Day 8

Established In Love

from the Ephesians reading plan


Ephesians 3:14-21, Philippians 4:12-13, 1 Corinthians 13:1-7, 13, 2 Corinthians 9:8

BY Kaitlin Wernet

A word to the wise: do not prank call my parents today to ask if their refrigerator is running.

That is, of course, unless you’d like to trigger their post-traumatic stress involving a certain recent refrigerator leak… turned flood… turned home renovation. It was a rough time, you guys.        

In all seriousness, this Whirlpool really lived up to its name, creating a lagoon of lettuce water beneath the wooden floorboards, which curled up like soggy noodles. After clearing out all of the furniture and listening for weeks to the hum of many vacuums, my parents were relieved to make it to the simplest part of the process: choosing a replacement refrigerator. They ordered the model closest in appearance to its predecessor, measuring the length and width of the cabinet opening, checking and rechecking its size.

If you know anything about my dad, it’s that his yellow measuring tape is a force to be reckoned with. It’s always precise, down to the milli-est of meters. So it was with utmost confidence that my parents declared the dimensions of the new fridge’s home.

But when the delivery man placed the refrigerator in its compartment, there was a slight problem. Now, if you’re afraid I’m going to tell you the precious, yellow measuring tape was wrong, do not fear! Oh, it was correct. The length and width of the new Whirlpool slid snugly into the pocket where the former fridge once stood, but… it stuck out about 6 inches too far. While the length and width had been calculated to the exact millimeter, no one had considered the depth.

Each time my parents step foot in the kitchen, they are stonewalled by the refrigerator’s annoying edge, an ever-present reminder of their miscalculation.

When I read Paul’s words in Ephesians 3, I imagine they are the kind he’d like us to place in a conspicuous spot in our homes, maybe with magnets on the refrigerator:

“I pray that you, being rooted and firmly established in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the length and width, height and depth of God’s love…”
– Ephesians 3:17-18

We can guess that Paul, being the energetic guy we all know and love, didn’t intend these words to be admired only during our late-night cookie-dough raids. No, I think he was calling us out on our own miscalculations about God’s love.

If we, as Christ’s followers, understand and proclaim one thing about God, shouldn’t it be His love?

Since love is the currency and cornerstone of our faith, and others will know we are Christians by that love (John 13:35), we’d like to think we have that part all figured out. But what if we don’t? Are we doing love wrong?

Paul gives us this assurance: God’s love cannot be constrained by our own lack of understanding. God guarantees that His love will always obnoxiously stick out further than we think, bumping into our warm, fuzzy expectations with a reminder of Himself.

Its length embraces us in a wingspan of Alpha to Omega.
Its width includes us in the family tree of all believers.
Its depth reaches us buried beneath the wages of sin.
Its height draws us to eternal heavenly glory.

Love establishes and anchors us in the gospel. It is longer, wider, deeper and higher than any dimensions we can muster. We can spend our days settling for a comfortable, comprehendible love, or we can seek to be stretched by the true fullness of His love.

Today, may we make a space for Him to surprise us without limitation, so that we may see the true length, width, depth and height of the Father’s love. Amen.

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Post Comments (127)

127 thoughts on "Established In Love"

  1. Tiff says:

    Love reading about love! ESP as I measure myself up against gods perfect love

  2. Candacejo says:

    "God’s love cannot be constrained by our own lack of understanding." Amen! So thankful for the love of God that I truly do not always comprehend but so blessed that He gave, He loved and He continues to love us in spite of ourselves.

    I sat and watched the lunar eclipse last night and marveled at the infinite Almighty God that flung it all into space and is STILL in control of it all so many thousands of years later. Watching, waiting and anticipating His return. May we reach for those that do not know Him today and share that love!

    Lincoln Brewster's song seems appropriate today, Lord, I'm amazed by You! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZEaD8NTrLJQ

    1. livewithloveandgrace says:

      I wasn't able to see the lunar eclipse in person here since it was raining, but while watching it through NASA's live stream I felt the same way. I am continually amazed by God and how big He truly is. I can't even wrap my brain around it! The way He intricately designed creation to work together in the way it does and the purpose each thing has on this earth. It just amazes me! Thank you for sharing the song too :) It is PERFECT!

    2. Lucy says:

      What a beautiful post! Thank you, Candacejo.

    3. tina says:

      Candacejo, gutted, I knew nothing of this lunar eclipse until I got to work this morning…I'm sad I missed it…My amazement is that you mention it too, from the other side of the earth….How great is our God and all He gives to us…
      Wow, is all I can say…
      Blessings dear heart…Love to all…xxx

  3. ~ B ~ says:

    When I was little one of my favorite things to do at the beach was to sit in the sand near the water and let the ocean roll over my legs. I would stay in the same place because I loved the feeling of the sand shifting and enjoyed seeing how largely the water would impact where I sat. Over time, my body would shift its placement, being carried by the water as the earth washed out from under me. The process enamored me. The ground, hard and heavy to dig, yet with the slightest swell of water it softened and transformed. The biggest part of the practice that astounded me was that the sand seemed immeasurable. Picking up a handful of it, I would notice how teeny each individual piece was, miniscule in size, unnoticeable alone. Paired with an inestimable amount of other pieces and it was a force of support. The thing is, no matter how much sand was swept out from under me, there was always more. What the ocean would carry out into itself, it would pour back out in another location. There never came a day that the beach ran out of sand. It was always there ebbing and flowing with the tide. And even if I came to a spot where the earth seemed to collapse and degrade over time, the sand still existed, it just wasn't in a visible place. Today I look at the sand and realize that God's love is even more numerous, more abundant than the individual grains of sands that used to carry my weight. That just as I would notice the swirling grains in the water around me, just as I knew, without question, that the ocean was brimming with them; God's love is even more ever-present, ever vast, ever abounding, ever sufficient and ever providing. Praising God for His exorbitant love over us; for the depth of it, the flow of it and the overwhelming amount of it. That when we feel spent here as if the earth is being pulled out from under us, that God's love will always be our support, it will never run out. ~ B

    1. Denise says:

      Please, please write a book. What a beautiful, eloquent and meaningful post. I will keep your thoughts about the grains of sand with me today. Bless you!!! xo

      1. MissyCM says:

        Um… I´d buy it.

      2. MNmomma (heather) says:

        I agree! A book would be amazing!

      3. Drea says:

        i was thinking the exact same thing! she has a gift.

      4. ~ B ~ says:

        You guys are among the greatest of encouragers. I am genuinely humbled by your kindness and am so thankful God saw fit to bring us together with SRT. Thank you, Denise, very much for your words over me. ~ B

    2. MNmomma (heather) says:

      Amen! Amen! Amen!

    3. Christy says:

      Yes I wholeheartedly support the book idea!

    4. Sylvia Reeve says:

      Said so beautifully, thank you. I will never look at beach sand the same old way but will be reminded of God’s unfathomable love

    5. Chrissy says:

      Thank you for painting such a beautiful imagery of the incalculable love of our incomparable God! What a staggering thought that no matter how full a beach might be with sand so numerous and deep, or how full a vast ocean might be as it stretches beyond what naked eye can see, fuller still is our God Whose very word spoke all of it into existence!
      Oh Father, open our eyes, hearts, and minds in Christ that we may even just begin to know Your deep, wide, long, and high love. We long for you to fill us today with the immeasurable fullness of God that alone can satisfy our deepest longing. And as You do, may all glory be to You in us, Your church – Your bride, by Christ Jesus (Eph. 3:21)!

    6. kb says:

      I’m with these ladies – I don’t read a lot of books but would definitely read yours! God has given you a way with words… thank you for sharing them with us! ❤️

    7. mamajonk says:

      Blessed by your words. Thank you!

    8. I love this illustration of God's love. I often go to the ocean to spend time with the Lord and do the same. Thank you for sharing this :)

    9. tina says:

      Dearest friend…I love this!!!! Totally love this!!!

      No amount of 'to infinity and beyond''' could add up to the grains of sand….let alone God's love for us, and how vast, how deep, how wide, how long…that is a whole heap of love and then some!!!! Thank you Lord…Thank you-B…for this wonderful illustration …

      As for the book, I'm in Sis…hugs, xxxx

    10. Andrea H says:

      I agree with Denise! You should write a book

    11. Dee says:

      Thank you B, for such a beautiful illustration. Absolutely beautiful.

  4. carlybenson says:

    V19 stood out to me: "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." I had heard about God's love for many years, and I believed it, but I didn't really understand it and I certainly didn't feel it. I had been taught that feelings don't matter, that it was all about what the Bible said, and I do believe God's truth is bigger and more reliable than how we feel, but I also think it is important to really know and experience God's love in our hearts, not just to have a theoretical head knowledge that doesn't really impact our lives. I remember the day I first properly experienced God's love. It actually felt like I was being physically filled up with it and for the first time I felt confident that it was really for me, and felt so much joy. People could tell there was something different as soon as they talked to me- and it brought real and lasting change.
    I'm rambling a bit here but agree that really grasping God's love can totally transform us. I'm not saying that I've completely got it but that experience changed a lot and also drives me on to know God more. Praying that all of us may know God's love for us today in a deeper way than we have before.

    1. Amy J says:

      I think I experienced something similar just yesterday. The love and joy I feel in my heart this very moment is immense. I feel giddy – which is not at all who I am – and feel that I can't contain it. But, giddy, I am not. I'm pretty sure the giddiness will fade, but I feel more powerful than I've ever felt before. I'm amazed by, and also prompted to deepen, my relationship with God.

      Thank you for sharing.

      1. carlybenson says:

        Thanks for sharing that, Amy. That's amazing, and it sounds very similar to how I felt- definitely giddy, and unable to contain it! I was sitting in a train station and suddenly realised I was singing a worship song out loud! Not very loud, but loud enough for people to notice- and that's not like me at all. I found the giddiness faded gradually over the next few days, but the sense of God's love and power continued. Praying for you as you go deeper with God.

  5. tina says:

    We can never comprehend '..how wide ..how long..how high, .how deep…..how amazing…Not in our wildest dreams…

    I used to tell my children, when they were younger, that I loved them.'to infinity and beyond…beyond..beyond…( words stolen from Woody…Toy story, just added extra ' beyonds') I needed them to understand how so. Very much I loved them, how special, how loved, how important they were to me…i remember watching Toy Story with them, a d explaining I dignity to the younger child, and how vast, how deep, how long, how wide how it went on forever…..
    As youngsters, it was so important for them to understand that I was there for them, that I might not like, but would alwAys be for them, should they get into or find themselves in trouble, that my love for them does not change, will not change, whatever was going on in their lives, whatever they do, or don't do…I will be there for them..that the love I have for them, comes from deep within the womb they and from…that came with them, when they were born, but not a tidy upper of their mess y room or plates…lol.
    I have been here for a few years now and heard zillions talk of your Love for your children, your concerns….your worries…Our love for our children , though we k ow goes beyond,beyond infinity, would never come close to God's love for us….no matter how intense our love, we can never love as God loves us…
    I have had my share of life's ups and downs, but before this amazing journey with God, my dear daddy, was my go to…He was wise, comforting, provided, never turned me away for letting the side down, he loved without judging, he loved me no matter what….That, and the penny dropping, enabled me to grasp and understand the depth of the Heavenly Father s love…..If this was the 'no holds barred' love of an earthly father….then …my God , the love of The One who gave and continues to give it all…has got to be even more deeper, intense…
    I have loved these words since reading them the first time…
    “I pray that you, being rooted and firmly established in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the length and width, height and depth of God’s love…”
    So, so very thankful Lord God for the great example I have had, with daddy….for his unconditional love, and care, But God…Thank you that you are the author of our lives…that your love of this 'book of Tina' is set in love love love….your love, Lord God, that nothing, NOTHING can stop, take away, or call to question….I am blessed to know and receive this greater love…..and I am truly thankful…Lord God…Thank you Lord, thank you…Amen…

    Happy Monday my dears….be blessed..xxx

    1. MNmomma (heather) says:

      Beautiful Tina….thanks for sharing this Monday! hugs and love to you!

    2. Amy J says:

      I tell my children that I love them more than they'll ever know. It's hard for me to imagine a love any greater than the love I have for my children.

      But, Tina, you've helped me to see that God loves me more than I'll ever know.

      More than I'll ever know.

  6. stixng says:

    the story about your parents' fridge made me smile a lot!

    I enjoyed this devotion. He indeed loves us and now I have Stuart Townend's song 'playing' loudly in my head. :)

    "How deep the Father’s love for us,
    How vast beyond all measure,
    That He should give His only Son
    To make a wretch His treasure.
    How great the pain of searing loss –
    The Father turns His face away,
    As wounds which mar the Chosen One
    Bring many sons to glory.

    Behold the man upon a cross,
    My sin upon His shoulders;
    Ashamed, I hear my mocking voice
    Call out among the scoffers.
    It was my sin that held Him there
    Until it was accomplished;
    His dying breath has brought me life –
    I know that it is finished.

    I will not boast in anything,
    No gifts, no power, no wisdom;
    But I will boast in Jesus Christ,
    His death and resurrection.
    Why should I gain from His reward?
    I cannot give an answer;
    But this I know with all my heart –
    His wounds have paid my ransom."

    1. Tricia says:

      That is beautiful!

    2. Helen says:

      Thanks for the lyrics. I’ve been singing parts of this in my head for a few days. It will be great to learn it all now.

    3. Kelly_Smith says:

      I love that song! Thank you for planting it in my head to play throughout the day!!

    4. goldenretrieversandlabradoodles says:

      This song just popped into my head as well. I scrolled down, and here it is. :)

    5. Kim says:

      Thank you! Love that song!

    6. melindawatters says:

      Yes, ditto to what Kelly said! Thankyou!

    7. tina says:

      I don't know this song, so thank you so much for these beautiful words from Stuart Townend…xxx

    8. Jessica says:

      Thank you for this. I copied the whole thing down. It really speaks to me. So beautiful and so powerful. What an incredible Savior we have!

  7. Anja says:

    I’m in Eastern Europe right now on a mission trip. As I’m reading these verses, I’m praying that God who has blessed me and my team abundantly would give us more opportunities today to sharing His immeasurable love with the college students here. Thank you for the encouraging words.

    1. Candacejo says:

      How exciting! I lived there for a year and a half helping to plant new churches. The people are amazing and hungry for God. I am certainly putting you and your team on my prayer list while you are there. May you reach many souls for Him! ♥

    2. Anne says:

      I am a college student, and I can assure you your work does not go unnoticed. It's hard being a christian in college, and people like you and your team that reach out to us help us enormously. In a culture so broken, it is truly the few with the light of christ that keep those few going. Thank you for that you're doing across the globe!

    3. shereadstruth says:

      Praying with and for you today, sister! Grateful for your obedience and for the ways God is using you!

      xoxo-Kaitlin

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