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.

Post Comments (127)

127 thoughts on "Established In Love"

  1. Mrs. R says:

    As a Christian at a very liberal American university, I struggle with showing love to the multitude of sinners I encounter everyday, who deny and actively work against God. My prayer is that God will show me how to love these people the way Christ loved. I want to show these lost sinners God's love without seeming like I accept or support their sinful lifestyles.

    1. Lucy says:

      God bless you and give you strength, wisdom and patience as you walk that tightrope. I pray you enjoy this time of needing to seek His closeness all the time.

  2. Dani says:

    I’m reading Ephesians along with our study…. Read chapter 1, verse 7 out of the New Living, and allow God to lavish His love and riches in kindness and mercy on you today….. You’ll be glad you did!

  3. Courtney C. says:

    “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.”

    On most days, I feel like I settle. I want to be stretched. I so want to make a difference in the world in some way. I pray for direction, but I am unsure of what it is I am meant to do. Does anyone else feel this way?

    1. Jessica says:

      I totally understand the feeling of being unsure of what I am meant to do. So often feel like I am “settling” and I have prayed that God would lead me to carry out His will. One part of me feels like I should be patient and wait for His timing, while the other part wonders if I am still only obeying my own will in fear of taking any chances. Praying today for clarity to know what the next step is to glorify Him!

    2. Dana says:

      All the time!!

    3. Lindsey says:

      I’m currently in that state as well! Though this morning as my worship music is blaring & I’m laying on the floor asking God what he wants me to do, he said “you’re exactly where I want you to be.” Sometimes it’s hard for me to be still until it’s time to move. But sometimes that’s what he wants from me. I hope & pray that God will speak clearly to you on what he wants you to do to bring him glory!! <3

  4. Courtney C. says:

    “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.”

  5. Frances says:

    We’ll never fully know God’s love. It’s more we can fathom. How blessed we are this is true.

    The Crowder Band song “How He Loves Us” came to mind!

    So, so much love!

  6. roglows says:

    it can be so easy to turn the whole "God is Love" theme into something trite (even magnet worthy ;) ) – but it's one of those things that when it hits you – IT HITS YOU. who am i, that Christ should love me so wholly? despite, in spite, of everything i cannot do or be, and despite, in spite, of my mistakes? it's humbling. yesterday, our pastor talked about the difference between being worthless and worthy. satan likes for us to think we are worthless – when in reality Christ sees us as worthy! His love for us is so unfathomably deep and wide and tall that He gave Himself for us.

    there's so much to learn…it's easy to forget that it all boils down to love.

    great devo today. thanks, ladies.

  7. Joey says:

    Unfathomable riches truly are ours as God's children. It is nearly unbelievable to me how much He loves us, and how gently and lovingly He reveals just HOW much that is in His own unique, perfect, and personalized ways catered to each one of us. A world crying out in desperate pain needs to know and feel this love! Thank you SRT for this reminder of how good He is — which not only soothes our individual aching worlds today, wherever we may find ourselves, but simultaneously propels us to draw others near to Him to taste and see of His goodness, love and peace as well.

  8. I've been side-tracked by my own limitations lately. Extrovert versus introvert, talents versus weaknesses – but this was such a good reminder that, while we have certain spiritual gifts, God's love abounds in and through it all. I don't need to try to be more extroverted to show His love, He meets me right where I'm at and covers it all. And in that, knowing my own weaknesses, I'm able to see Him like never before.

    Thanks for this fabulous reminder today!

    1. tina says:

      Katie, you are loved…Sending you a hug, from across the pond..xxxx

    2. Lindsey says:

      “I don’t need to try to be more extroverted to show His love, He meets me right where I’m at and covers it all.” You’re so right. Thank you!

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