This morning I listened to a sermon on my favorite passage in the whole bible, Ephesians 3:14-21. It’s so good, so here it comes.
For this reason I bow my knees before my Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of His glory He may grant you to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith – that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and the length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
The topic sentence of the sermon was “Jesus is always bigger than you think He is.” Which logically leads to the truth, “God’s love is always bigger than you think it is.”
The pastor talked about how God’s immeasurable love. It is wide and long and high and deep and it is available and accessible to us to sink our lives into. The whole goal is for us to be rooted and grounded in love. When we sink our lives deep down into the love of God, our roots will grow deep and strong. Which means what grows out of that, what grows out of lives, the things we produce and the relationships we have, will be deep and strong and powerful and meaningful, infused with the love of God.
He talked about some key times in his life when he experienced the love of God in deeper and stronger ways. His first example was on his wedding day. He was standing at the altar waiting for his bride to walk down the aisle and when the doors opened and he saw his bride he understood in new ways the love that Christ has for us, His bride. His heart was filled with thoughts like this –
“I’m going to take care of her. We’re going to do great and fun things together! We’re going to bring new life into this world! I love her!”
Those are the thoughts that Jesus has about us all the time every day. He wants to take care of us. He wants to do great and fun things with us (and in us). He wants to bring new life into this world with us in so many diverse and various ways. He loves us!
I’m such a daydreamer. I can fill whole stretches of time with day dreams and visions and plans and thoughts about what might be in the future. Sometimes I do! This morning I was dreaming about all of the things I want to do in my house. I love making this house my home and making long term plans to be here. I was dreaming about getting a sectional couch for the living room and installing a shelf to put the projector on and dreaming about a matching dresser and bedside tables. Hey now, this is what dreams are made of. Right?
I was also dreaming about my goal of working from home – a desire I’ve had for a while now. I’d love to be able to work online from my little purple home office to help individuals and companies express themselves clearly and effectively through well-written copy and grammatically correct social media posts. As you probably know, I also have the dream of writing books and actually finishing them and making them available to people to actually read.
Sometimes your friends know your dreams before you do and they verbalize them for you and you think that sounds hard or boring and then you realize months later that the dreams they were speaking into your life are hard but also EXCITING and you want to do them. Last fall I started an English class in my garage that’s just a couple hours a week, mainly because God told me to and because my friend wanted me to teach her kids English. Recently a friend said something on Facebook about me having my own English school one day. My initial response was, “That sounds hard. And also, no thank you.”
But this morning as I was dreaming about my future and working from home I realized that in addition to getting paid to write words (I mean, um, help people) and finishing a book I also really want to make a great education available to families who can’t afford to send their kids to private school.
This was kind of revolutionary for me because I didn’t realize I had that dream or desire. But I do. And so it’s on the docket and it’s going to happen. Not right now and not even next year (probably), but God has a history of making my dreams come true so I am counting on one day offering a quality education to those who can’t afford to send their kids to private school – most likely out of my garage, at least to start.
So many of my friends are doing great and big and scary and hard things. They are believing God when He says that His plans for us are to prosper us and give us a future filled with good things. They are believing Jesus when He says that the same power that conquered the grave lives in us. They are believing that they were created and intended for good and great and world-changing love, manifested through their talents, interests, passions, and relationships. And I am, too. I’m leaning in, digging deep, into that wide, long, high, deep love of God so that what comes out of me is rooted in and infused with immeasurable love.
It is this love that propels me ever forward. Because Jesus didn’t die on a cross and rise again from the stinking dead so that we can just cope or be comfortable or even just be satisfied. Jesus died on a cross and rose again from the stinking dead so that we can live full and complete lives in glorious freedom and so that we can be full participants in the ushering in of His just and merciful and loving kingdom.
His is a love we can count on, depend on, build our lives on and around. His is a love that expects miracles because it has seen them before. His is a love that gets things done, praise God. It’s a love I’m soaking up and shooting out through my fingertips in my words and in my actions, falteringly and imperfectly, but in a forward motion towards the goal, which is always a love that makes even our wildest dreams come true.