Ephesians 3:19 - Experiencing the Love of Christ and the Fullness of God.
Ephesians 3:19 - Experiencing 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.
In chapter 1, Paul prayed for the Ephesians' enlightenment. In
chapter 3, he prays for their empowerment. His earlier prayer was for
the believers to understand the mind-boggling significance of what
God has done. Now he wants them to know the implications of living
it out. And the language he uses is lavish: glorious riches and
power; love that is unimaginably wide, long, high and deep; being
filled with the fullness of God; and more than we can ask or imagine.
If we were to pray this prayer for ourselves and others daily, we
might find a greater and deeper experience with God than we had, ever
thought possible. [NIV Once A Day Bible re Eph. 3:14-21]
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,
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]
"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
Tiegreen re Eph. 3:19]
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
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
Tiegreen re Eph. 3:18]
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 of strength. I've got nothing left. 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 re Eph. 3:16]
Open your mind and heart - your entire being - to receive My
Love in full measure. So many of My children limp through their lives
starved for Love, because they haven't learned the art of receiving.
This is essentially an act of faith: believing that I love you with
boundless, everlasting Love. The art of receiving is also a discipline:
training your mind to trust Me, coming close to Me with confidence.
Remember that the evil one is the father of lies. Learn to
recognize his deceptive intrusions into your thoughts. One of his favorite
deceptions is to undermine your confidence in My unconditional Love. Fight
back against these lies! Do not let them go unchallenged. Resist the
devil in My Name, and he will slink away from you. Draw near to Me,
and My Presence will envelop you in Love. (Eph. 3:16-19; John 8:44;
Heb. 4:16; James 4:7, 8) [Jesus Calling by Sarah Young]
I am pleased with you, My child. Allow yourself to become
fully aware of My pleasure shining upon you. You don't have to perform
well in order to receive My Love. In fact, a performance focus will
pull you away from Me, toward some sort of Pharisaism. This can be a
subtle form of idolatry: worshiping your own good works. It can also be
a source of deep discouragement when your works don't measure up
to your expectations.
Shift your focus from your performance to My radiant
Presence. The Light of My Love shines on you continually, regardless of
your feelings or behavior. Your responsibility is to be receptive to
this unconditional Love. Thankfulness and trust are your primary
receptors. Thank Me for everything; trust in Me at all times. These simple
disciplines will keep you open to My loving Presence. (Eph. 2:8, 9; 3:16-19;
Psa. 62:8) [Jesus Calling by Sarah Young]
Rest in the deep assurance of My unfailing Love. Let your
body, mind, and spirit relax in My Presence. Release into My care
anything that is troubling you, so that you can focus your full attention
on Me. Be awed by the vast dimensions of My Love for you: wider,
longer, higher, and deeper than anything you know. Rejoice that this
marvelous Love is yours forever!
The best response to this glorious gift is a life steeped in
thankfulness. Every time you thank Me, you acknowledge that I am your Lord and
Provider. This is the proper stance for a child of God: receiving with
thanksgiving. Bring Me the sacrifice of gratitude, and watch to see how much I
bless you. (1Pe. 5:7; Eph. 3:16-19; Psa. 107:21, 22) [Jesus Calling by
You are in Me, and I am in you. This is a profound mystery. I
am the infinite Creator and Sustainer of the entire universe. You
are a finite, fallen human being. Yet you and I live not just with
each other but also in each other. You are filled with My divine
Presence. This is a deeper, fuller union than you can find in any human
relationship. Even people who have been married many decades cannot know all
the thoughts and feelings of their spouse. But I know everything
about you - from your deepest thoughts and feelings to the events you
will encounter tomorrow. For My children, aloneness is really just an
illusion. The whole world is alive with My vibrant Presence!
In Me you live and move and have your being. Every step you
take, every word you speak, every breath you breathe - all is done in
My watchful, embracing Presence. You are totally immersed in My
invisible yet ever-so-real Being! The more aware of Me you are, the more
alive and complete you will feel. Your union with Me makes every
moment of your life meaningful. (John 14:20; Col. 1:27; Eph. 3:17, 19;
Acts 17:28) [Jesus Today by Sarah Young]
I am Christ in you, the hope of glory. The Messiah - the
Savior of the world - lives in you! This promise is for all who have
faith in Me: I dwell in your hearts through faith. This amazing
blessing is a work of My Spirit in your inner being. The more you trust
Me, the more you can enjoy My indwelling Presence - and the more
effectively I can live through you.
In a world that may seem increasingly hopeless, remember that
I am the hope of Glory. This hope is ultimately about heaven,
where you will live with Me forever. But the Light of heaven's Glory
is so brilliant that some of its rays can reach you even in the
present - no matter how dark your circumstances may appear. I am the
Light that shines on in the darkness, for the darkness has never
overpowered it. As you follow Me along your life-path, clothed in My
righteousness, this Light shines brighter and brighter until full day. (Col.
1:27; Eph. 3:16, 17; John 1:5; Pro. 4:18) [Jesus Today by Sarah
I myself go before you and will be with you. So do not be
afraid; do not be discouraged. I, your loving Savior, am also infinite
God! I am omnipresent: present everywhere at once. This makes it
possible for Me to go ahead of you - opening up the way - without ever
leaving your side.
The promise of My Presence is for all time. No matter where
you go or what circumstances you encounter, I will be with you. This
is the basis of your courage and confidence. Though fear and
discouragement may sometimes slink into your heart, this is not their rightful
home. Your heart is My dwelling place, and those hurtful emotions are
not from Me. In fact, My perfect Love casts out fear. So check your
heart from time to time, to see if fear and discouragement are
loitering there. If you discover those unwelcome intruders, ask the Holy
Spirit to function as a bouncer and boot them out! Then, encourage
yourself with My promise to go before you and be with you - and let My
perfect Love renew your hope. (Deu. 31:8; Eph. 3:16, 17; 1Jo. 4:18)
[Jesus Today by Sarah Young]
You cannot serve two masters. If I am truly your Master, you
will desire to please Me above all others. If pleasing people is your
goal, you will be enslaved to them. People can be harsh taskmasters
when you give them this power over you.
If I am the Master of your life, I will also be your First
Love. Your serving Me is rooted and grounded in My vast, unconditional
Love for you. The lower you bow down before Me, the higher I lift you
up into intimate relationship with Me. The Joy of living in My
Presence outshines all other pleasures. I want you to reflect My joyous
Light by living in increasing intimacy with Me. (Mat. 6:24; Rev. 2:4;
Eph. 3:16, 17; Psa. 16:11) [Jesus Calling by Sarah Young]
LINKS FOR FURTHER STUDY ON THIS PASSAGE:
GREAT PRAISE SONGS:
I Can't Even Walk - Family Reunion Music [Lyrics; CD/DVD can be
I Want to Be More Like Jesus Every Day - Gaither Music
CURRENTLY LIVE BIBLE STUDY SERIES BY PASTOR DOUG BATCHELOR
Heroes of Faith - Stories of Salvation:
UPCOMING LIVE BIBLE STUDY SERIES BY PASTOR JOHN BRADSHAW
Revelation Today - The Mysteries Revealed: