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PRAYING POINTS from Sunday 03.27.2022, "Encounters with God."

Rooted in Love

We are told to be praying in Ephesians 3:17b-18, “…. 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….” God’s love is the wellspring from which we are nourished and the foundation on which we find stability. This is a love that is very clearly seen and tangibly experienced in the love of God-in-Jesus-the-Christ. Remember, God’s love is both the source and the goal – this is grace – all from God.

So, how can we “grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ?” The Greek words “grasp” can also be translated as “to wrestle” or “to capture.” I suggest you reach for Bible verses that help you see how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ. NOT that there are specific verse in each of these categories. These categories are a word picture to help us comprehend the immensity of God’s love for us in Jesus.

This is me praying for you and our church family. You will see the words from the Bible are in BLUE. They have been changes very little. I simply changed them so they could be spoken back to God the Father so that through them the Holy Spirit might empower us to grasp in a tangible way the love of Jesus the Christ, God the Son:

Father God, out of the riches of who you are, strengthen the core of who we are through the power of the Spirit so that we are tangibly and powerfully aware that through our faith Jesus has taken up residence in our lives. Father, so root and ground our lives in your love that together with other believers in the world we can grasp and comprehend and even experience the vast immensity of Christ’s love for us.

1. Christ’s love for you is wide!

Father, you tell us of the width of your love for us, that even though (from Isaiah 1:18) our sins are like scarlet, they shall be like snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool. No matter what we have done, no matter how sinful we have been, Father God, your love is wide enough to hold us and to love us. Jesus took our sins upon himself so we can come before you without fear, Father, a perfect and holy God. (From Roman 5:8-10) Father God, you proved your love for us in that while we still were sinners Christ died for us…. So, if while we were your enemies, we were reconciled to you through the death of your Son, much more surely, having been reconciled, will we be saved by the life of Jesus.

Christ’s love for us is WIDE!

2. Christ love for you is long!

God, I sit in awe at the length of your love that we see in the life and death and resurrection of Jesus-the-Christ. You promise us that (in Romans 8: 31-39) If you, God, are for us, who is against us? You, Father God, did not withhold your own Son, but gave him up for all of us! Will you not with Jesus also give us everything else?.... Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will hardship, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword...? …. God, for I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from your love that we see most clearly in Christ Jesus our Lord. Nothing in this life or the next can pluck us from your hold.

Christ’s love for you is LONG!

3. Christ love for you is deep!

God, I am brought to tears by the very depths of your love for us. I see this when I read about the anguish of Jesus-the-Christ as he faced his horrible crucifixion and death to take on our sins and the sins of all time. There in the Garden of Gethsemane, praying, (in Mark 14:33-36) …. Jesus began to be deeply distressed and troubled. He said, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death…. Jesus fell to the ground and prayed to you, Father-God, that if possible the hour might pass from him. He spoke to you as “Abba, Father,” he said, “everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.” This is no abstract “love.” This is tangible, visible and life changing love. Christ gave even his life that we might live. Jesus gave his life even though, as we have already seen, we in no way deserved this love.

Christ’s love for us is DEEP!

4. Christ love for you is high!

Finally, we long to really know the heights of your love that we see in Jesus-the-Christ. We are given a glimpse of these heights (in 1 John 3:2-3) Now we are your children, Father God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. God, all of us who have this hope in Jesus purify ourselves, just as Jesus is pure. Because of our relationship with Jesus, one day we will have fully all the joy and love that has always filled the very core of Jesus. Though we do not know exactly what we will look like in your New Heaven and New Earth in eternity, we do know that we will be like Jesus and share in your very glory.

Christ’s love for us is HIGH!

This is our Action Point”Meditate on the dimensions of Christ’s love leading you to praying.

You can choose from the whole of the Bible for verses to seek God the Father’s help through the Spirit to “grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ.” Stick with the verses you have chosen until you sense in a real way that the Father has given you a break through – new understanding, new obedience or new love.

Your friend in praying,

picture: thanks to zach-reiner-unsplash.

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