“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.” 3:16-19
Sometimes I just can’t believe how much energy, both physically and mentally, we spend trying to believe that God loves us. Paul’s prayer here should be our prayer, for ourselves and for the church.
The last time I read through Ephesians was a couple years ago (with y’all!) and I find myself with a deeper understanding on the depth of God’s love from me since I read the verses above.
My husband and I got married after just a handful of months of dating and barely a calendar year of knowing each other. I deeply loved him on our wedding day. But now, seven years in, I laugh thinking about that! I thought I loved him then? We’ve lived in three different states since then, lost a handful of loved ones, doubled our family and changed a lot. God-willing, I hope in another seven years I feel even more deeply anchored into my love for him.
Our relationship with Christ is like this. Changing, growing, evolving. I think I have a vague understanding of God’s love for us, but I’m just barely skimming the surface.
“Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace.” 4:2
I struggle to find the balance between setting aside grace for people’s weaknesses and believing the worst in them, bracing myself for them to fail me and developing bitterness. But here Paul tells us that the defining difference is one is self-preserving and the other is rooted in love, drenched in patience.
How can you anticipate someone’s fault today and come alongside them in it with love?