So I bow in prayer before the Father from whom every family in heaven and on earth gets its true name. I ask the Father in his great glory to give you the power to be strong inwardly through his Spirit. I pray that Christ will live in your hearts by faith and that your life will be strong in love and be built on love. And I pray that you and all God’s holy people will have the power to understand the greatness of Christ’s loveâ€”how wide and how long and how high and how deep that love is. Christ’s love is greater than anyone can ever know, but I pray that you will be able to know that love. Then you can be filled with the fullness of God.
With God’s power working in us, God can do much, much more than anything we can ask or imagine. To him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus for all time, forever and ever. Amen. Â Â Ephesians 3:14-21 (NCV)
Lectionary texts: 2 Samuel 11:1-15, Psalm 14, Ephesians 3:14-21, John 6:1-21
This Scripture is inscribed in our wedding rings. I am a blessed woman that I can say that I have learned more about God’s love through my husband. That’s what marriage should be about. It should be another reflection of God’s love. It should give husband and wife another look into a facet of God’s love for them as individuals and as a couple of His choosing.
2 Samuel 11 tells us the story of David’s lust for Bathsheba and his murder of her husband. That isn’t love. Wanting to â€œpossessâ€ someone, no matter the consequences, is not the love that God puts in our hearts. There is no place for such a selfish love in God’s plan. And so there is no place for jealousy.
Psalm 14 has the well-known verse â€œThe fool says in his heart that there is no Godâ€. How quick we are to apply the verse to atheists and â€œsinnersâ€. May we all be warned! Is God the LORD of my life? Do I worship Him above everyone and everything in my life? Do I ask God first about where I should work and who should be my friends and who I should marry? Do I ask God if I should take a vacation or do a â€œstaycationâ€ and give money to someone He has laid on my heart? I am a fool when I attempt to define or limit God to a place that is â€œcomfortableâ€ for me.
John 6 takes me to Jesus feeding the 5,000 and walking on water. While familiar and extraordinary stories of Jesus’ time here on earth, it would be easy to slip those stories easily into a mental file much I do Cinderella or 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. Great stories but what do they have to do with my own life? Jesus is alive! Jesus is in my life now. He is here. He is walking right across the waters of every storm in my life. He is the hand that I can grab before I begin my own walk through the storms. Jesus is the provider of all that I need to feed and water my spirit. But it is my choice to sit down and take the time to eat and drink.
God’s love is so far beyond what I can imagine or understand. What I know now about God is very different than what I discovered 17 years ago this month. God has so much that He wants to show me and teach me. I believe I will be discovering aspects and facets of His love for all eternity. That is beyond my comprehension â€“ but I am filled with expectation about â€œwhat’s next?â€.
Let us take time on this Monday and instead of allowing the busy-ness of the day be the focus, let’s make a choice to turn our hearts and our ears to God’s love. Turn on the CD or MP3 player. Turn to Ephesians 3 and let the words cover us.
When Love Takes You In by Steven Curtis Chapman