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April 30 Ephesians 3:14-19


 

DAILY READING

 

REFLECTION


Deep & Wide

by Elaine Pierce


You've all sung the children's song, haven't you? Deep and wide, deep and wide, there's a fountain flowing deep and wide -- repeat with enthusiastic motions. [Aside: I found this fascinating story of who wrote Deep & Wide and the lyrics that have been lost in obscurity that really make the song so much more meaningful - take a few minutes to read this post and especially take a few minutes to listen to the 4-minute video at the very end of the post.


It's a fun song to sing, even for grownups, but let's put "deep and wide" into context in these seven verses. Paul is praying for this new church in the city of Ephesians that their faith in Christ is strengthened and deepened. What is the result of faith that is "deep and wide"? As we grow in faith, in knowledge, and in power through the Holy Spirit, Christ Jesus will be glorified "throughout all generations." Not just today, not just tomorrow, but for years to come. The roots we establish today will bear fruit for our children, our children's children, and children we will never meet in this lifetime.


This process of growth happens from the inside out. Paul prays that we will be "strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith." Do you notice that Paul doesn't expect you to deepen your faith as a "solo" Christian? He is praying this prayer for the church, and he encourages them "together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ..." Yes, we each individually accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior, but we grow and deepen our faith as a corporate body of Christ.


Where are you "together with all the saints"? Are you worshiping regularly, making it a part of your routine? Are you sharing your struggles and your joys with other Christians? Are you part of a small group, where you are encouraging others and walking alongside them in their joys, their heartaches, and their challenges? Yes, we will experience ups and downs, and community can be messy and even disappointing, but let's hold onto God's promise that we will be "filled to the measure of all the fullness of God."


PRAYER

Dear Lord, I pray that our church, like the church at Ephesus, is a place that people can find God and be filled with all the fullness of God. I pray that we experience how deep and wide is your love, and that we share that love with others. Forgive me when I hoard your love, and help me, a day at a time, to share the hope that is only in you. Amen.


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