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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Sunrise over Lake Huron (Photo by Howard Blichfeldt)
Sunrise over Lake Huron
(Photo by Howard Blichfeldt)

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"Comprehending God's Love"

"For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God. Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen" (Ephesians 3:14-21).

O love of God, how rich and pure!
How measureless and strong!
It shall forevermore endure
The saints' and angels' song *¹

Person in despairThere are those occasions in ministry when your heart breaks when you know of one who is in the deep pangs of despair. Though you pray for that dear soul, it leaves you at a loss for adequate words when trying to reach out. One of the saddest expressions we've ever heard is, "No one has ever told me they love me".

We recently received an email from a troubled soul who came across our website. He wrote, "I am 50 and have never felt genuine love. Cold, empty and miserable now." A failed suicide attempt left him even worse off than before he tried to end his misery. The lack of love in one's life can lead him or her to take desperate measures. Tragically, it is certainly not the cure, and leads to more tragedy and unending grief for those left behind. But there are millions of others whose desperate search leads them to the Bible where God's love for those He created is thoroughly revealed.

Hands folded in prayerIn Ephesians 3:14-21 the Apostle Paul offers a written prayer for the Ephesian believers and, as part of the Scriptures, this prayer is intended for each of us. It's not your typical prayer asking for a blanket blessing, but it's a rich exultation of the character of God. Paul also makes a plea that his readers might actually grasp this truth. It's a prayer bursting with deep, rich meaning that begs further examination. But due to our commitment to brevity we'll take just one phrase from the prayer and highlight it in our message today. 

Paul prays that we "may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ."  Any attempt to comprehend these four dimensions can lead to a form of mental exhaustion! In fact any attempt to describe the infinite God or any of His eternal attributes is woefully and ultimately inadequate. No matter the illustration, it is bound to understate the majesty of God, but can still be inspiring and helpful as long as we understand this.

Henry Morris observes, "The love of Christ is thus four-dimensional, with 'depth' and 'height' considered as separate dimensions. Since the height of the universe is also infinite (Isaiah 55:9), this suggests the time dimension. "Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love," God says, "Therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee."

O the height and depth of mercy!
O the length and breadth of love!
O the fullness of redemption—
Pledge of endless life above!

We challenge each of you to walk by faith being fully conscious of God's love. We remind you today that Jesus loves you. He loves each of us. He loves us all today and everyday with an everlasting, redemptive love. He's always in the process of working things out for our good even though the "thing" we now see and experience may seem so undesirable and even unfair. God always "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future" (Jeremiah 29:11).

Today we encourage you to contemplate the multidirectional dimensions of God's love. We won't fully grasp it on this side because it's vast and beyond measure, but we can express thanks to God that it empowers us each day of our lives, especially as we consider that we are recipients of the highest, purest form of love made available to humankind.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, Your love reaches beyond the heavens and surpasses earthly dimensions. Thank You, Father, that as we are rooted and established in Your love, we are empowered by Your Holy Spirit to soar on wings like eagles as we are renewed day by day. Your love flows through us so that those who look on can see human lives impacted by Your love. To know the fullness of Your love is to know a love that has no prejudices, no boundaries and no limitations. What wondrous love is this!  Amen.

Story of one searching for love: “Let There Be Peace on Earth” was written in 1955 following the Korean War by songwriter, Jill Jackson, an actress who’d experienced one rejection after another from the age of 3 onward. As an adult she finally found genuine acceptance and love when she married and had a baby daughter. But then Jill’s husband left her for other women which led her to attempt suicide. Her attempted suicide didn’t result in death but left her with partial paralysis the rest of her life. Thankfully God rejected Jill in her suicide attempt which led her to search through differing practices of all the world’s religious faiths. After her thorough search she finally found real lasting security through the words of Jesus. She escaped the dark times and declared that she had found "the life-saving joy of God's peace and unconditional love."

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

There are so many wonderful songs on God's love!!!

"The Love Of God"  Video  MercyMe

"The Power Of Your Love"  Video  Singers not specified

"I Then Shall Live"  Video  Gaither Vocal Band & Ernie Haase

 "Take The World But Give Me Jesus"  Video  Clarissa Worley Sproul

"Oh The Deep, Deep Love Of Jesus"  Video  Sovereign Grace

Today's photo of a winter sunrise over Lake Huron was taken by our friend Howard Blichfeldt, a committed Christian and professional photographer, from the Pittsburgh area. More samples of his photographs are on his website.

Browser logosThese are articles we come across in the course of studying for these messages or just poking around the vast Internet. In most cases they are not necessarily related to the daily message but may be of interest to our readers. These articles will only be posted once and there will be new ones each post, assuming we come across material that we feel may be of interest. (To see previous links use the archive version.)

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.

Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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