Saturday, July 16, 2011

Love that Surpasses Knowledge

The next part of focus is Ephesians 3:17b-18.
“And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ”

“may have power”- so it takes an ability. I’m guessing this is because it is beyond what we can know naturally as humans. It is bigger and more genuine than the purest love we’ve known from another person. We need God to enable us to know His love. In 1 John 4:10, John says love doesn’t resemble the way we love God, but how He loves us, including the sacrifice of His Son.

Also, there’s a togetherness, a community with the statement “may have power together with all the saints”. This gives me a visual of worship. All His people gathering together to worship Him. We also help each other know His love when we are in Bible study or small group talking about what He’s done in our lives.

A couple of years ago, I was coming off of a rebellious time and was ready to seek God again. For a few months, there was distance. I was going to church, but I was not the same. There wasn’t a deep, passionate desire to get up and read my Bible and spend time in prayer like what I had known before. Then one day, I went to a small group and we started to talk about who God is and how we saw Him work in and around us. It reminded me of the times He had delivered me and been faithful to me and as I shared it with the group, I felt that passion and desire come back. It felt like a huge break of whatever had been separating me from Him.

So maybe this is what is meant by having the power with all the saints. Maybe it’s coming together with fellow believers and talking about God’s love toward us. Whenever I get to experience that I usually just feel it expand in and around me.

Another point I get from this verse is the verb “grasp.” I love the Message’s version of this verse because it uses all kinds of actions up in here. “Reach out and experience the breadth! Test its length! Plumb the depths! Rise to the heights!” Knowing God’s love is an active experience. With a love as massive as His, I can see why to best experience it you can’t stay in one place.

So how can we actively learn about God’s love when we can’t literally “plumb the depths” and “rise to the heights”?

These are some ways I’ve experienced His love and I’m sure there are more:
Pray to know it. Paul is praying for the Ephesians to have power to grasp His love, so wouldn’t it make sense that we pray to know it for ourselves also?
Think about how He’s been faithful and loving to you in the past. Like I said previously, I felt an awareness of His love when I thought of how He’d proven it in the past. He has sacrificed His Son who took on all of our sins so that we might never have to be separated from Him. And He doesn’t just leave us there. He’s made plans for us to have an abundant life (Jeremiah 29:11, John 10:10). He has made the dead alive. He has brought good from evil. What has He done in your life that revealed His love?
Obey Him. When I know God has commanded me to do something and after putting it off for weeks, I finally do it, I know I’m so much closer to Him. I know that what He asked me to do was for my good. Obeying Him and seeing His provisions in that obedience shows me a God who cares enough about me to be involved in every detail. It shows me when I trust Him, He doesn’t let me down.

Questions: How else can we grasp God’s love?

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