DAY 6: KNOWING CHRIST’S LOVE
WEEK 1: PERSONAL REVIVAL
I have quite a few grandchildren. So far, they like me most around the one to three age range. That is when I am at my peak. I’m fun, entertaining, cool, enthusiastic, with lots of sweets. I can only do about an hour babysitting because it is hard work being that exciting, but it is a great hour for a two-year-old. Our grandson Tate is two and it is his turn to like grandpa. Recently when I was minding him overnight, I woke in the morning to find Tate lying quietly on a pillow on the floor beside my bed just waiting for grandpa to wake up. But he has no idea how much I love him. He did not know that I watched him for 10 minutes as he lay there. Loving him, praying for him. He will find better heroes soon. Maybe he will never understand just how much I care for him. God is watching you now. You have no idea how much he loves you.
Scripture: Ephesians 3:14-21
As Paul points out, Christians have a strong foundation in God’s love (3:17). The gospel is saturated with God’s love for us and his grace in sending Jesus to live, die and rise for us. We do not become Christians by doing good stuff, but by receiving God’s love in Jesus. Saving love is our foundation. But it is only the start. There is so much more to grasp about God’s love.
Eugene Peterson translates Paul’s prayer: “And I ask him that with both feet planted firmly on love, you’ll be able to take in with all followers of Jesus the extravagant dimensions of Christ’s love. Reach out and experience the breadth! Test its length! Plumb the depths! Rise to the heights!” Paul is praying that the Lord will open their eyes of the Ephesians so that they will know Christ’s colossal love for them and their community and their world. That they would be saturated with the joy of his magnificent love. That they would revel in the deep security of being loved eternally. That they would see how desperately God loves their community and the people they serve.
I think there is a progression in this prayer. The pathway to personal revival first involves Jesus being Lord of our lives. Then with Jesus firmly in control, we can begin to explore and appreciate and celebrate and delight in how deeply he loves. This does not happen naturally. As Paul says, the love of Jesus “surpasses knowledge.” So it has to be a work of God’s Spirit to open our eyes to his love. This revelation is the second step in personal revival.
Appreciating the love of Jesus is vital in revival. If we are not saturated with God’s love, revival quickly becomes another set of rules that we have to keep to ensure that we maintain God’s approval and blessing. Revival can become a legalistic prison for us as we try to avoid sin and do right. But when revival is drenched in God’s love and grace, it becomes an exciting journey with Jesus as we see the kingdom of God on the move in us and through us.
This seems impossible to me Lord, but I want so much to be saturated with your love. I want to experience the breadth and plumb the depths of your immense and incredible and eternal love. Open my eyes to your love for me, fill me with your love. Let me feel that I am loved like I’ve never felt love before.
Prayer for Revival
We live in a world short on love. In families, in workplaces, in governments, in communities. There is plenty of action but little love. Please pour out your love in new ways. Open eyes. May your love be seen.