Strong Understanding

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Stronger Things Week #4
Strong Understanding 
Ephesians 3:14-21 – “For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength 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, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.”
Strong Ability
“Strength” – meaning “to grasp”, “to possess”, “to seize”
Our natural instinct is to shy away from situations rather than rising to meet them, especially when things don’t go our way.
If you don’t maintain your spiritual strength, you won’t be stronger when a challenge arises, you’ll become weaker.
How strongly do you grasp Christ?
Your strength doesn’t just come from you, it comes also from Christ and from others in community with you.
Ephesians 4:10-13 – “He who descended is the one who also ascended far above all the heavens, that he might fill all things.) And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ,”
1) Breadth
This implies Jesus’ love for everyone. Everyone needs Jesus’ love because He died for everyone.
Words and actions often tell different stories and can cause a mess.
John 13:34-35 – “Little children, yet a little while I am with you. You will seek me, and just as I said to the Jews, so now I also say to you, ‘Where I am going you cannot come.’ A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.”
We need to make sure our words and actions agree in this commandment of loving everyone, especially when they’re “hard to deal with” people.
2) Length
This refers to all people – past, present, future.
2 Peter 3:8-13 – “But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed. Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved, and the heavenly bodies will melt as they burn! But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.”
God is patient and wants everyone to come to a knowledge of Christ.
We need to be patient and live lives of holiness and godliness.
The problem is that we get distracted when we have to wait for too long.
We need to focus in our patience and not let ourselves get distracted.
3) Height
This is about being beyond the reach and influence of the world and the devil.
People are never going to be able to meet your needs, but Jesus can and we need to seek Him.
Colossians 3:1-4 – “If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.”
People should look at you and say, “you’ve changed.” You should be able to reply, “yes, I have.”
4) Depth
This is about knowing the riches and wisdom of God.
2 Corinthians 4:16-18 – “So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.”
Live out the Scripture you read.
Strong Experience 
Understanding equals experience, not knowledge.
Jesus says that we need to die to ourselves in order to follow Him