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"In that night God appeared to Solomon and said to him, "Ask what I shall give you." And Solomon said to God, "Thou hast dealt with my father David with great lovingkindness, and hast made me king in his place. "Now, O LORD God, Thy promise to my father David is fulfilled; for Thou hast made me king over a people as numerous as the dust of the earth. "Give me now wisdom and knowledge, that I may go out and come in before this people; for who can rule this great people of Thine?" And God said to Solomon, "Because you had this in mind, and did not ask for riches, wealth, or honor, or the life of those who hate you, nor have you even asked for long life, but you have asked for yourself wisdom and knowledge, that you may rule My people, over whom I have made you king, wisdom and knowledge have been granted to you. And I will give you riches and wealth and honor, such as none of the kings who were before you has possessed, nor those who will come after you." (2 Chronicles 1:7-12)
14-16 For this reason, I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man;
The New Testament seems to point to one greater thing He might have asked if He had only known. We often think that wisdom and knowledge lead to the full and abundant life, but in Ephesians 4 we find something greater enfolds this most splendid and desirable wisdom. This is the love of God in Christ. Wisdom flows out of this love. Knowledge exudes from this love. If we seek wisdom and knowledge, we are only gaining a part. Solomon went astray with his wisdom; knowledge easily leads to pride. But the love of Christ surpasses these things.
We might use many things to bring full meaning in life, but only one thing will suffice. These other things, life partners, good jobs, wealth, relationships, activity, spiritual experiences, will always peter out. But not so with the love of Christ. For this purpose of being filled with God's love were we made and only His love can fill that deepest longing.
We acknowledge that we do not fully understand it. Our quest for it comes only from the promises spread before us in the pages of God's Holy Word. We are not told that this is a promise merely for the distant future but for now so that He might be glorified all the more in the church. However, with a quick examination of our church's activities, surely we have missed this goal. We seek everything but the love of God to utterly fulfill us. We are too easily contented with human love and the things around us.
This passage of Ephesians 3:14-21 refers to two important stages in reaching such heights of love. The second step is to experience this love of God. That leaves only one step to prepare one for this ultimate goal of life. Paul seems to treat them as prayer goals.
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Ephesians 3:16-17 says,
"That He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man; so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love."
We must be rooted and grounded in love. In other words, to seek God's love in its fullness, we must in some way know and experience that love already in our lives. Just as in real life, we must have a solid base to jump from. We do not jump from nothing to everything. We need a sure foundation before we go on. I don't particularly teach a two step salvation, but this passage would affirm it if we believed it. The grounding in God's love comes from salvation faith in which Christ dwells in our hearts. If this passage is saying anything, it says we are not to be merely content with loving one another. This of course is good and desirable. It is the foundation.
But we must go on then focusing on loving one another. We are to love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength. We are to comprehend the breadth and length and height and depth and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge that we as His people might be filled up to all the fullness of God. There are two main points.
The church is seeking for greater glory for itself. Bigger buildings, programs that surpass that of the governments, nicer budgets, friendlier staff, more eloquent speakers, more comfortable settings, but we are missing what is at the heart of God's purpose. We are to step aggressively ahead by seeking the love of Christ. This is man meeting God. This is where God's love is revealed to man. Once revealed, man is forever changed.
Have you sought this love of Christ? Has your church together sought out to be filled with Christ's love? Dare we live without a full knowledge of God's healing love?! Next >
Scriptures typically quoted from the New American Standard Bible unless noted:
(C) Copyright The Lockman Foundation 1988