Saturday, July 9, 2011

Love Was Made For Me and You

The love of God has always fascinated and astounded me. I don’t get it. I could spend hours thinking about it and it would still be a mystery. It is huge, it is marvelous, it is perfect. God loves when He should not. God’s love is the key to everything. It casts out fear (1 John 4:18). It allows us to do His will. It saves us from our sin (John 3:16).

It’s been impressed upon me to go on a mission to discover God’s love with my head and allow Him to let me know it with my heart. I want to see how my life can change for the better when I know His love that never fails, never lets go, and never lets harm touch me. I want to see the active result in my life from that knowledge and transformation.

So I want to share everything I’m discovering with you so that you might know it too and be blessed by our gracious, great God and live the life He meant for you to.

For me, it started with Ephesians 3:17-21. Ever since the first time I read them, these verses became instant favorites, and last week I decided to break them apart to get all the meaning I could out of it. I would encourage you to do the same with some of your favorite verses. Take note of the verbs, the meaning of phrases, write down everything you think of as you read a few words. It is amazing to see the Holy Spirit reveal new meaning. This is why the Bible is called the Living Word (Hebrews 4:12).

“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, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.”

Amazing, right? But so often, when I take in all these verses at once, I have a tendency to have this attitude that says, “Oh, that’s nice. I feel better,” walk away and forget about it in approximately 2.085 seconds. Yes, that is the number my tests came up with. So to combat that, I’m going to focus on verse 17b.

And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love”

The words that catch my notice first are: rooted, established, and love.
So let’s think about all that goes along with rooted. Rooted comes from having a seed planted and growing. There can be roots before there’s evidence of a plant. I’m reminded of Jesus’ parable of the seed thrown out. So we can make a connection that God has planted the seed of His love. How it grows depends on the condition of the heart. I also think if we are rooted, we are held down. We are steady. We can be a bit swayed by the wind, but we aren’t going anywhere.

Next is established. Established is a known fact. It was created with purpose and stands firm. I think of a foundation. Laid out and smoothed to support whatever structure may be placed on top of it.

It helps me to think also on what the opposite is. Personally, I am usually rooted and established in insecurity and fear. I love so people will be nice to me. I love so I might be loved back. I love selfishly, to receive something in return. I’ll speak more on this in a later entry. It just helps me to identify what in my heart has been the substitute for where God’s love should be.

So love is our root. Love is our foundation. The confidence, the hope is building in me just thinking on that. God’s love holds. God’s love is a foundation that can’t be shaken and we can know that security. Our gifts, the good things we do or create come from His love that we are rooted and established in.

But it has to start there at His love if it’s going to last. I can’t go off on my own and hope God gets with my program out there because I’m doing what I think is right. The only way I can stand firm or be truly productive for His kingdom is to start at His love. To remember He loved me first and sacrificed His Son so that I may know Him.

Questions to think about: What am I rooted and established in? What other connections can be made from rooted and established?

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