Ephesians 3:17b-19 And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
“Can you fathom the mysteries of God? Can you probe the limits of the Almighty?” (Job 11:7) It’s a mystery to me why God loves me so. In Ephesians, Paul is writing to the church to encourage them to continue in the love that they have been given. In order to work and progress in love they, and we, must first know the love of God. Different Bible translations use various words for “grasp” such as “comprehend” and “understand” but I like the translation “grasp” because the original word means “to take hold of as to make one’s own.” I can have intellectual knowledge of the love of God but if I do not take hold of it and make it my own in my heart, I gain nothing. Knowing the love of God is personal. No one can give you understanding of how much God loves you. It is something that you have to experience on your own. As with any love relationship it requires time spent and communication made in order to develop an understanding of the one who loves you. That’s how personal God’s love is for you.
Paul goes to further lengths to try and explain to us how much God loves us. First he says, “how wide.” In Job 11, scripture talks about the mysteries of God in the very same terms that Paul uses for the love of God. In Job we see that the mysteries of God are “wider than the sea.” Matthew Henry says that “by the breadth of it we may understand the extent of it to all ages, nations, and ranks of men.” The oceans are the last frontier here on earth to be explored. Scientists agree that we may never understand all that is contained there. When we stand on the beach and look out over the waves we feel the vastness of the expanse before us. That is how we should understand God’s love for mankind. That it is personal, yet it extends to all men at all times from all nations and in every circumstance.
The love of God is “longer than the earth” (Job 11). “By the length of it, its continuance from everlasting to everlasting.” You cannot live in a time when God is not working. There have been times when I felt like God was far away and maybe even absent but it was I who was absent and had strayed, not God. He will always, always, always…from everlasting to everlasting, be faithful to those He came to love and forgive. His love is continual and He loved you before the foundations of the world and will love you when this world is being renewed.
The mystery, the love of God, is “higher than the heavens.”(Job 11) Matthew Henry says “by its height, its entitling and raising us up to the heavenly happiness and glory.” God’s love poured out on us should give us a joy and happiness that surpasses anything earthly men can exert on us. We allow satan to steal our joy. You are a child of The King. You have heavenly rewards awaiting you. This life is not your final destiny. Remember that God’s love has lifted you up from this life and will carry you through beyond this existence.
God’s love is “deeper than the depths of the grave.” (Job 11) “By the depth of it, its stooping to the lowest condition, with a design to relieve and save those who have sunk into the depths of sin and misery.” (Matthew Henry) When I was doing the research on this word, it struck me that one of the roots of this word means “to walk.” I love that. True love is an action verb. Don’t just say you love me…act like it. Do something. God put feet to His love and provided for us something that we could never have had on our own. Redemption. He didn’t just say He loved us but He did something about it. Jesus stooped to the lowest condition and left the glory of heaven to become a servant, even became obedient unto death, to relieve our eternal suffering. That is the depth of God’s love for you.
It only takes three dimensions to measure something, length, width, and height. That gives you the volume of an object. Paul gives us an extra measurement, depth. That tells me that it is not just about how much God loves me but it is about the quality of that love. A love that moved God to act on my behalf. I pray you have people who love you here but no love can compare to the quantity as well as the quality of God’s love for His children. Experience that love as you hear His voice calling to you today.
Read more articles by Renea Hamby or search for articles on the same topic or others.