25 October 2015
Reading: Ephesians 3; Psalm 98
16 I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will give you mighty inner strength through his Holy Spirit. 17 And I pray that Christ will be more and more at home in your hearts as you trust in him. May your roots go down deep into the soil of God’s marvelous love. 18 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. 19 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. (Ephesians 3:16-19 NLT)
OK, I’m a slow learner! When you read what I’m about to tell you, you’ll probably say, “Jim, what took you so long to catch on? I’ve known that all along!”
Here’s the big news! A few years ago, God began to lead me into a new segment of my journey of faith. Inner stirrings, outer challenges, some significant conversations, a book divinely placed in my hands, I started to learn the greatest lesson of my life so far. I started to learn that God loves me. That the God of the Universe really loves me!
I’ve been a Christ-follower for many years. I’ve believed – I suppose you might say “intellectually” – that God loves me. He has to, you know, because after all God is Love. And God so loved the world (and I’m part of “the world”) that he sent his only Son. So yes, I’ve believed that God loves me.
But God began to teach me, reveal to me, gently and patiently, that he really loves me! I suppose I had lived as if, on paper, God loves me but that, functionally, he merely tolerates me. By his Grace I’m learning that God loves me just as I am, not just as I ought to be, because I’ll never be just as I ought to be!
I’m learning that God loves me as a Father loves a child. I’m learning that his love for me is not based in my performance but in his Grace! I’m learning that God loves me not because I am good, but because he is good!
Nothing I could wish for you is more important than this: That you learn to live in the reality of how much God loves you, really loves you!
So my prayer for you is Paul’s prayer for us. I’m praying this prayer for you as I write these words. Please go back to the top of the page and read it again. Please pray this prayer with me. Pray it for yourself, for me, for your family, for everyone you influence. In Jesus’ Name!