August 9, 2019. Ephesians 3:14-19. Praying in Christ part 4: Experiencing Christ’s Love.

Ephesians 3:14-19. 14 For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, 16 that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faiththat you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

All reality, all meaning, all of life is found in the love of God displayed in the person and work of Jesus Christ.

This is no overstatement.

Love is the point of all history. It is the climax of all redemption. It is the center of this prayer and the center of the Christian life. The power of the Spirit and the indwelling of Christ are experienced as the love of Christ.

To be loved IS the spiritual experience of our union with Christ.

Have you ever experienced love? Ego-less, expectation-less, fearless, relentless love? This is Paul’s prayer for us. That we might experience this kind of love. Yes, it is possible. How? Because it is not a standard to achieve anymore. It’s a person to be known. A personal God who knows you and loves you anyway. And a God who wants you to know him and his love. So much so that he would do the most imaginable thing to prove it to you. He would give up his own life, his own freedom, not just on the cross, but also in uniting to your life, so that you might experience the true freedom of sacrificial love.

No doubt this is hard to believe. Difficult to comprehend. To know it is to know that which surpasses knowledge. It is literally beyond human experience. Wider. Higher. Deeper. Longer. Most miss it. Many reject it.

The love of God in Christ…never awkward, always pure.

Have you ever experienced love? If you are in Christ, then you ARE experiencing it. But here is the glory of Christ’s love – it is infinite. It is the only human experience that can always get better and better. Greater and greater. More and more. Forever.

God’s love is as eternal as he is. Christ’s love is a never ending romance. The love of Christ can be known and yet it will never be fully known. You are experiencing it, and yet you are nowhere near fully experiencing it.

This is why Paul prays that we would know the love of Christ. Not have it – you already have it. But experience it intimately (know it). This is our prayer day by day, night by night for ourselves and each other.

Each of us can experience more of God’s love today. Everyone can experience more of Christ’s love tomorrow than they did today. No person ever out grows the love and grace of Jesus. We never “max out” or hit our quota. We never get past needing it. Without it we would literally die.

And we can’t outrun it. It’s in the belly of a great fish and the pitch black of a tomb. It’s in the darkest valleys and on the highest mountains. It’s before time and beyond time. It’s in heaven and it’s in hell. It is everywhere God is. It is as powerful and as present as he himself is.

For us who are in Christ it is our very life. We are rooted and grounded in love. Love is our dwelling place. We build upon love, sow in love, walk within the boundaries of love, and we are nourished by love. Love is our land.

Just as man was formed from the land, so we are formed from love.

Just as the land was promised to Abraham forever, so the love of Christ is promised to us forever.

Just as Israel was given the land with fields they didn’t plant and homes they didn’t build, so we too are given a love that we didn’t earn or deserve.

Just as God established his kingdom in the land, so too we are established in his eternal kingdom of love and light.

Just as the land is the inheritance of God’s people, so Christ is our inheritance and we are heirs of his love.

“To live is Christ” is to have all of God’s love within us in the life of Jesus Christ. But it is also an ever increasing experience of God’s love in Jesus Christ. Jesus doesn’t love you more today than he did yesterday. But you might know it more today than you did yesterday. I pray that today you may explore its never ending breadth, and length, and height, and depth and truly know that you are loved.

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