OnePrayer – Day 3

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OnePrayer Devotion – Day 3

Ephesians 3:14-21 NIV

For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, 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.

Immense Love

Today we will focus on verses 17b-18, but please read the whole passage again.

I used to go to the office daily, but now I mainly work from home. This has changed my relationship with my home. It used to be the place I visited primarily to sleep and eat and relax. Now my home is the center of everything I do. As well as relaxing, I also develop resources at home. I have online meetings at home. I respond to emails at home. I listen to podcasts at home. My home has become where I have lived most of my life. I “dwell” there.

As we saw yesterday, this is what Paul was praying for the Ephesians. He prayed, “That Jesus would dwell in their hearts and live unrestricted and uninhibited at the center of their lives – guiding, purifying, empowering, enriching, refreshing, and challenging. Christ would be free to do whatever he wanted in their lives through the power of the Holy Spirit.”

In our passage today, Paul moves on to the second part of this powerful prayer. He prays the Ephesians will grasp the love of Christ.

Most Christians know that Jesus loves them. As Paul points out, that’s the way the Christian faith starts. We have been rooted and founded in love. He uses both a botanical term (“rooted”) and an architectural term (“founded”) to make sure we understand that the roots or foundations of God’s love run deep in our lives. Our faith stands firm and strong on the love of Jesus.

Love lies at the heart of the gospel. God loves us so much that he sent Jesus, his only Son, to this world to show us himself and to set us free. Jesus loves us so much that he was willing to give his life for ours so we can live in an eternal relationship with God. The good news that drew us to Jesus is saturated in love. God deeply loves us.

According to Paul, that is just the start. There is so much more of Christ’s love to grasp. Eugene Peterson calls it “the extravagant dimensions of Christ’s love.” He paraphrases Paul’s prayer in this evocative plea: “Reach out and experience the breadth! Test its length! Plumb the depths! Rise to the heights!” As Peterson makes clear, Paul calls for a deeper appreciation and experience of Jesus’ love.

It’s hard to describe the immensity of Christ’s love, but here are a few aspects of this love that you may like to focus on. It is eternal. Nothing can separate us from his love. No time limits, barriers, or conditions can restrict God’s love. It is intimate. God is your Dad, and Jesus is your brother. You are loved as a close family member. It is global. God’s love touches everyone and everything. There is not one person or part of creation that is not drenched in God’s love. His love is huge, immense, vast, massive, and immeasurable.

Why is it so difficult to grasp God’s magnificent and profound love? Why did Paul have to pray for this? Maybe it’s because we live in a broken world where God’s love is not always obvious. Maybe it’s because we’ve never experienced such love from the people close to us. Maybe it’s because we struggle to love ourselves and therefore can’t believe God could love us so much. Whatever the reasons, our lack of understanding of God’s love is a barrier that needs to break down if we are to see God do the impossible.

Take some time to meditate on and soak in God’s love. Pray you will grasp the immensity of his love for you and all his creation. Let Jesus saturate you with his love. Reading Scriptures like Romans 8:31-39 or Psalm 139 may help.