In order to truly know God, it seems that knowing his love for us would be foundational. And yet, we can so quickly default to worrying about our love for Him– and whether we feel that we have enough love for him, whether we are giving Him his proper due, paying him back accordingly. On reflection, however, we might ask if this ‘payback’ mindset even grasps the first thing about love? Chapter 12 of Knowing God invites us to enrich our grasp of God’s love for us– that we might be transformed by it. If you’ve not yet purchased your own copy of our book for the month, you can download chapter 12 here.
Paul writes to the Romans, “… God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.” (Rom 5:5). For God’s love to be ‘poured out’ suggests the liberality of the gift– large quantities, freely flowing. The perfect tense of the verb confirms that this is a settled state, following the completion of the ‘pouring out’. And third, the instilling of this knowledge is described as part of the regular ministry of the Spirit to those who receive him– to all, that is, who are born again, all who are true believers. This work of the Spirit is common to all– and elevated in importance as a result.
How might you grow in your appreciation of God’s love, ‘poured out’ into your heart?
In Ephesians 3 Paul prays:
14 For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.Ephesians 3:14-19
Consider, in what sense is Christ’s love
- ‘wide’ – how many different kinds of people does it embrace?
- ‘long’ – how long has his love endured– for you, and for God’s people generally?
- ‘high’ – where has it raised us up to?
- ‘deep’ – into what depths did Christ’s love for us take him?
How might you thank Jesus Christ today for the width, the length, the height and the depth of his love for you?