God's Love

Have you ever stopped to truly ponder the reality of God’s love for you? I’m sure many of us might have faulty views of God’s love, perhaps shaped by the neglect or absence of a parent, a painful past, or a lack of knowing who God really is. 

The first church song many of us learned growing up as kids was probably, “Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so.” And then we often hear, “God loves you!” shouted from the pulpit, as well as sung in many worship songs.    

Yet the final thing Jesus prayed for us in John 17, before going to the cross, was “I have made you (God) known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them: (V.26).  1 John  4:16 simply tells us, “God is love.”  If we were to truly grasp the love of God and the love he has for us, our lives and how we live them would be remarkably different. 

This is precisely Paul’s prayer for the Church in Ephesus who needed to be  reminded and filled with God’s love. So Paul, in Ephesians 3, got on his knees before God and prayed for the believers: “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 of Christ that surpasses knowledge- that you may be filled to the measure of the fullness of God” (vs 18-19).Paul prayed that we would encounter God’s love beyond mere knowledge of it; he desired that we would grab hold of it. To help us understand its vastness, he defines love in terms of its dimensions.
He wants us to grasp the width of God’s love which represents the coverage of God’s love. John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world.” God’s love is not limited to a race or nation. God’s love is wide because God is love.
Next Paul wants us to grasp the length of his love which represents the extent to which he loves us. Jeremiah 31:3 says, “I have loved you with an everlasting love” and that, “even while we were still sinners Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).
Paul then prayed that we would grasp the height of God’s love, representing the loftiness and generosity of it. The Psalmist declared in Psalms 36:5, “Your love oh Lord, reaches to the heavens.” Paul wants us to understand that God’s love has no ceiling or limit; it’s “over the top” and overflowing. 
Finally, Paul wants us to grasp the depth of God’s love which represents the intensity and magnitude of his amazing love. God promises to “never leave us nor forsake us” (Hebrews 13:5), and that “we are more than conquerors through him who loves us,” declaring that nothing will be able to separate us from his love (Romans 8:37-39)  
Take a moment to think about, and grab hold of, just how wide and long and high and deep the love Christ has for you is.  Three instances of God’s love that changed the course of my life are when I surrendered my life to Jesus in 1987, when I got married in 1999, and when my twin daughters were born in 2009. In all three cases, I was overwhelmed by the love my heavenly Father had for me, personally, and still has.
I pray that you would know, beyond mere knowledge, that God’s love for you has no limits or boundaries. Grab hold of it, for God’s love is truly amazing. 

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