 17: Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. So, grab your journal and write in the Meditate section just what it says. What is God’s Word saying? What are the spiritual principles here? So, grab your own Bible, really meditate on those two verses, 16 and 17, and then write in your Meditate section, What is God’s Word saying here? You do that and then come on back.

Okay, next, we’re going to the Apply section. So, in the Apply section of your journal, it says, How does this apply to my life today, personally and specifically? And this is where it starts to get real because now you want to say, “Lord, what are you speaking to in my life? What is it that you want these verses to speak to in my life personally and specifically?”

So let me help you with some questions. In what area, what circumstance, or situation do you need God to empower you with inner strength through his Holy Spirit? That’s how God wants to apply His Word to you. And you can cry out to him to pour out his Holy Spirit on you every day for that inner strength. And then, where is it that you still need to make Christ home, at home, in your hearts? What area? What compartment of your life do you still need to give Jesus access to until he has the full run, full reign, in your heart completely? Maybe there’s something in your life that you need to let Christ in that room. Might be a little back room or a little closet, and you may need to open it and let Christ come in and trust him. As you trust in him, he will make his home in your hearts. How does that apply to your life? And then end of verse 17, Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. This is the result of what the previous sentence says. As these things happen in your life, your roots in Christ will grow down, and they will keep you strong. So, pause this guide and write in your Apply section: How does this apply to my life personally and specifically? Go ahead and pause the guide – you write. Then, come back.

All right, you back? Now, it’s the Response section. This is where the rubber meets the road. In the Response section, your journal says, What action will I take today in response to this truth? What action? This can be any type of action. It can be spiritual, it can be mental, it can be physical. It can be a saying yes or saying no to something. Anything you can do in response to what the Holy Spirit has spoken to you through these verses. What action will I take today? What action will I take to ask God to strengthen me through His Holy Spirit, to empower me with inner strength?

Maybe cry out to God and ask him to fill you with the Holy Spirit every day. Draw close to him, and he’ll draw close to you. What action can you take to allow Christ to make His home in your hearts, as verse 17 says at the beginning? How can you trust him in this circumstance, this situation you’re in right now? And then, will you commit to doing these things so that your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong? You deal with God. Write in your Response section. Pause this guide. Write in your Response section. How can you respond today to these two verses? All right, pause, and then come back, and we’ll pray.

All right. You’re back. Hopefully, your journal is full. You’ve taken time to really meet God today. So, let’s pray. I’m going to pray through these verses, and then I’m going to ask you to write your prayer in your journal. So, let’s pray.

Pray with me. Lord Jesus, we pray that from your glorious, unlimited resources, that you would empower us with inner strength, that you would strengthen us from the very core of who we are spiritually, strengthen us, Lord, through your Spirit. May you pour your Holy Spirit out on us, Lord, to empower us with inner strength in this circumstance that’s on our hearts right now. And Lord Jesus, would you please make your home in our hearts, Lord, as we trust in you. Lord, we commit to trust in you. We pray that you would give us strength to trust in you more until you have complete rule of the house of our hearts, that you would be at home in our hearts. And Lord, through our growing intimate relationship with you, may our roots grow down into your love, God. And may they keep us strong. Those roots, those spiritual roots that grow down into your love, Lord, may you keep us strong through them. In your precious name, Jesus, amen.

All right, now you finish before you close for the day, before that cup of coffee is gone, you finish in your journal under Pray, it says My prayer to align my heart with the will of God on this truth. And so, as you just heard me pray the scripture, you know, maybe think about praying that way. Pray along the lines of this scripture today. And then we will see you tomorrow.

Thanks for joining us. Wordbymail.com for anything you need. You can contact us there. You can contact us through the Word By Mail app. We are happy to help you in any way. We can just reach out and let us know. God bless your day. Bye-bye.

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