Weekly Faith and Health Scripture: Ephesians 3:14-20 Power to Change Behavior

Athletic power requires a combination of strength and speed. Bible ReadingA soccer player must have good leg power to kick a ball through a goal from a distance of 20 yards. Athletes must train in a specific way to gain this power and to have athletic success.

To be successful in living the abundant life, Christians must be able to tap into the special power that is available to us. Paul teaches us about this in Ephesians 3. In verse 19 he explains that this power is available to us when we experience the love of Jesus. This power that we receive is God’s special power. It comes directly from Him if we believe in Jesus. Paul tells us that when we experience Jesus’ love we will be full of this power. As a result of this power, working in us, God is able to accomplish, in us, more than we could ever imagine.

This is such an awesome truth, and I suspect that it is hidden from many people. Maybe you’re trying to change an aspect of your behavior or lifestyle to improve your health? Perhaps you are trying to be more consistent with exercising and trying to modify your eating habits. Are you trying to change these behaviors or to “muscle up” the needed willpower on your own? So often, we attempt these changes and don’t recognize or appropriate the special power that is available to us from God.

This power comes from experiencing the love of Jesus. It means that we must recognize how He is loving us in a way that is intimate and personal. To experience the love of Jesus, I think it means that we must spend time with Him. We must open our hearts to Him in a surrendered way. We must believe that He loves us unconditionally. It helps if we attribute the wonderful things happening in our life to Him. For that matter, we must recognize that everything that happens in our life – the good and the bad – works for our good. (Romans 8:28) We must rid our minds of the lies of Satan and dwell on the loving nature of Jesus and receive this love deep in our hearts.

Are you having difficulty changing an aspect of your behavior in an attempt to become healthier? If so, perhaps you could benefit from experiencing the love of Jesus deep in your heart in a personal way more frequently. As this occurs, the special power from God will help you!

A few questions to consider:

  • How do you experience the love of Jesus?
  • How has the special power of God enabled you to change a specific behavior?

Have a terrific day!!

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Comments

  1. It doesn’t seem to me that turning to Jesus makes people more moral or healthier. I’m unaware that Christians have ever been involved in fewer scandals, crimes, or wars, or that they’re psychologically or physically healthier than other groups of persons.

    That said, I found the Centering Prayer as taught by the late Fr. Basil Pennington, truly enriching so far as my spiritual life and psychological wellness goes. But it doesn’t involve thinking about Jesus – it’s a wordless form of turning to God.

  2. Thanks for your comment Paul. I went to Wikipedia and found this on Centering Prayer:

    Basil Pennington, one of the best known proponents of the centering prayer technique, has delineated the guidelines for centering prayer:

    1. Sit comfortably with your eyes closed, relax, and quiet yourself. Be in love and faith to God.
    2. Choose a sacred word that best supports your sincere intention to be in the Lord’s presence and open to His divine action within you (i.e. “Jesus,” “Lord,” “God,” “Savior,” “Abba,” “Divine,” “Shalom,” “Spirit,” “Love,” etc.).
    3. Let that word be gently present as your symbol of your sincere intention to be in the Lord’s presence and open to His divine action within you.
    4. Whenever you become aware of anything (thoughts, feelings, perceptions, images, associations, etc.), simply return to your sacred word, your anchor.

    It seems that the focus here is on a word. I would say that the bible guides us to contemplate or meditate on the nature of God and Jesus as opposed to be fixed on certain words. As the scripture for this week indicates, it is through experiencing the love of Jesus that we receive power from God.

    What I am wondering if you experience the love of Jesus when you pray in a centering type prayer?

    You mention that you’re unaware of research that shows Christians are healthier. The research is showing that people who practice a faith and hold to certain beliefs and attitudes do seem to live longer. In some studies they have lower blood pressure. Take a look at some of the links under the Connection tab on my site to read about these studies.

    Thanks!

  3. I have experienced this type of power to change behavior, and it changed my life. In my desire to be closer to God, I listed the things I’d like to see happen in my life – I surrendered them to God. One thing on my list was to be a healthy weight. I allowed God to love me intimately, and through his power, he delivered me from my emotional eating. The change was immediate – I began losing two pounds a week. I was 10 pounds lighter before I realized what was happening. I asked God whether I need to go to the doctor, and he replied with, “I delivered you.” I’m 50 years old, and I’m truly in love with God. I’m healthy, my relationships are healthy, my marriage is healthy. All because I experienced the love of Jesus, intimately and personally.

  4. I ask for God to look down and help me every day with my life. As a mother I’ve done something I shouldn’t have. I am still young but want God to be in my life for a better change.

    • Hello Amanda, God is a forgiving God. The Bible writes that if we confess our sins and wrongdoings to him, that he will forgive is. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9

      Let him know how sad you are for your past actions, then trust that he has forgiven you. Keep asking him to guide you on how to live and to be a good mother.

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