God Loves You

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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.  Ephesians 3:17-19

There are things I know that I can’t explain, like why my wife loves me or what makes chocolate so addictive.  St. Paul prayed that you would “know this love that surpasses knowledge.”  See, I can’t explain it adequately.  Even the Holy Spirit ran out of words for your head; he worked in your heart a faith that is more than confessing a creed.  The Holy Spirit gave you a deep down conviction that God loves you even when it doesn’t feel like it and maybe doesn’t look like it.  That love of God got you through some pretty bleak days this past year, times when your heart was breaking and you wanted to be angry at God, times when you head was bursting because you couldn’t figure out what God was doing.  Somewhere way down inside of you, where your spirit and God’s Spirit are united, you just knew that God loved you.  That God’s love is more than a fact, more than a feeling, invites you to have a relationship with him that is more than a sermon.  Your devotional life is where you experience especially the love that surpasses knowledge: reflecting on an especially comforting passage from Scripture, agonizing over an issue in prayer, praising God from somewhere down in your soul, trusting God in a peace that is incomprehensible.

The apostle prayed that “you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”  So, what little corner of your life does God still want to fill with that love?  Maybe it’s that corner where anger has mutated into bitterness and become a defense against ever being hurt like that again.  Maybe it’s that corner where you don’t really believe that anyone could love you, where you’ve hidden behind self-deprecating humor, that corner where you sometimes cry when no one else can hear.  Maybe God wants to fill with his love that corner of your life where pride has locked out other people, where indifference keeps you from hearing them and stubbornness keeps you from needing them.  With what fruits of the Spirit does God want to fill you?  Is it joy to replace your cynicism?  Is it peace to overcome your anxiety?  Is it kindness to soften your gruff edges or patience so that others don’t have such a hard time seeing Jesus in you?  God wants to fill you with his love.  See, when you’re filled up, you’ll overflow.  Then your love will be like God’s love – just because.  Not because people deserve it or situations require it, not because it makes sense or feels right. Just because.

The apostle Paul taught God’s love and lived that love among the Ephesians for longer than in any other church.  But he couldn’t stay with them; so he went one step further.  He prayed for them, that they would know God’s love.  Pastors and teachers come and go.  Family and friends are distanced by jobs and circumstances.  So let us go that one step further and pray for each other that we will all know, really KNOW God’s love.

PRAYER: Father, help me to know your love when I’m not sure of anything else. Fill my heart with your love, so that I have love to share.  I don’t want to be satisfied with just religion.  I want to know you and your love through your Son Jesus.  Amen.

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