Ephesians 3:14-21 (NRSV)
Prayer for the Readers
May I suggest that we pray this prayer every day in 2017!
14For this reason I bow my knees before the Father,
Solomon prayed on his knees (1 Kings 8:54). Ezra prayed on his knees (Ezra 9:5). The Psalmist called us to kneel (Psalm 95:6). Daniel prayed on his knees (Daniel 6:10). People came to Jesus kneeling (Matthew 17:14, Matthew 20:20, Mark 1:40). Stephen prayed on his knees (Acts 7:60). Peter prayed on his knees (Acts 9:40). Paul prayed on his knees (Acts 20:36), and other early Christians prayed on their knees (Acts 21:5). Most importantly, Jesus prayed on His knees (Luke 22:41). The Bible has enough prayer not on the knees to show us that it isn’t required, but it also has enough prayer on the knees to show us that it is good.
15from whom every family in heaven and on earth takes its name. 16I pray that, according to the riches of his glory, he may grant that you may be strengthened in your inner being with power through his Spirit, 17and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith, as you are being rooted and grounded in love. 18I pray that you may have the power to comprehend, with all the saints, what is the breadth and length and height and depth,
The love of Jesus has dimensions and that it can be measured.
The love of Jesus has width. You can see how wide a river is by noticing how much it covers over. God’s river of love is so wide that it covers over my sin, and it covers over every circumstance of my life, so that all things work together for good. When I doubt His forgiveness or His providence, I am narrowing the mighty river of God’s love. His love is as wide as the world: For God so loved the world (John 3:16).
The love of Jesus has length. When considering the length of God’s love, ask yourself “When did the love of God start towards me? How long will it continue?” These truths measure the length of God’s love. Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love (Jeremiah 31:3).
The love of Jesus has depth. Philippians 2:7-8 tell us how deep the love of Jesus goes: but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. You can’t go lower than the death of the cross, and that is how deep the love of Jesus is for us.
The love of Jesus has height. To see the height of God’s love, ask yourself, “How high does it lift me?” It lifts me to heavenly places where I am seated with Christ. He has raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 2:6).
Can we really comprehend the width and length and depth and height of God’s love? To come to any understanding of the dimensions of God’s love, we must come to the cross. The cross pointed in four ways, essentially in every direction, because …
–God’s love is wide enough to include every person.
–God’s love is long enough to last through all eternity.
–God’s love is deep enough to reach the worst sinner.
–God’s love is high enough to take us to heaven.
19and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. 20Now to him who by the power at work within us is able to accomplish abundantly far more than all we can ask or imagine, 21to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
Today, the final blog of 2016, is also the 2000th DWELLING posting! Thank you for your support and readership over the years; I look forward to many chapters to come! I trust that this new year, as we are DWELLING in the Word together, will become one in which we all see more clearly how deep, high, wide, and long the love of God in Christ truly is, forever and ever, Amen.
Love in Jesus,
“The Love of God” sung HERE by Mercy Me. Frederich M. Lehman wrote the words in 1917 in Pasadena, California.
The love of God is greater far
Than tongue or pen can ever tell;
It goes beyond the highest star,
And reaches to the lowest hell;
The guilty pair, bowed down with care,
God gave His Son to win;
His erring child He reconciled,
And pardoned from his sin.
Could we with ink the oceans fill,
And were the skies of parchment made,
Were every stalk on earth a quill,
And every man a scribe by trade;
To write the love of God above
Would drain the oceans dry;
Nor could the scroll contain the whole,
Though stretched from sky to sky.
Oh, love of God, how rich and pure!
How measureless and strong!
It shall forevermore endure–
The saints’ and angels’ song.
The New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.