The first section was Made for Community with God. Here goes with the Scripture for the third day of that section.
S= "[That ye] may be able to comprehend, with all saints, what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height,
"And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God." (Ephesians 3:19-20)
O= These verses are part of a prayer by Paul for those to whom he is writing -- "to the saints who are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus." Here in these two verses he prays that they may be able to comprehend what is the breadth, length, depth, and height of God's love. And he prays that they will know the love of Christ -- which passes knowledge -- that they might be filled with all the goodness of God.
For the phrase "able to comprehend", a suggestion is given to compare Ephesians 1:18 with verse 19.
"The eyes of your understanding being enlightened, that ye may know what is the hope of His calling, and what the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints.: (Ephesians 1:18)
I think, truly, for the eyes of our understanding to be opened and for us to be able to comprehend spiritual truth -- that is what the Holy Spirit does for us as we yield ourselves to Him.
Paul's prayer is that all saints will be able to comprehend these things. C.I. Scofield points out that a saint "is not a sinless person but a saved sinner. It is through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ that a sinner becomes a saint."
This comprehension of the breadth, length, depth, and height of Christ's love will only happen as we are aided by the Holy Spirit. It's certainly more than my finite mind can take in.
A cross-reference of 2 Timothy 2:7 is given: "Consider what I say, and the Lord give thee understanding in all things."
Some cross-references for "love of Christ" in verse 19 include the following:
Ephesians 3:17 -- "That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love..."
Ephesians 4:2 -- "With all lowliness and meekness, with long-suffering, forbearing one another in love."
Ephesians 4:15 -- "But, speaking the truth in love, may grow up into Him in all things ..."
John 13:34 -- "A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another."
A= Paul's "prayer for all saints" is a prayer for me -- since, as a saved sinner, I am a saint. So his prayer is that I may be able to comprehend, or understand, the breadth, length, depth, and height of God's love. Whenever I read Ephesians 3:19-20, I am reminded of the hymn The Love of God. I don't have a copy of the words nearby, but part of the hymn goes something like this:
"Could we with ink the oceans fill, and were the skies of parchment made; were every stalk on earth a quill, and every man a scribe by trade; To write the love of God above would drain the oceans dry. Nor could the scroll contain the whole, though stretched from sky to sky."
A beautifully poetic way of saying that God's measureless love defies description!
The only way I can even begin to comprehend God's love is with the aid of the Holy Spirit.
William MacDonald explains that being filled with the fullness of God means that the more Christ dwells in our hearts by faith, the more we are filled with all the fullness of God. He writes: "We could never be filled with all the fullness of God, but it is a goal toward which we move ... We must say there are depths of meaning here we have not reached. As we handle the Scriptures, we are aware that we are dealing with truths that are greater than our ability to understand or explain ... we can only stand in awe at God's Word and marvel at its infinity." Amen!
P= "Lord, I thank You today once again for Your Word and for what a blessing it is to Your people. (If only more of us would actually read it!) I thank You today for all that Your Word teaches about Your unfathomable love. I praise You for Your Holy Spirit, who helps us to comprehend the truths about You. I praise and thank You for loving me, and I pray that You will help me to share Your love with others. I thank You for all You will do, in Jesus' name, Amen."
And there's our "Made for Community" study for this week. I hope it's a blessing to someone today!