Daily Update #144

Today’s readings –    Ephesians 3:14-21    Psalm 33:1-6    Luke 12:49-53

Pause:  Lord Jesus, still our hearts and minds now, as we prepare to hear from your word.  Help us to listen effectively to you as you speak to us through the ages, as you call us deeper into relationship with you.  Give us your divine power that we might grasp the width and length and height and depth of your love for us, that we might be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.         

If you thought that Paul has been excited by the gospel and has been laying it out in bold and clear terms to his readers in Ephesus this far in his letter, hold on tight!  In this passage he takes everything up a gear as he underlines the extent of the relationship which exists between Christians and God, through the love of Christ Jesus which has saved, redeemed and reconciled us to God.  From Ephesians 2:11 the apostle Paul has been explaining the transformation which Gentiles have enjoyed because of their inclusion into the people of God.  Those who previously were far away from God have now been brought near by the blood of Christ (2:13).  Divisions, alienation, exclusion have all gone, citizenship, membership of God’s household and inclusion are in!  The fact is that God has always intended to create one new people, including all who will accept the riches which he offers by his grace in Christ.  Not only this, but God intended this act to demonstrate his wisdom not just to us (the beneficiaries of his grace) but also to rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms (all cosmic and heavenly powers everywhere!).  In this passage Paul is driven to his knees as he contemplates the depth and richness of all that God has accomplished in Christ for his people.  All of us have been included by the Father into his family.  This fact is so mind-boggling and amazing that it is hard to comprehend.  So Paul prays for each one of us to be given the knowledge, through the power which comes from the Holy Spirit who lives within each one of us, to understand the scale of God’s love for us in Christ.  He runs out of dimensions in his prayer, as he asks God to reveal to us, all the Lord’s holy people: “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.”Not only this, but Paul states that God is able to do immeasurably more that we could possibly imagine, so he prays for that too!  All of this to give God the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus, which is so properly, perfectly and completely his, Amen!  So, brothers and sisters in Christ, be greatly encouraged.  The mundane day-to-day life which beckons to us here and now, which demands our attention, is a shadow, it is not the final reality.  The true reality is our heavenly citizenship.  The eternal God has called us into relationship with him, and lavished his heavenly riches and grace on us.  We have been so blessed in the heavenly realms that it needs divine power to understand the sheer extent of that blessing.  If you are not feeling particularly blessed right now, you may not be looking in the right place!  In the heavenly realms, we are more than conquerors.  Nothing is able to separate us from this divine love, as we are in Christ.  

Almighty God,
thank you for your eternal plan to shower the boundless riches of Christ on us.  
We are sorry that we often do not appreciate this, or live our lives in the light of this truth.  
Give us your power to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is that love of Christ for us.
Fill us with this love which surpasses knowledge, we pray.  
We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord.