Summary: God’s love for us is so great that it will transform our lives if we can begin to grasp it.
In the frontier days snake oil salesmen would sell potions guaranteed to cure whatever ailed you, from gout to gangrene and warts to weariness. Unfortunately their claims were a tad overblown, but in the passage we looked at today we get a glimpse of a genuine miracle cure.
Paul writing from prison to a church in the center of pagan idolatry, facing persecution bowed his knee to the father to pray for the solution to all their problems—that they might understand how much God loves them.
The love of God is an amazing thing. Healing, strengthening, restoring, building encouraging.
My hope today is to in someway help us to get a glimpse of that all surpassing love by looking at how Paul describes it here in the Holy Scripture.
Grounded in Love
16-17 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love,
God’s love is the foundation of it all, the root that ties us down and nourishes us.
ILLUSTRATION Our two shrubs that weren’t rooted.
The picture here is that God’s love is the very basis of who we are and all we do. Every phone call we make, every e-mail we send, every church service we attend, every television program we watch, every friendship we cultivate is meant to be rooted in the fabulous love of God.
If we fail to root deep in the fertile soil of God’s love the only thing that can result is a shallow and sickly life, ending in death.
But there is no need for that dire consequence, for in God’s love there is an endless supply of all that we need, if we are rooted deep, even when the winds blow they cannot bring us down.
We can be grounded in God’s love. Secondly Paul prays that the Ephesians and all of us should
Grasping His Love
18-19 may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19and to know this love that surpasses knowledge
The place was Oklahoma, and the time was the roaring twenties. John Griffith was in his early twenties—newly married and full of optimism. He and his lovely wife had been blessed with a beautiful, blue-eyed baby, Gregory. John was living the American dream. But then came 1929 and the great stock market crash.
The Great Depression settled like a funeral cloak upon the land. Oklahoma, John’s native state, was turned into a swirling dust bowl by the dry winds, and his dreams were swept away with the wind. So he packed up his wife, his tiny, blue-eyed baby boy, and their few meager belongings in the old Model-A Ford and drove east to find greener pastures.
They made their way to Missouri, to the edge of the Mississippi River, and there he found a job tending one of the great railroad bridges that spanned the massive river.
Every day John sat in a control room and directed the enormous gears of an immense bridge over the mighty Mississippi.
By 1937 his son Greg was 8 years old, and John had begun to catch a vision of a new life—a life in which Greg would work shoulder to shoulder with him. On April 5, 1937, for the first time, John brought Greg to work with him. Excitedly they packed their lunches and headed off toward the immense bridge.
Greg looked on in wide-eyed amazement as his dad pressed down the huge lever that raised and lowered the vast bridge. As he watched, he thought surely his father must be the greatest man alive.
Soon noon arrived. After John elevated the bridge and allowed some scheduled ships to pass through, he took his son by the hand, and they headed off for lunch. They inched their way down the narrow catwalk and out onto the observation deck that projected some 50 feet out over the majestic Mississippi. There they sat and watched spellbound as the ships passed by below.
As they ate, John told his son, in vivid detail, stories about the strange, faraway destinations of the ships that glided below them. Losing track of time, he told story after story, his son hanging on every word.
Then, just as John was telling about the time the river had overflowed its banks, he and his son were startled by the shrieking whistle of a distant train. He quickly looked at his watch and saw that it was time for the 1:07, the Memphis Express, with 400 passengers, which would be rushing across that bridge in just a couple of minutes. He had just enough time.