If I asked you to tell me what is the greatest commandment you would answer “to love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength”. And you would be right! If I asked you what is the second you would answer “to love your neighbour as yourself “. Again you are right! Life is such a challenge and then there are the people…
I was saddened during the week as I visited someone in hospital. I learned how unforgigeness can ruin family relationships. It seems unbelievable that adults can carry grudges and bitterness even to the extent of breaking relationships between siblings and parents who once shared a home together. How can something that happened 40 years ago still cause division, bitterness and jealousy? Where is love? Where is forgiveness? Sadly, this even occurs in the church. Fractured relationships. Hurts. Bitterness. Division. If only we could grasp the enormity of God’s love for us. If only we could gain an understanding of what this love entails. If we did then our lives would be radically different! The church would be radically different too! It would be a family that cares and loves one another where that love only thinks always of the other person! It would be a family that seeks to build others up through encouragement and through prayer.
In today’s Bible reading from Ephesians Paul prays for believers like us. He has grasped the amazing love that God has displayed. He has grasped God’s purposes and intentions because of this love. Now he prays and what a magnificent prayer he prays on our behalf. His prayer has four facets to it. Firstly, he prays that we will be blessed with strength to grasp God’s purposes. Secondly he prays that we will be rooted in love so that God’s purposes can be witnessed through us. Thirdly, that we will have a deep knowledge of Christ’s love to spur us in during times of challenge and finally for each one of us to be filled up to God’s fullness.
Paul has a great understanding of the enormity of God’s love. It was revealed to him by the power of the Holy Spirit working in him. His life was radically transformed. He even was prepared to suffer imprisonment because of how his life was transformed. Maybe we should use this prayer in our private prayer for one another. How blessed we would be as individuals and as a church. I am sure that love for our Lord would increase and our love for our neighbours would become a reality. Now that is a thought!