How Wide – How Long – How High – How Deep

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10th Sunday After Pentecost (July 29, 2018)

2 Samuel 11:1-15 — Psalm 14 – Ephesians 3:14-21 — John 6:1-21

When I think of all this, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father,[a] the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth. I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. 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. 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.

Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.Glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen.

Ephesians 3:14-21 New Living Translation (NLT)


In this passage, Paul is praying for spiritual growth in the life of the church at Ephesus.  He prays that the believers would understand God’s mysterious plan of Jesus Christ — that they would know the incredible love of God. He prays that they would know how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is.  I chose the picture above to show a vast expanse.  Back in 2010, I had the opportunity to go to the Navajo Nation in Arizona.  We flew in and out of Phoenix.  First I remember flying in and how long it takes to cross this great land that we live in.  The other memorable moment was on the return trip.  We had just gotten on I-40 near Holbrook, AZ.  It is almost 90 miles from Holbrook to Flagstaff, but I remember seeing the San Francisco Mountains in the distance and we could see them for a very long distance.  I think about the vast distances in our nation and then I think about how large our universe is.  So big that distances are measure in light years – the time it takes light to travel in one year.  The universe is huge and still God’s love is larger than the universe – how cool is that.

God has resources that cannot be measured and from those resources, he empowers us to live for Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit.  Those resources are not like our resources – many of our resources on this earth are not renewable – but God’s resources are.  These resources allow us to live as he has called us to live. These resources allow us to grow – to put our roots down deep – these roots grow down into God’s love and will keep us strong.  This winter, we had many trees fall down in our neck of the woods due to snow and high winds.  These trees fell because their root system was insufficient.  We need to grow our spiritual roots deep into God’s love.

It is only then that we will truly experience the love of Christ – It is hard to describe the love of Christ – and to know it – our finite minds can’t wrap our heads around the love of Christ – the love that came, that died for us, that rose again – that kind of love – experience it –  to the full.

God wants to work in us – to accomplish more – more than we can think or ask!!!! How cool is that?  What a great prayer as we prepare our hearts for worship and meet with God’s people this weekend.

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