Keith Fordham, evangelist
In 1847, a California rancher caught gold fever. He heard gold had been discovered in southern California. He sold his ranch to Colonel Sutter, headed south, and never returned.
One day Sutter’s daughter brought some wet sand into the house. As she stood before the fire, she strained some of the wet sand between her fingers. Sparkles of real gold were seen in that sand falling to the floor. Thus began the 1849 Gold Rush.
The former owner had gold fever. He had gold on his property, but he sold it. More than $38 million worth of gold was taken out of a few acres. This rancher, in essence, rejected the gold under his feet. How senseless it was to reject real gold!
Too often Christians do not see the riches they have in Christ. Instead of taking advantage of the power we have in the Holy Spirit and the love of Christ, we neglect the riches we already have. This explains why so many Christians live worldly lives. They have never allowed Jesus to satisfy their souls.
Moses valued the riches of Christ as greater than the riches of Egypt. Suffering with the people of God and rejecting the pleasures of sin for a season had a far greater reward. Our choices need to lay up treasure in heaven. When we feast on the riches of God, the crumbs of this world lose their taste. Instead of being sucked in by the world (Egypt), choose the riches of Christ! (Heb. 12:24-28)
In Ephesians 1:14ff, Paul prays that our eyes might be opened to see the riches we have in Christ. In Ephesians 3:14-21, Paul prays for the riches of Christ to be applied in our lives. Paul bows before the Lord Jesus when he prays (vs. 14).
Humbling ourselves in God’s presence is the point. Whether standing, sitting, walking, working, or on our faces we need to pray without ceasing. God gives grace to the humble.
The family is the Church (vs. 15). The indwelling spirit has regenerated us and adopted us into the family. The church is a body of “born again,” baptized believers, banded together to broadcast the Gospel. Those in heaven are part of God’s eternal family.
Paul is writing from prison. His “outer man” is limited to four walls. He prays for our inner man. Paul knew that the cause of discouragement in the Christian’s life is never found in our outer circumstances; it is always found on our inside. The Holy Spirit can renew the inner man daily (2 Cor. 4:16). Paul is focusing on the inner man as opposed to focusing on the outer or carnal man. To be carnally minded is sin. Our focus must be on the Lord.
When you receive Christ, the Holy Spirit takes up residence in your heart. He begins to lead you (Rom. 8:14). The Spirit gives assurance that you are in God’s family. He washes and renews you (Titus 3:5-8). The Holy Spirit gives power to overcome sin in our lives.
Verse 17 gives us three activities of the Holy Spirit in our lives. First, an active faith makes our heart Christ’s dwelling place. The word “dwell” means settle down, abide/make His permanent home.
Robert Munger, in his booklet My Heart-Christ’s Home, tells how he asked Christ to come into his life. Jesus says those that “love me keep my words, and we live together.” Munger refers to various rooms in our hearts. The mind room is where there may be magazines and pictures in our minds that should not be there. Jesus said that He would help us get all impure thoughts out of our minds.
Next, the Lord comes to the eating room of our hearts. The food on our plate is fame, riches, awards from this world (sports, business, entertainment etc.). Jesus said that He had food we don’t know anything about. Jesus’ food is to do the will of the Father.
The time room of our heart is the place where we spend time fellowshipping with the Lord in prayer and Bible reading. Sometimes the busyness of everyday life does not leave time for devotions. We need to get our priorities straight.
The work room is where we do things on our own. Jesus said, “apart from me you can do nothing.” The Lord Jesus works through us in all we do.
We spend miserable hours trying to find happiness without the Lord in the recreation room. Jesus needs to be in control of every area of our heart. From the bedroom to the junk room, with the Lord’s help we can honor him in every room.
We must place Jesus on the throne of our lives. We need to die to self and rely on Christ.
Secondly, we need to root our lives in God’s love. The soil of Christ’s love causes tremendous spiritual growth.
Thirdly, we need to be grounded (architectural term) in God’s love. Stand firm on the rock of ages. The rains and storms of this world cannot move us.
Every believer (saint) is to seize the love of Christ (vs. 18). A love for everybody (breadth), including the lost. The length is from eternity to eternity. The depth of Christ’s love took Him to the Cross. The height of God’s love makes us joint heirs with Christ.
Paul says be filled with the Spirit (5:8; 3:19). The fullness of the God of the universe is in each of us! What is impossible with man, God has made possible.
God is able to do:
…all that we ask or think
…above all that we ask or think
…abundantly above all that we ask or think
…exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think…”
(Pyramid of God’s Ability)