From the Well 5/11/2017

Ephesians 3:14-21 (MSG) 
14 My response is to get down on my knees before the Father, 15 this magnificent Father who parcels out all heaven and earth. 16 I ask him to strengthen you by his Spirit-not a brute strength but a glorious inner strength- 17 that Christ will live in you as you open the door and invite him in. And I ask him that with both feet planted firmly on love, 18 you'll be able to take in with all Christians the extravagant dimensions of Christ's love. Reach out and experience the breadth! Test its length! Plumb the depths! Rise to the heights! 19 Live full lives, full in the fullness of God. 20 God can do anything, you know-far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us. 21 Glory to God in the church! Glory to God in the Messiah, in Jesus! Glory down all the generations! Glory through all millennia! Oh, yes!

A group of children ranging in age from four to eight years were asked: "What does love mean?" There answers were amusing and at times profound.

"Love is when a girl puts on perfume and a boy puts on shaving cologne and they go out and smell each other."

"Love is when you go out to eat and give somebody most of your french fries without making them give you any of theirs."

"Love is what's in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents and listen."

"When you love somebody, your eyelashes go up and down and little stars come out of you."

"Love is what makes you smile when you are tired."

"It is when you tell someone something bad about yourself and you're scared they won't love you anymore, but then you get surprised because not only do they still love you, they love you even more."

"Love is when your puppy licks your face even after you left him alone all day."

"There are two kinds of love: Our love and God's love. But God makes both kinds of them."

These answers affirm that children may know more about love than adults. The writer of Ephesians reminds us of what it is like to be loved and to love radically. Interestingly, the writer does NOT pray that we would know that God loves us, rather he prays that we would know God's love. I'll say that again in case you missed it. The writer does not pray that God's people would know that God loves them, but that they would know God's love. Here's the question: Do you know God's love, or do you only know that God loves you?

An intellectual understanding of God's love (knowing that God loves you) is not the same as experiencing God's love. The writer of Ephesians describes God's love as having width, length, height, and depth. In other words, God's love is as vast as the universe. 

Jesus shows God's love by feeding the hungry, healing the sick, and comforting the least, last, and lost. He shows God's love by washing His disciple's feet. We know God loves us but do we know God's love to the point that it transforms our life and the lives of those around us. Think about it.

Matthew