Prayer requests are most often for physical and personal problems such as bodily ailments, relationship conflicts, and decisions about life. Paul’s prayers were most often about spiritual life, such as knowing Christ in a personal relationship, having strong faith in Him, and knowing how much He loves us.
For this reason I bow my knees before the 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 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. (Ephesians 3:14–19)
Yesterday’s worship service focused on two things, knowing the will of God and knowing how much He loves us. Over the years, my scattered mind has struggled with focusing on anything, but today I am thinking about His love, and singing songs that reflect it.
While it feels good to have someone say “I love you,” love is not mere words. It is action. Christ does things that demonstrate and prove His love. He came from the perfection of heaven to a place of sorrow and death. He was made flesh, the Creator made a creature. He who filled heaven was enveloped in a child, born in a manger rather than a palace. He, the God of strength, become hungry, thirsty, tired. This was His loving choice.
To show His love, the sinless Judge of all was condemned. The God of life was put to death and He who had the keys of hell and death was laid in the prison of another man’s grave; in life He had nowhere to lay his head and in death nowhere to lay his body.
He did this for us, while we were yet sinners, enemies of God, fallen, miserable humans. The continual suffering of Jesus Christ from the cradle to the cross, speaks louder than words of the transcendent love of Jesus Christ to sinners. He took upon Himself the wrath of God that sinners might be saved and that we might spend eternity where we otherwise would not belong.
Such love is a wonder. It includes affection but goes much farther. The love of Christ is submissive and willing to suffer for the sake of others. It is above all measure. Time did not begin it, and time will never end it. It cannot be bound to a place, not can sin overcome it. Understanding furrows its brow for this love is beyond any love we know or can imagine. How can love persist for those who hate it? How can love forgive those who kill it? How can love offer reconciliation when it is spurned, heap kindness on contempt, favor on ingratitude, mercy on sin?
The love of Christ moved Him to do all of that so I could spend all my days admiring and adoring Him, wholly captivated by thoughts of His love for me.