Last time we saw that Paul’s prayer for his people in Ephesus (Ephesians 3:14-19) is an important example for us as we pray for each other and for those who are going through tough times such as war and persecution.
We examined the start of Paul’s prayer:
1> I pray that you will know God
2> I pray that you will experience God’s love
Let’s continue to look at that second point and break it down a bit…. The Scripture states:
“And I ask him that with both feet planted firmly on love, you’ll be able to take in with all Christians the extravagant dimensions of Christ’s love. Reach out and experience the breadth! Test its length! Plumb the depths! Rise to the heights! Live full lives, full in the fullness of God.”
2A> Experience the Breadth of God’s Love
When the Scriptures says that God’s love has breadth, it means that God’s love includes everyone. God loves everyone — of every faith, of every race, of every nationality, and of any age or stage of life. Scripture says, “This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life” (John 3:16 MSG).
This means that God loves you. He loves all those you know. He loves those whom you don’t know. He love those whom you like. He loves those that you don’t like. He loves your friends. He also loves your enemies. God’s love is broad; it includes people we have a hard time liking and prefer not to think about.
You may be thinking of some of the difficult people in your life and wondering, How can God love them? Here’s how. As C. S. Lewis stated, “God loves us, not because we are lovable but because He is love.” Stop for a minute and say to yourself, “God loves me.” It’s true. He love you unconditionally and forever. And you can experience the breadth of His love today and every day.
2B> Experience the Length of God’s Love
God asks us to test the length to His love. What is its length? Forever! God’s love is never-ending. And the best part of that is that His love doesn’t depend on me or on you. God loves you as you are, not as you would like to be, or as you appear to be, but just as you are. And nothing you can do can make Him love you more!
The people who choose to connect with God know Him and are known by Him. Jesus said,
“My sheep recognize my voice. I know them, and they follow me. I give them real and eternal life. They are protected from the Destroyer for good. No one can steal them from out of my hand. The Father who put them under my care is so much greater than the Destroyer and Thief. No one could ever get them away from him” (John 10:27-29 MSG).
That should make you feel secure. It does me. Some have said (Country Music style) ‘God’s Grip Don’t Slip.’
2C> Experience the Depth of God’s Love
What does it mean to plumb God’s depths? The implication is that no matter how low you go, God’s love is deeper. God is forgiving. For many of us, the bad news is that our capacity to sin has taken us lower than we ever felt we would go. The good news is that God’s capacity to forgive us is greater. In fact, God not only forgives our sins, but He also forgets our sins. He said, “I will be merciful to them in their wrongdoings, and I will remember their sins no more” (Hebrews 8:12 The Living Bible). Wow!
In our relationship with God, we are somewhat like the young son who played hide-and-seek with his father. The lad would hide behind a tree while his dad shouted, “Where’s Christopher? I can’t find Christopher!” Then the child would burst out, “Here, Daddy. Look for me here behind the tree.” Most of us are torn like that., aren’t we? We alternately hide from God, yet long desperately you connect with Him.
2D> Experience the Height of God’s Love
Rising to the height of God’s love means being lifted up by Him. There is no one more uplifting than God. The night I was saved I met Jesus in person – in the flesh. He hugged me and as He did He poured in His love – like liquid gold – into me. It started to fill me up from my feet upwards. As it did it pushed all the anger, bitterness, rejection, unforgiveness, resentment, and pain out of the top of my head. That night Jesus lifted me into His Kingdom (Colossians 1:13). That night His love lifted me out of my old nature and I became a new creature in Christ
2 Corinthians 5:17 MSG “Now we look inside, and what we see is that anyone united with the Messiah gets a fresh start, is created new. The old life is gone; a new life burgeons! Look at it!”
There is a lifting of our life that is the result of experiencing the extravagant dimensions of God’s love
Jesus said, Anything is possible if a person believes (Mark 9:23 NLT)
Jesus said, “Everything is possible with God” (Mark 10:27 NLT)
Jesus said, “If you have a mere kernel of faith … there is nothing you wouldn’t be able to tackle” (Matthew 17:20 MSG).
God wants you to reach your full capacity. He created you with a plan and gave you gifts to help you accomplish that plan.
He will be the greatest lifter in your life if you let Him.For all the negative things we think about ourselves, God has a positive answer for us.
You say, “I’m too tired.”
God says, “I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28-30)
You say, “It’s impossible.”
God says, “All things are possible (Luke 18:27)
You say, “Nobody really loves me.”
God says, “I love you” (John 3:16 and John 13:34)
You say, “I can’t go on.”
God says, “My grace is sufficient” (2 Corinthians 12:9; Psalm 91:15)
You say, “I’m not able.”
God says, “I am able” (2 Corinthians 9:8)
You say, “I can’t forgive myself.”
God says, “I forgive you” (1 John 1:9 and Romans 8:1)
You say, “I can’t manage.”
God says, “I will supply all your needs” (Philippians 4:19)
You say, “I’m afraid.”
God says, “I have not given you a spirit of fear” (2 Timothy 1:7)
You say, “I’m not smart enough.”
God says, “I give you wisdom” (1 Corinthians 1:30)
You say, “I feel alone”
God says, “I will never leave you or forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5)
You say, “I can’t figure things out.”
God says, “I will direct your steps” (Proverbs 3:5-6)
You say, “I’m always worried and frustrated.”
God says, “Cast all your cares on Me” (I Peter 5:7)
God has an answer for every question, and an assurance for every doubt we possess.That is why it is life-changing when we encounter and experience God’s love.