Ephesians 3: 17-19
“I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge – that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”
SUMMARY OF SUNDAY'S MESSAGE
On Sunday morning we considered the vastness of God's love which the Apostle Paul is attempting to express in these few verses. It is multi-dimensional - it reaches in every direction and it's incomprehensible - we will never fully get our minds around it.
First of all, Christ's Love is Wide: It stretches beyond where we ourselves can reach. It extends to those places that we can’t be present. It embraces further than we can ever physically touch.
His love is so expansive and extensive, it crosses every boundary and border, it embraces all regardless of age, background, gender, social class, nationality, religion. God’s love can’t be contained and it can’t be controlled. It is indiscriminate. Someone has even described God’s love as 'promiscuous'. It gets around, it’s not fussy who it embraces.
Secondly, Christ's Love is Long: It’s beyond time as we experience it. It’s eternal. It has no beginning and no end. For those experiencing grief and loss this Christmas, Christ's love goes beyond death, it reaches into eternity.
God’s love is longer than the dreams you have yet to see fulfilled in your life. It stretches into the future you can’t yet see, it reaches the places you can’t yet be. Jesus love is longer than your unanswered prayers. You might feel like He has failed you, He hasn’t come through. But it’s not over yet. You’ve so much more to see and experience. His love is longer than the chapter you are currently living in.
Next, Christ's Love is High: Christmas for some of you is a reminder of just how much debt you have in your life. Your bills are piling up. God's love and provision are higher.
You might feel completely overwhelmed by the storms that keep battering you – but He’s above the storms. That which is over your head is under His feet.
Maybe you’re wrestling to overcome addiction or some destructive habit and Christmas is the hardest time of the year to resist. His empowering, bondage-breaking love for you is higher than your most intense desire.
Finally, Christ's Love is Deep: Perhaps you’re battling deep depression, even despair at this time. You’re feeling as low as you’ve felt in a long time. Jesus' love reaches down there, it goes deeper and lower than you could ever go.
Maybe your deepest fears are crippling you, there's terrors and the nightmares that haunt you. Please know that the powerful, liberating love of Jesus goes deeper than your fear.
For some, you feel like a darkness is engulfing in your heart, there are hidden places that no one knows about, secret sin and destructive inclinations that you just keep pushing down, you want keep it buried. You need to know that the cleansing, purifying, sin-destroying love of Jesus is going into that place to make you whole, clean and new.
Maybe Christmas is a reminder of the mess that has happened in your life in the past year or so. Some of it was your fault. Some of it was inflicted upon you by others. Either way, you sank lower than you ever thought you would go. You were hurt deeper than you thought you could be. In return, you hurt other people. There’s been separation, divorce, maybe there’s children who are not with you this Christmas because they’re with your ex-partner – and you just want Christmas to be over.
Jesus moves towards your mess. He isn’t put off by it, He doesn’t withdraw from it. He get’s down into it. And into your mess He pours His mercy. Into your loneliness He lavishes His love. Into your brokenness He reaches out with His wholeness.
Do you see just how wide and how high and how long and how deep is the love of Jesus?
It never runs out. There’s no limitations, no stipulations, no hindrances, no lack, no discrimination. I have given God countless reasons not to love me and not one of them has been strong enough to change His heart towards me.
Love came down.
Love that pursues me and it woos me, it shouts and it whispers, love that speaks through friends and it meets me in the secret place, it confronts me and confounds me, He feels absent and then He astounds me.
Love came down. Receive His love. Experience His Love. Live in His Love. Give His Love.