Love That Knows No Measure (Ephesians 3:17-19)
Ephesians 3:18, “May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height.”
The Bible is the greatest book ever written. Its message is so simple is can be summed up into a few verses, yet at the same time, it is a book of so much depth that one can study it extensively for a lifetime and never ever come close to fathoming all of its truths. Concerning God’s love there is nothing greater. You can dig all day in the dirt and find nothing. In the Bible, it does not matter where you dig, you will find riches. Let’s take out our spiritual shovel and dig deep into God’s precious Word.
Paul prays that we may be able to comprehend Christ’s love. Comprehend means to grasp, or to take in. Paul wants us all to know and understand the breadth, length, depth and height of Christ’s love. How can finite man grasp the love of an infinite Christ? It is infinitely wide, long, deep, and high. Naturally, we will never be able to grasp Christ’s infinite love. Paul’s prayer is requesting that God’s infinity might fill man’s finiteness. We can never know the breadth, length, depth, and height of Christ’s love to the point of His understanding, but we can know it to the point of ours.
This is seen in John 3:16. This love is so wide that it compasses all men, so long that it reaches the east to the west, so deep that it reaches the most wicked sinner, and so high that it lifts to God’s throne in history. He wants us to be able to know and get a hold of the love of Christ. The love that it took to leave Heaven, suffer for man the cruel persecution on the cross, and die for mankind. If even we could grab ahold of a little of the love of Jesus Christ, we could perhaps turn a home, church, or community around for the Lord. Paul wants us to grasp that which is beyond our ability to grasp. Christ gives love without holding back. It is our limitations that prevent us from fully experiencing that love. That is why we need to dig and search the Scriptures concerning His love that we may be able to discover more. Jesus Christ is love and the more we know Christ the more we know the love of Christ.
Paul’s prayer for us is that we might know the breadth, length, depth, and height of God’s love. Many people in Paul’s place might have questioned God’s love. After all, Paul was in prison in Rome, accused of high treason and awaiting trial before Nero. He was longing to be set free—either by acquittal, which would free him to get back into the thick of things, on the cutting edge of danger, blazing new gospel trails in “the regions beyond” where lived untold millions still untold; or by death, to be welcomed home to his mansion on high. In the meantime, he would bathe in God’s limitless love. He prayed that all God’s people might do the same.
He prayed that we might know the breadth of Gods love (how wide). There is nothing narrow about God’s love for people. Jesus loved the publicans and sinners. He loved the wayward prodigal and He loved his bitter older brother. He loved Judas as much as He loved John. He loved Pilate as much as Peter, Annas and Antipas as much as Andrew and Ananias. Such is God’s love. It is wonderfully wide. John tells us in John 3:16 that God loves the world.
Paul prayed that we might know the length of Gods love (how long). How long does God love us? When, for instance, did God start loving us? Was it when we were saved? Was it when we first responded to the Holy Spirit’s call? Was it when we were born? Was it when He saw us “in Adam”? Was it when He made the world? Was it when He decided, before the foundation of the world, to act in creation and, subsequently, to act in redemption? No, He loved us long before that, His is an everlasting love, a love without a beginning, as eternal as He Himself is. Jeremiah 31:3
When will God stop loving us? Is it when we disobey Him, perhaps, or when we fall into sin? Is it if we keep on sinning? In that case, will He allow us to plead for forgiveness only seven times seventy times? Has He stopped loving the lost in the black eternal darkness of endless night? No! But for them it is His holiness that must rule in equal force with His love.
Paul prayed, too, that we might know the depth of Gods love (how deep). How deep is that love? Well, Jesus stepped off the throne of the universe and came to earth. He came from glory to Galilee, from Galilee to Gethsemane, from Gethsemane to Gabbatha, from Gabbatha to Golgotha, and from Golgotha to the grave. That was a long way down. In the old days, when a sailing ship crept around the world, it had to keep close to the shore. A linesman would stand in the bow of the boat and cast a weighted line into the sea. He would report his findings on how deep or how shallow the water was beneath the keel. The best word was: “No bottom with this line:’ Such is the love of Christ: “No bottom!” All our sounding lines are far too short to measure the depths to which He was willing to go and the unfathomable depths of His love—for us.
Finally, Paul prayed that God’s people might know the height of God’s love (how high). Jesus has now ascended on high and is seated in the highest heaven. His throne is high and lifted up. He reigns amidst scenes of splendor. Angel hosts bow down to Him. Bright, sinless beings rush to do His will. He basks in His Father’s love. Has He now forgotten us? Oh, no! He has seated us with Himself in the heavenlies. Such is His love.
PRAYER: LORD, I thank You for loving me unconditionally. The more I read Your love letter, the Bible, the more I come to know You and understand how much You love me. I pray I never lose the desire to dig each day in Your Word and also, to share Your love letter, the Bible, with others. In Jesus name AMEN!
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Dr. Blackman is passionate about helping others grow in the grace of the Lord. His devotions are centered on how to grow closer to the Lord through a personal relationship.