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Friday, May 09, 2008

Knowing The Unknowable

"Love that surpasses knowledge." (Eph 3:19)

I was recently preparing to speak to a small group of believers I didn't know. Their pastor and his wife are friends, but I had never spoken to anyone else in the congregation. As I sought the Lord for His word to those people He asked me a rather probing question, "if this were to be the last sermon you had the chance to preach, what would you want to say?"

What Really Matters
Most of us do not know the day or hour of our departure from this world to the next, but it appears that the apostle Paul believed he knew when his life would come to an end and he set about writing some of the most moving passages of Scripture. The letters to the Ephesians, Philippians and Colossians are full of the heart of a man who wants believers to understand what really matters in the Christian life. Through these epistles he preached what he considered his final words to the church.

Interestingly, the great apostle to the Gentiles didn't focus on the importance of preaching the gospel. Instead his primary emphasis was on the potential of the individual believer to have a deep, personal, intimate relationship with God. He tells them there is nothing to compare with knowing Christ (Phil 3:8), he prays that his readers may know the Lord's unknowable love (Eph 3:19) and he instructs them to set their hearts and minds on heavenly things (Col 3:1-2).

Knowing Love
One line in a song by Pink Floyd says, "hanging on in quiet desperation is the English way." Too many Christians are living that kind of existence because they haven't yet understood that the abundant life which the Lord Jesus describes in John 10:10 is for now. We are meant to be full of joy because of our overwhelming experience of being truly, deeply and fervently loved by the God who is love.

As human beings we express love in a variety of ways. In fact recent studies have shown that different people want to have love shown to them in different ways. There are those who like to be told in words, some prefer to receive gifts, while loving touch is more important to others. Our God expresses His love for us in all these ways. He has given us a book full of words which speak of His love and He has given us the gift of His Son to redeem us. But He also wants to touch us deep in our spirits with a tender and profound love that we can actually feel.

Prayer College Assignment
We all know what it is to love and to be loved. Paul says that he wants believers to know the love of God that is so vast it is unknowable. Our experience of the love of the Lord is meant to be far superior to our experience of any human love. If it isn't, we need to take the words of Eph 3:16-19 and pray them for ourselves until we receive that revelation of divine love.

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