Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Love That Surpasses Knowledge

Ephesians 3:17-19 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. 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.

I'm still working my way through Ephesians. What a rich book! I especially love the prayers Paul inserts for the believers. Did someone ever pray for you and you just felt blessed from head to toe? That hugged feeling perhaps? That's how I feel when I read Paul's prayers, and they also help shape my prayers for others.

But one phrase stopped me in my tracks this morning. I'll confess, it may have been the English teacher in me, questioning something. Paul prays that the believers might first of all be rooted and established in love. He then goes on to pray that they might have power to grasp the breadth of Christ's love. Power? Power to understand love? Why not wisdom or understanding? Why power? Power and love? How do they go together?

The Message puts it this way:

. . . you'll be able to take in with all Christians the extravagant dimensions of Christ's love. Reach out and experience the breadth! Test its length! Plumb the depths! Rise to the heights! Live full lives, full in the fullness of God.

We naturally associate power with action. But love is to be associated with action also. Paul probably understood our tendency to let love get hung up in our heads. He reminds us that this love of Christ is a "love that surpasses knowledge." It has to be that way, expressed and lived out. And that takes a supernatural power, something that is not of ourselves.

God, empower us today to grasp this great love of yours. It's not something we'll ever be able to get our heads around. Help us to live deeply in your love and, having lived in it fully, to live it out amongst those around us.