How Mature

When I was a youngster, my parents taught me and my two brothers how to share. It was very gradual learning curve as we didn’t really like to share. Since I was the oldest, in my opinion I didn’t have to share with my younger brothers, but they certainly had to share with me. At that time, I thought it was fair. So, on the occasion when I did share it was verbally agreed upon that they were “borrowing” my toy, my shirt, my book, etc. Boy was I mature when it came to my “stuff”.

Here in Ephesians 3:14-21 we read of Paul’s second prayer for the church at Ephesus. This time he is impressing on them to be “rooted and grounded in love,” verse 17. When Paul speaks of being rooted his readers back then fully understood what he was talking about. In an agrarian society being rooted meant the roots of your plant or tree was firmly planted deeply within the soil. There was no moving it. As to being grounded, or some versions use established, it referred to the structural or architectural stability and strength of the building. Can it outlast the storm?

When one becomes mature in the love of Christ it means they have fully given of themselves just as Christ did in leaving the courts of Heaven to come to Earth. They have chosen to surpass, go beyond, and excel in loving others. I have two brothers-in-the-Lord that have chosen to excel in loving me. They know exactly how to ask the right questions and prod into my life to get me to open up. These two godly men maturely love me as Christ does. He is their example as they ask over and over again to get to the answer. I hope you have someone in your life that chooses to excel at loving you in the same manner.

But how do we love one another in a mature way? Verses 16 and 20 state, “be strengthened with power through his Spirit,” and “according to the power at work within us.” The only way is through the Holy Spirit. If we do not allow the Holy Spirit to bring us into a Christ-like maturity, then our growth will be stunted. We will not be able to give Almighty God the glory he so richly deserves. We will also miss out on his blessings, “Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think”, verse 20. This is not the prosperity gospel Paul is proposing. It is realizing that God alone is able to supply our needs both spiritual and physical (see Philippians 4:13). Here we “may be filled with all the fullness of God.”

One more thing… a good resource for learning how to love in Christ is by reading, meditating and memorizing his scriptures. The pdf document link below is a little book from Crossway Publishers, and it is made available on the Desiring God blog ( It is called “Take Words With You” and I like the subtitle of “A Manual for Intersession”. Praying Scripture is taking God at his word and relying on him to hold you close throughout life’s journey.

Grace and peace, James

*Scripture from ESV, Crossway Publishers, 2001

3183_TWWY_3rd edition_online version.pdf (

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