Ephesians 3:19 - Experience the Love of Christ and the Fullness of God.

Ephesians 3:19 - Experience the Love of Christ and the Fullness 
of God. 

Ephesians 3:19 (NLT) 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 3:19 (EAV)  [That you may really come] to know 
[practically, through experience for yourselves] the love of Christ, which far 
surpasses mere knowledge [without experience]; that you may be filled 
[through all your being] unto all the fullness of God [may have the 
richest measure of the divine Presence, and become a body wholly filled 
and flooded with God Himself]! 

   The student of Scripture looks, as it were, into a fountain 
that deepens and broadens as he gazes into its depths. Not in this 
life shall we comprehend the mystery of God's love in giving His Son 
to be the propitiation for our sins. The work of our Redeemer on 
this earth is and ever will be a subject that will put to the stretch 
our highest imagination. Man may tax every mental power in the 
endeavor to fathom this mystery, but his mind will become faint and 
weary. The most diligent searcher will see before him a boundless, 
shoreless sea.  
   The truth as it is in Jesus can be experienced, but never 
explained. Its height and breadth and depth pass our knowledge. We may task 
our imagination to the utmost, and then we shall see only dimly the 
outlines of a love that is unexplainable, that is as high as heaven, but 
that stooped to the earth to stamp the image of God on all mankind.  

   God's love is total. It reaches every corner of our 
experience. It is wide - it covers the breadth of our own experience, and it 
reaches out to the whole world. God's love is long - it continues every 
moment of our lives, past, present, and future. It is high - it rises 
to the heights of our celebration and elation. His love is deep - 
it reaches to the depths of discouragement, despair, and even 
   The "fullness of life and power" that God gives us comes from 
being united with Christ (Colossians 2: 9-10). It is by trusting 
Christ that we are united with him. "Christ will make his home in your 
hearts as you trust in him."  
   Whether you are excited for the future, regretting the past, 
discouraged by the present, or filled with hope, remember that you can never 
be lost to God's love (Rom. 8:38-39). "May you experience the love 
of Christ." [One Year NLT SB re Eph. 3:17-19] 

   Thomas A Kempis obviously read with awe and delight Paul's 
great love chapter, 1 Corinthians 13. He becomes rhapsodic as he 
expands on its soaring themes, saying, "Love is a mighty power. It bears 
every hardship. The love of Jesus inspires us to great deeds. Love 
flies, runs, and leaps for joy - free and unrestrained."  
   When we read Paul's remarkable and oft-quoted chapter on 
love, we may feel such awe ourselves. Yet even though we may be lifted 
and inspired by these descriptions of magnificent love, it can seem 
far from our personal experience. What, really, is this love the 
apostle Paul and Thomas a Kempis are so rapturous about?  
   The apostle John tells us that "God is love" (1 John 4:8, 16, 
NLT). That's counter-intuitive - a revelation in light of the tragedy 
and misery in this world. Yet this is what Scripture reveals as the 
truly Good News, as announced by the angels when Jesus was born.  
   So how does all this affect us in the nitty-gritty of our 
lives? Thomas a Kempis says, "Love rests in the One above all things, 
not caring about things but turns to the Giver of all good gifts."  
   Only God can put within us this love that conquers all and 
leaps for joy. We surely can't conjure it up on our own.  
   That's particularly true when it comes to demonstrating love 
to others. In John's second epistle, he writes that we should love 
one another. "This is not a new commandment, but one we have had 
from the beginning. Love means doing what God has commanded us, and 
he has commanded us to love one another" (2 John 1:5-6, NLT).  
   When faced with that commandment and all the other challenges 
of our spiritual journey, we turn to the one who is the Giver of 
all good gifts.  
   Heavenly Father, I boldly ask you for this gift of love. Put 
within me the love that you have shown in your Word. Help me to feel 
your freedom, and to share your love with others. [The One Year Book 
of Encouragement by Harold Myra] 

   D. L. Moody believed that if people could only understand 
that God is love, they would be irresistibly drawn to him. Yet he 
sensed that most people saw God as an angry judge or too distant to 
care about them.  
   Moody was so anxious to burn this truth into people's minds 
that he set up gas jets right above the pulpit - yes, gas jets! - to 
spell out the words GOD IS LOVE.  
   A man walking by glanced in and saw the words. As he walked 
on, he thought, God is not love. God does not love me, a miserable 
sinner. Yet the words burned into his soul. He later came back to the 
meeting, and afterward Moody found him weeping. When the evangelist told 
the man that God had loved him from the beginning of his life, the 
light of the gospel finally broke through to him.  
   Despite all our sins and failures, God still loves us. Like 
the father in Jesus' parable of the Prodigal Son, God waits with 
open arms, whether we've been scrubbed clean or come fresh from the 
   Moody told a true story reminiscent of Jesus' parable. A boy 
in London had been stolen from his family and forced to work for 
years as a chimney sweep. His grieving mother prayed constantly for 
her little boy, but years went by with no word of him. One day, the 
boy came down the wrong chimney - and it turned out to be the right 
one! He found himself standing in a room that looked strangely 
   As he stood in his rags, covered with soot, his mother 
entered the room. When she saw her boy, she took him in her arms, all 
dirty and smoky, and hugged him while shedding tears of joy.  
   Moody said that's what God is like toward each of us. He 
quoted God's assurance in Jeremiah 31:3, "I have loved thee with an 
everlasting love; therefore with loving-kindness have I drawn thee" (KJV).  
   Lord, fill me with your Holy Spirit so that I may experience 
your love and share your love with others. So often I don't feel your 
love; help me to obey and act in ways that open the gates for your 
love to flow. [The One Year Book of Encouragement by Harold Myra vss. 

   Brother Lawrence was convinced he knew what the worst thing 
that could happen to him was. He said that for him to lose the sense 
of God's presence would be worse than being flayed alive.  
   Most of us can barely imagine the horror of being whipped to 
death, but Brother Lawrence lived in a time when that happened to 
people. Yet he said that losing the sense of God's presence would be 
   At the same time, he didn't believe he would lose that 
precious sense. He felt that "the lovingkindness of God" assured him God 
would not completely abandon him and would give him strength to bear 
such evil as might befall him.  
   Clearly, Brother Lawrence had a friendship with God somehow 
more intense and real than most of us experience. Why? Lawrence 
explains his perspective: "We are to be pitied for being satisfied with 
so little. God has boundless treasures to give us." He says we're 
too easily contented. "We bind the hands of God, and we stem the 
abundance of his grace. When he finds a soul imbued with living faith, 
into it he pours grace on grace, a flowing stream which spreads wide 
with force abundantly."  
   Yet, he adds, "We often check this torrent for the small 
regard we have for it. Let us check it no more and make an open way for 
   We may not all experience the same depths of fellowship and 
joy in God that Brother Lawrence did. Few people do. But we can 
consider his remarkable example and open our hearts to "make an open way 
for grace." Who knows what may then begin to happen in our souls!  
   Lord, help me to be "imbued with living faith." Make me 
sensitive to your whispers, encouragements, cautions, and shouts. Pour 
into me, I pray, your grace as a flowing stream. [The One Year Book 
of Encouragement by Harold Myra] 

   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 3:19 
   "It is too great to understand fully." Paul has grasped the 
irony of what he's asking. He has prayed that his readers will 
understand and experience the love of Christ - and its width, length, 
height, and depth - but knows they will never understand it fully. Even 
so, the promise behind the prayer is staggering: "that you may be 
filled with all the fullness of God" (v. 19, NKJV).  
   Some translations rearrange Paul's words because the literal 
translation is incomprehensible. We can "be filled with all the fullness of 
God"? Really? We're finite and He's infinite; "all" His fullness is 
too much for us. But the extravagant words of the original text are 
meant to stretch us, to drive us to our knees at the shocking 
suggestion that we are vessels not just of a small taste of God but of God 
in abundance. Though the promise seems too great, it accurately 
expresses God's heart. He wants to fill us with all His fullness. Like a 
smitten lover or beaming parent, He longs to pour all of Himself into 
us. His heart overflows.  
   Soak in the depths of His love. It's perhaps the most widely 
known yet least-experienced aspect of His character. Most Christian 
minds are amply aware of it, but few Christian hearts have let it 
really sink in. Spend some time letting it sink in - deeply and 
thoroughly. Yes, the promise is unimaginable, but imagine it anyway. The 
fullness of God's life and power is in it.  
   Jesus, thank You for pouring Yourself out into me. Let Your 
love sink into my heart. I want to soak in it, savor it, and overflow 
with love back to You. Please increase my capacity to experience You. 
[The One Year Experiencing God's Presence Devotional by Chris 

   I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will 
empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. Ephesians 3:16 
   A lot of people live for the weekend. Or the next vacation. 
Or even the next good night's sleep. Why? Because we need to 
recharge. Life has a way of beating us down, draining our energy, and 
sapping our strength. And the only way many people know to recharge is 
to withdraw from stressful situations and relax.  
   There's nothing wrong with relaxing; God designed us to rest 
and refresh. But that isn't the only way for us to regain strength. 
In fact, we have a supernatural power supply. In the depths of our 
spirit, where the Holy Spirit dwells, God offers us "unlimited 
resources" - or as other translations put it, riches from His glory. So 
even when we can't get away from our stresses, we can tap into an 
unlimited source of divine strength.  
   Many of us forget our power supply. We rely on our own 
strength, and when it runs out, we default to natural means of coping. The 
Presence of the Spirit doesn't guarantee strength for us; we have to 
consciously depend on Him - to "plug in" to the supply. And in order to do 
that, we have to remember that He is readily available with the vast 
resources of God.  
   When you're feeling exhausted - spiritually, mentally, 
emotionally, physically, or any other way - look with eyes of faith to the 
Spirit that dwells within you. You'll have to consciously decide to do 
that, and you'll need to ask for His strength to sustain you. But you 
will find Him more than willing to show His strength in your 
weakness. He lives within you to show Himself in times of need.  
   Spirit, I'm out if strength. I've got nothing lift. Even when 
I'm strong, I need to depend on You. That's even more true when I'm 
weak. Please show Yourself strong in me. Fill me with the riches and 
resources of God. [The One Year Experiencing God's Presence Devotional by 
Chris Tiegreen] 

   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. 
Ephesians 3:17 
   Familiarity breeds contempt, it's often said. That's a 
reliable statement in many relationships, perhaps, but it's not true of 
our relationship with Jesus. True familiarity - real knowledge of 
Him rather than assumptions about Him - breeds depth. The more we 
get to know Him, the deeper He takes us.  
   The key mechanism by which that happens is faith. Jesus 
becomes more at home in our hearts as we trust Him. His Presence is 
always there - He assured us of that in the new birth - but His 
Presence doesn't have much practical benefit for us unless we learn to 
rely on Him, trust His work, and experience Him. And the only way to 
have that kind of faith is to know its roots. We believe not because 
we can muster up faith but because we're rooted in love. We can 
trust someone we love.  
   That's why Paul prays not only that his readers would know 
the Presence of Jesus through faith, but that their hearts would be 
deeply rooted in God's love. We aren't just after the practical 
benefits of His Presence; that would be utilitarian spirituality. No, 
this is personal. It's relational. We experience His Presence through 
faith in Him, and our faith is based in His love.  
   Know God's love. Then you can trust Jesus, and your trust 
will cultivate your awareness of His Presence. And He will be more 
and more at home in your heart.  
   Jesus, make Yourself at home in my heart. Let my roots grow 
deep into Your love, and let my trust in You grow stronger and fuller 
every day. [The One Year Experiencing God's Presence Devotional by 
Chris Tiegreen] 

   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. 
Ephesians 3:18 
   Imagine the most intense feelings of love you've ever felt - 
that time you felt your heart was about to explode because of your 
overwhelming affection for someone. Now imagine those feelings doubling. And 
doubling again. And again. Your heart would have a hard time handling 
such intensity, wouldn't it?  
   Yet that intensity is only a tiny fraction of God's love for 
each of His children. The dimensions of His love are 
incomprehensible, but we're encouraged to try to understand it anyway. Paul prays 
for God to reveal it to us - the only way we can really even begin 
to grasp it. And even though we'll never truly understand the 
magnitude of that love, it's encouraging enough just to be told that it's 
beyond our wildest imagination. Though we can't measure it, we can 
experience it.  
   That's important. It's one thing to know of God's love - even 
the youngest children in Sunday school have been told about it - but 
knowledge isn't enough. A marriage certificate or an old love letter may 
testify to love, but a spouse still needs to be reminded of it and feel 
it often. A child may "know" a parent's love, but knowing, without 
personal and affectionate embraces and conversations, doesn't satisfy. 
Those who love want the objects of their love to experience it fully. 
Anything less is disappointing, to both the lover and the loved.  
   Accept the truth of God's love, but do more than that. Ask to 
understand it, grasp it, feel it, experience it, and dive into its depths. 
God isn't satisfied with our head knowledge, and neither are we. His 
love is meant to be fully encountered.  
   Lord, I know you don't offer Your love to be experienced 
halfway. You want us to experience it as fully as we can. I believe that 
and ask for it. Help me understand - and feel - the enormity of Your 
love. [The One Year Experiencing God's Presence Devotional by Chris 


   By the ripe old age of twenty, I had journeyed with Jesus for 
thirteen years. A special connection with some friends and one professor 
at Mount Vernon Nazarene University, Rick Ryding, had helped me 
develop a deeper, more consistent faith. Spiritual markers in my life 
were making me a confident Christian. God would do this, and I would 
be amazed; God would say that, and I would be in awe. Without 
realizing it, I began to become complacent, believing that I had 
"arrived," that I had seen the breadth, length, height, and depth of God's 
   In a group study of Ephesians, my eyes were opened. I came to 
realize that God's love was beyond my knowledge. Not so far beyond that 
I could never know it, but so great that I would never find the 
end of it. In my thirteen-year walk, I thought I had seen it all. 
But it dawned on me that if I walked with Christ for thirteen 
thousand years, I would still awaken each morning to brand-new mercies. 
   No matter how many our days, God's love is so wide, long, 
high, and deep that we will never fully comprehend it - not because he 
won't let us but because he loves us that much. And because of that 
love, we may be filled to the measure of all God's fullness! 
   Brad Taylor, graduate of Mount Vernon Nazarene University in 
2000, is associate pastor of community at Beavercreek Church of the 
Nazarene, husband to Kari, and father to Braden. [The One Year Bible Live 
Verse Devotional]