Thought for the Week - 20th March

Vanda Hopkin

Ephesians 3: 14-21

When I think of all this, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth.  I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.

Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.  Glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen.

The Love of God

Love is a word that’s become almost meaningless in today’s society, with the word being banded around and watered down.  Sometimes, even as Christians we can’t really exactly what love really means – particularly when it comes to the love of God.  We almost become immune to it.  Instead, a true love has become replaced with sentimentality, patriotism, fondness, show… but not a true love.  We can talk about love, but often the meaning and our actions show something very different.

But I want to talk about the love that God has for us.  That pure love that pours out from His heart towards us, that took Christ to that cross.  No matter our state our position, that love He pours out for His people.

In the verses above, Paul is writing to the church in Ephesus – a church who thought that the love of God was not for them.  Right through the verses, Paul talks about the depth and breadth of the love of God, as well as the power.  It’s simple… God loves you!  The creator of absolutely everything – including you – loves you.  He created you at this time, gave you to the parents you had and put you where are where you are meant to be.  You were made for a purpose!  You came onto this earth because God wanted you!  He chose you before the world was made… before He’d even made the dark and light!  He knew who you were and His love was upon you before you were even born.  Paul says that we’ll never be able to understand all of God’s love.  It’s important to know that you’re not nobody.  You didn’t appear by accident… you were born for God.

Paul tells us that from God’s unlimited resources, He will give us the inner strength and things that we need.  There is nothing that is outside His resources – He has the power, the people, the strength, the finances – He has every single thing is in His command.  These are the words of God… all we have to do is claim His promise.  He is empowering us and is giving us that as His children.  All we need to do is reach out and ask Him to change us.  He will come to us and live within us!  And when He lives within our hearts we cannot be the same.  God brings with Him a discipline, which is the part that many of us struggle with – discipline and obedience.  But God is our Father and is exactly how a parent is meant to be. He therefore brings discipline, but with kindness.  He brings love, but also firmness.  There is a balance in Him.  He is kind and gracious.  He doesn’t come with a big stick, but leads us with love, mercy and grace.  When we put our roots down in Christ, our lives are changed and we’re never the same again… because of the love of God!  With the love of God comes power.

Next Sunday is Easter.  This is the love of Christ… that He went willingly to that cross, out of love for us.  If it was just you, He would have still left His home in Glory.  He still would have chosen to come to this sinful world to die for you.  He looked into eternity for you.  Without Him going to that cross, each of us would have gone to the pits of hell.

There is so much more for us… there is always more to come!  Even as sinful as we are, we can experience the gentleness of His touch, the kindness of His face, and the compassion that pours out from Him.  His love is sufficient to heal the most broken of hearts, and change the most sinful of people.  It’s there for every single one of us, such is the love of Christ for His people!

It’s not enough for us to know that God loves us… we have to experience it.  We need an ongoing relationship with our Father.  We need that encounter, or we’re not going to be changed.  Take time this week to ask whether you experience that love!  He is the lover of our souls and is coming back for you.  If you’re feeling distanced, then He wants you to talk to Him again.  If you have barriers, then He wants to bring them down.  He loves you and is calling you!

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