friendship

Love Conquers All

Paul prayed in this way for the church at Ephesus:

I pray that, according to the riches of his glory, [God] may grant that you may be strengthened in your inner being with power through his Spirit, and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith, as you are being rooted and grounded in love. —Ephesians 3:16:17

Christ resides in us, and we reside in Christ by our trust that what God says about himself and us in the person of Jesus Christ is true. By faith we participate in the triune love of God. Paul’s prayer is for this divine participation to be increasingly experienced as we are increasingly “rooted and grounded in love.”

Through the work of the Spirit in our lives and through the discipline of our minds, the roots of our lives must become firmly planted in the reality of God’s love as revealed in Christ. Like the ground from which a tree’s roots are nourished, God’s love is the one source from which we are to drink and derive nourishment.

When we are empty, we are to drink the fullness of God’s love.

When we face temptation, we are to drink the strength of God’s love.

When we catch ourselves feeling superior, we are to drink in the mercy of God’s love, remembering that we ourselves are forgiven sinners.

When we feel condemned, we are to drink the forgiveness of God’s love.

When we feel despair, we are to drink the hope of God’s love.

When we feel lifeless, we are to drink the abundant life that is God’s love.

When we feel hate, we are to drink in the love that led Christ to give up his life for those who hated him.

It is all there in Christ. He is the truth and he is the life (John 14:6). We must be rooted in him and in him alone. Love conquers all.

God’s love, as revealed in Christ, is also the source of our grounding, our stability in life. Trees with deep roots bend when strong winds come, but they are not uprooted like trees with shallow roots. So too, our stability in life depends on our being firmly grounded in the reality of God’s love as it is revealed in Christ. If our lives are grounded in idols from which we try to get life, we are building our house on sinking sand. But if our lives are grounded in Christ as “the source of [our] life” (1 Cor 1:30), our house is built upon an immovable rock (Matt 7:24-27).

We live in a world under the influence of the Accuser, who roams about as a lion seeking to devour us (1 Pet 5:8). He is continually accusing God before us, just as he is perpetually accusing us before God, just as he is perpetually accusing us before God, ourselves, and each other. If we are not rooted and grounded in God’s love, we will invariably find ourselves unconsciously or consciously judging and accusing God, and then ourselves and each other. We will live in judgment, and the flow of love from God to us and through us will be suppressed.

May Christ dwell in your hearts through faith, being rooted and grounded in love.

—Adapted from Repenting of Religion, 133-135

Related Reading

Podcast: Is Satan Just a Copout?

Is Satan just a copout for what humans should take responsibility for? http://traffic.libsyn.com/askgregboyd/Episode_0101.mp3

Tags:

The Kind of Sin Jesus Publicly Exposes

Image by danny.hammontree via Flickr Religious sin is the only sin Jesus publicly confronted. The religious variety of the forbidden fruit is the most addictive and deceptive variety. Instead of acknowledging that judging others is prohibited, religious idolatry embraces the knowledge of good and evil as divinely sanctioned and mandated. It gives the illusion of being on…

Podcast: If the Crucifixion Is God’s Victory Over Satan, Why Does Satan Keep Fighting?

Greg talks already-but-not-yet, perspectives of the principalities, and the toilsome life of a muon.   http://traffic.libsyn.com/askgregboyd/Episode_0284.mp3

Trying to Acquire What You Already Have

Image by Joshua Earle The lies Satan told to Eve in the garden made eating from the forbidden tree (the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil) look desirable. On the one hand, the lies caused her to question God’s trustworthiness. And correspondingly, on the other hand, they also caused her to question whether it is…

Reflecting on the Lord’s Prayer

Jesus begins the instruction on prayer (Matthew 6:9-13) by telling his disciples to pray for the Father’s name to be “hallowed,” for his kingdom to come, and for his will to be established on earth as it is in heaven. He is, in effect, telling them to pray for the fulfillment of everything his ministry,…

God’s Love and Your Freedom

The most distinctive aspect of the revelation of God in Christ is Jesus’ demonstration that God relies on love to defeat his enemies and to accomplish his purposes. More than anything else, it was the perfect love of God revealed in the incarnation, ministry, and self-sacrificial death of Jesus that in principle defeated evil and…