Ephesians 3:18-20 (NLT)
And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God. Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.
When our little dog was a puppy, we taught him how to fetch a ball. He is a natural. Although only about seven or eight pounds, he likes to run with the big boys. However, I had little boys who liked to tease him by lifting their arm as if they were about to throw the ball but then only going through the motions. The little guy would take off running, looking and racing all around trying to find whatever he was after. Only to come back confused, as our kids dissolved in laughter at their trickery. Scolding them, I would hand the dog what he wanted and he would race off to hide it in his bed far from the jokesters. As he grew older, he caught on to their little game and would wait until he knew the thrower had released what he was after. God does not trick us – He loves us too much for that. But it is up to us to gain understanding and knowledge of how God releases His Goodness and Kindness in our life and wait in our expectation of Him. This comes when we begin to understand (or at least scratch the surface) of “how wide, how long, how high and how deep His Love” for us really is and how to operate in it. Although God acknowledges that the Love of Christ is too great to fully comprehend, we must still find our way to it by faith and trust in Him. This is where we find fulfillment, completion and satisfaction in God through Jesus Christ. His Ability to accomplish infinitely more than we ask for or even can think of is found in such revelation. It is all about His Love.
Ephesians 3:6 (NLT)
And this is God’s plan: Both Gentiles and Jews who believe the Good News share equally in the riches inherited by God’s children. Both are part of the same body, and both enjoy the promise of blessings because they belong to Christ Jesus.
God’s Plan for our life is really quite simple. First, God wants us to share equally in the riches reserved for His Children. This is our inheritance that has been designated specifically for us before we were created. Secondly, God wants us to “enjoy the promise of blessings” for those who belong to Christ. What if this really is God’s Plan for our life? Simply that we inherit His Glorious Riches and enjoy the promise of His Blessing. Where does worry fit in? What about anxiousness? What about the stuff that we want to “do”? What about money and finances? God wants us to share equally in His Riches set aside for His Children meaning that He is no respecter of persons and does not love some of us more than others. I guess the best way to help us understand this idea is the prodigal son. Each son had an inheritance but one son remained in his father’s household so he had a connection to the source that the brother who left home lost until he came back. Those who choose to live in God’s Presence basking in His Love will experience all of the promised blessings of God by their connection to Christ as a result of His Great Love.
Ephesians 3:11-12 (NLT)
This was his eternal plan, which he carried out through Christ Jesus our Lord. Because of Christ and our faith in him, we can now come boldly and confidently into God’s presence.
Our affiliation, attachment and allegiance to Jesus Christ is our connection to our inheritance in God. Apart from Jesus Christ, we are hopeless. There is no need to seek God because He cannot allow us close to Him or His Justice would consume us in our sin. Jesus Christ gives us righteousness as a covering by His Grace so that we can now step boldly and confidently into God’s Presence (where our Father is) and ask anything in His Name. Let’s think about these three things for a moment.
Ephesians 1:4-7 (NLT)
Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure. So we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us who belong to his dear Son. He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins.
God decided to adopt us long before we drew our first breath. He knew that we would sin so God made the Way (Jesus) for us to return to right standing with Him. The rest is up to us. To deny our birthright as sons and daughters of God happens when we live below God’s Glorious Standard. God wanted you. He wanted me. He was not forced to take over our care. He wanted us. God the Father desires us and takes great pleasure in us. It is with such loving kindness that He stopped at nothing to adopt us as His Precious Children once again. God purchased our freedom. It is up to us to accept it stepping out of bondage in this world to live by the Spirit in total liberty as He designed. Our relationship to God through Jesus Christ is one of kindness and grace based on love alone. There is nothing else to do but accept it and live in the spirit of adoption that we have been given. “He has showered his kindness on us, along with all wisdom and understanding. God has now revealed to us his mysterious plan regarding Christ, a plan to fulfill his own good pleasure.” (Ephesians 1:8-9)
John 15:5-8 (NLT)
“Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing. Anyone who does not remain in me is thrown away like a useless branch and withers. Such branches are gathered into a pile to be burned. But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted! When you produce much fruit, you are my true disciples. This brings great glory to my Father.”
This is the place where most Christians lose their blessings. Not that they are permanently removed from our life but the point in time when we forfeit them. We like to be independent. Taught from an early age that dependency is a sign of weakness, we struggle to remain “free” according to society’s definition without knowledge and understanding that our freedom to be sons and daughters of God rest solely in our ability to have faith in Jesus Christ. Without faith, there is no hope of redemption. Hope never leads to disappointment. The more that we learn to trust the Lord living and breathing totally in Christ, then we begin to see God’s Inheritance in our life. We must form a strong and impenetrable bond with God the Father through Jesus His Son living day by day in close relationship with His Spirit. There is no point in getting frustrated in our own ability when all the power is in Christ alone. We must remain in Christ – pursuing His Word, Will and Way in our life to have all the promises that belong to us. Trying to do anything our own way will always result in less than God’s Glorious Standard of Living. We must learn to live totally dependent on Jesus – this is a lifelong process. We must learn to trust the Love of God. We must decide that He is always good and that His Kindness belongs to us. We will live in God’s Abundance when we find His Presence and remain there. It is all about His Love. “I have loved you even as the Father has loved me. Remain in my love. When you obey my commandments, you remain in my love, just as I obey my Father’s commandments and remain in his love. I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow!” (John 15:9-11) The greatest gift that I have discovered is the joy and peace found in a strong connection to Jesus Christ. It seems to just flow from the inside out of us. As we discover His Love and the magnitude of it along with its great potential, it will change our desires in life until all we want is more of Him. (Ephesians 3:17) It is all about connecting to Jesus and becoming so “engrafted” that nothing can separate us from His Love again. (Romans 11:22-24)
Hebrews 13:14-16 (NLT)
For this world is not our permanent home; we are looking forward to a home yet to come. Therefore, let us offer through Jesus a continual sacrifice of praise to God, proclaiming our allegiance to his name. And don’t forget to do good and to share with those in need. These are the sacrifices that please God.
When we become sons and daughters of God through Jesus Christ, it should impact how we live. It should dictate our responses. Such a change should be evident to others as we are transformed into His Glory day by day and His Grace, Mercy and Love consume us. We should demonstrate allegiance, citizenship and loyalty to His Kingdom. The origin of the word “allegiance” means “loyalty to a liege-man to his lord.” Are we loyal to Christ in our everyday life comparing our attitudes and actions to Jesus Christ? Is He our example? At the end of our life when we are called to accountability to God for how we lived, what is our defense? It will be our allegiance to His Son, Jesus. (Romans 14:10-12) God has no time for divided loyalty. You are for Him or against Him. You must choose a side and remain committed. (James 1:5-7) Loyalty is important in having all that God has promised us. We are to act like citizens of Heaven no matter how the world reacts. (Philippians 1:27-28)
When we decide that God’s Love is for us, we must live a life of affiliation, attachment and allegiance to Him through Jesus Christ. If we are successful, we can have all that God has promised us and every blessing stored in Heaven. Our little dog is totally dependent on us to meet His Every Need. Each evening around 5:00 PM and every morning when he hears us stirring around, he will go and sit at his food bowl. He knows that someone will come and feed him if he waits because we have for about nine years now. He trusts us. He spends his days sleeping and following the sunlight from window to window until we come home. He knows that the kids will play with him and if he is in the right spot at the right time an ear rub is in store. He doesn’t have a care or worry in the world. He is not skittish but bold when he is ready to eat based on his experience in our family. Imagine our life’s potential if we would only trust God as much as our pets can trust us? Our life would be filled with limitless potential all because we knew His Love and believed it to be true.
Romans 8:38-39 (NLT)
And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.
I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s Love. Are you? I must evaluate my own conviction and commitment to this concept each day. When worry, stress, anxiety and doubt come rushing in, it is up to me to accept these faith killers or dare to believe that nothing can EVER separate me from God’s Love which produces an inheritance of His Abundance in my life. Living in the Presence of God is meaningless without His Love. The condemnation of our sin would kill us. However, when we decide that God love us that He wants us and desires us taking pleasure in us everything changes. As God’s Love works its way through us, all limitations and limits are removed from our life in the knowledge and understanding that God loves us! I wonder if such an understanding would keep us from constantly running after things that are less than His Best or compromising for settlements and substitutions over satisfaction. Our little dog learned when to run after the ball and when to stay waiting for a release. Have we?
Psalm 52:8-9 (NLT)
But I am like an olive tree, thriving in the House of God. I will always trust in God’s unfailing love. I will praise you forever, O God, for what you have done. I will trust in your good name in the presence of your faithful people.