Rooted and Grounded in Love

Praying Through Paul’s Prayer List – Part 3

Ephesians 3:13-19


Pastor  Craig Ledbetter

17 August, 2008 AM

Bible Baptist Church, Ballincollig, Cork, Ireland



I.       Introduction (Ephesians 3:14; 2Cor 8:9)


A.    The theme this month is Bow the Knee as Disciples – The need to become like our Master – like Jesus. There is much for us to learn!

B.     There are some spiritual building blocks that are needed to make us more like Him


1.      They are not financial, or physical, but spiritual in nature

2.      Jesus walked this earth with only the clothes on His back, and yet lived the greatest, more rewarding life imaginable – so much so that countless millions throughout history have unashamedly decided to follow Him, and have never regretted it for 1 minute!


C.     That is what a disciple is – a follower, a copy of the life of Jesus Christ!

D.    Discipleship begins with change


1.      From physical emphasis, to spiritual

2.      Not to the outer man, but in the inner man!


E.     The apostle Paul prays for five things in the live of every believer that would revolutionise their lives if they were allowed to take effect


1.      For Strength in the Inner Man

2.      That Christ would dwell in our hearts by faith

3.      That We would be rooted & grounded in love

4.      That We would comprehend the love of Christ

5.      That We would be filled with the fullness of God!


F.      Each prayer is a step for us to bring us to spiritual maturity

G.    He is praying for to not miss the most important parts of our Christianity


1.      Not with our health, or our accomplishments

2.      But with our relationship with Jesus Christ

3.      Every one of the five requests build on each other – necessary for the next request to come true, with the greatest accomplishment being full of the fullness of God! What a thought! We will have to save that thought for the last Sunday in this series!


II.    Background – Rooted and Grounded (Ephesians 3:17)


A.    Grounded is a builder’s term – attached to the foundation, but more than just attached, it means to become part of the foundation. Not just resting on it, but firmly attached, and never coming off!

B.     Rooted goes a little further and describes not only stability but also where we get our strength


1.      Roots supply the nutrients that are in the ground to the leaves

2.      The deeper the roots, the stronger the plant, and the healthier the plant


C.     It is TOO easy to be superficial these days – only Christians on the surface – shallow. Not much real persecution going on, so people pass off saying they are believers, but their life shows otherwise


1.      No time in the Bible

2.      Never any prayer life at all

3.      No changes from the old man to the new life – abandoning the old sins and habit – they instead just act like nothing matters

4.      No commitment to promises, to church, to family, to their work, etc


D.    We need depth, and stability in every area of life. Problems and troubles are way too strong and hard for fakers! That’s why Bible preaching churches are not full today – because this is not entertainment, it’s the truth!

E.     Let me talk to you this morning about getting some serious depth to our Christianity!


III. Message


A.    The Prayer (Eph 3:14-17) - Here, the prayer is for Christians to be rooted and grounded in love


1.      Stability of life. This is the best life, no need for drugs, or drink to get you through the stress!


a.       The first prayer request was for Strength of life – in the inner man

b.      Then Paul prayed for us to have Saturation – that Jesus would be all in all!

c.       Now, he prayed for Stability of life – steadiness, consistency, rock solid


2.      Well grounded, well trained in three big areas:


a.       Grounded and rooted in the word of God – learning the facts/truths of Scripture (2Tim 2:15)

b.      Grounded and rooted in faith – ability to obey what doesn’t always make sense - not live just by sight (Col 2:7). Loving to live by faith

c.       Grounded and rooted in love (Eph 3:17) – this is where we are today. THE most sought after stability, and the most important goal


3.      Examples:


a.       Every good doctor, mechanic, plumber, carpenter needs to be well grounded in their profession – not just full of zeal, but also full of knowledge. And not just full of knowledge, but full of love too!


1)      No one likes a plumber to come to their house who hates their job

2)      No one like a plumber who is excited about their job, but know nothing about what they are doing

3)      No one likes a plumber who loves what they do, and does it well, but has no love for the people he is trying to help

4)      It takes all three!


b.      The same goes with Christians!


1)      There are those that hate the spiritual life – only want the disco, the friends, the movies and entertainment

2)      There are those that love their Bible, but never read it and study it, and learn it inside and out

3)      Then, there are those that not only love their Bible, but also know it inside and out, but they could care less about their families, and about a whole world going to hell

4)      Finally, there are those who love their Bible, love the Lord Jesus, know their Bible, and they love people around them, no matter what they do to them, and how they mistreat them!

5)      THAT is Biblical Christianity!


4.      The Natural Concept of Love


a.       Lust

b.      Selfishness

c.       Brute animal instinct

d.      Look at almost every film

e.       Listen to almost every song on the radio

f.       It is basically about forced rape and self gratification – period!


5.      The Christian Concept of Love


a.       Charity – Bible word meaning to Cherish, and love so much that you enjoy giving instead of getting

b.      Selflessness – think of the other first

c.       Learned spiritual responses – doesn’t come naturally, but must be learned


B.     The Problems.


1.      No Root (Matthew 13:3-6) – no depth in God’s word, much less in our relationship with its Author!


a.       We have little experience with real, lasting love


1)      We have experienced feelings of love

2)      We have “fallen in love” and then “fallen back out” or been kicked out

3)      We have known heart ache for love

4)      But so few experiences are real and lasting

5)      And so people give up on this concept of “love”


b.      Love is not just a feeling or an emotion (1Cor 13:8). It is a fact that does not change, ever! It is a choice made that never falls away

c.       Since the world knows very little about real love, all they know to write and sing about is lust, and feelings, and emotions, and hurt, and tragedy, and sorrow! Funny isn’t it?

d.      God knows love (1John 4:8), and He wants His children to know and experience that real love that out lasts the feelings, and the performance of the other person!


2.      Loads of Sin (Matthew 24:12)


a.       There is not a person alive who doesn’t crave real love – it’s just that most have no clue how to find it and experience it


1)      Millions and billions of people will live and die having never experienced perfect love

2)      They will hope for it, dream of it, yearn for it, only to be abused, hurt, and stomped on by a selfish, dark world


b.      When we substitute lust, and possessions for people and love, we make less and less room in our hearts for real, lasting love

c.       Marriage problems are sin problems

d.      Relationship problems between us and even our enemies is a sin problem on our part – not just THEIR part

e.       The more that sin dominates our hearts, the less love we have, and the less love we experience

f.       THAT’S WHY, the more forgiveness we get, the more love we experience (we will see this better in a few minutes)


C.     The Picture – God’s Love is Described as…


1.      Everlasting (Jer 31:3) – never ends, committed

2.      Extreme (John 3:16) – more than any other kind of love ever experienced

3.      Transforming (Ephesians 2:1-8) – from sinner to saint

4.      Inseparable (Rom 8:35-39) – nothing can come between God’s love and His children

5.      Sacrificial (John 15:13) – such a high price

6.      Freely Given (Romans 5:8) – WHAT? How can this be? And yet it is!

7.      THAT is Perfect Love!


a.       Now you know why Paul asks the question in Hebrews 2:3, “How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation?”

b.      To know and be grounded upon that kind of love, and to have our hearts rooted IN such kind of love could only transform us! There is no way it wouldn’t!


D.    The Plan - How to experience the love of God


1.      Forgiveness – plain and simple (Luke 7:36-50)


a.       Quit thinking you are not so bad! No wonder you never experience love

b.      Quit thinking that you are TOO bad (1Tim 1:15)

c.       Quit holding onto your forgiveness – start forgiving people who have hurt you in the same amount that God has forgiven you, and the only thing left of love

d.      If you are bitter, and angry, and hard because of what people have done to you, then it is not God’s fault! AND it is not the other person’s fault. Christ forgives YOU, and He will help you forgive too!

e.       If you find it hard forgiving, then it is probably because you yourself have not been forgiven of so great a list of sins!


2.      Loving God’s words (Psalm 119:165) – not just knowing them, but falling in love with these words of eternal life!


a.       These are not just words on a page - they are the words of eternal life

b.      THEY are the source of understanding the heart of God – not just the mind of God, or the will of God, etc!

c.       Everybody talks about “the love of God” but they have it all twisted


1)      That God doesn’t mind homosexuality

2)      That God wouldn’t send anyone to hell

3)      That God will understand when we sin – oh he understands perfectly, so much so that He came and personally died on the cross because of our sinfulness and selfishness!


d.      Hey! God’s words tell us exactly what is love, and what God loves, and how God proved His love – ON THE CROSS, not in our pocketbook!

e.       You will never know the love of God until you learn about God’s love from this Book of books


3.      In the Trials – Allow that God knows what He is doing, and just stay very close to Him in prayer, and confidence (Rom 5:1-5).


a.       The love of God is not about success, and accomplishment, but about comfort, and strength in the tough times.

b.      Quit running from the hurt, and the troubles.

c.       Quit blaming everyone for what God is trying to do in your life


IV. Conclusion


A.    The Apostle Paul prayed for us here this morning – to become stable and secure in our relationship to Christ because of His love!


1.      That process that changes us to become more like Jesus is called Discipleship

2.      Begins with a change – on the inside – salvation

3.      To be rooted and grounded in love means to be more than shallow Christians, or Christians in name only, but in substance and root!

4.      There are some spiritual building blocks that are needed to make us more like Jesus


B.     There are two big problems with our concept of love


1.      No root – no depth of commitment

2.      Too much sin – no washing or cleansing from our wicked lifestyles and way of thinking – so there is little to no room for God’s love, and instead we are full of adultery, and lust, and selfish thoughts!


C.     Perfect Love has been shown to the whole world through the life and especially by the cruel death of Jesus Christ on the cross!

D.    If you want to experience True Love, Real Love


1.      Then you need to get forgiven – perfectly forgiven

2.      Then you need to plant yourself into God’s words

3.      Lastly, you need to see your way through every storm by trusting your loving heavenly father to get you through!





Craig Ledbetter |  Pastor  |  Bible Baptist Church  |  021-4871234  +353-21-4871234  |