“And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ….”
-Ephesians 3:17b-18, NIV
The Good News–i.e. the Gospel–starts with this unfathomable thought:
The God of the Universe knows and loves you!
What I have discovered in my faith journey is how important grasping this basic truth is. It is the basis of growing in Christ as this passage from Ephesians teaches. Without grasping this truth–that Jesus loves you–all the knowledge or achievement in the world is without value.
Understanding that Jesus died for you and is not just giving “love”-lip-service is transformational.
The more we are rooted in this truth, the less power shame or performance-oriented living has over us. This truth tells us that whether or not I am divorced or get divorced does not diminish God’s love for me. This truth tells us that God does not love us less whether or not we do “forgiveness” perfectly. This truth tells us that being quiet or introverted does not make us lesser than our glittering, extroverted cheater.
God chose us before the world was made (Eph. 1:4).
He knew what we would do and what would happen to us over our lifetimes…and He still said,
“I want that one. He’s mine!”
We are not “sloppy seconds” to God. He had “the pick of the litter,” and He chose YOU!
This truth is foundational for Christian living. It teaches us that we do not have to chase after the Father’s love as He has already chosen to freely give it to us. And it is our Heavenly Father’s stamp of approval saying that we will always belong. We are His beloved and chosen children.
Satan wants us to believe otherwise. He wants us to believe we must do this or that in order to earn our Heavenly Father’s love. He wants us to believe that how we are made or what is done to us makes us broken rejects. He wants us to think that if we don’t do “forgiveness” or whatever “perfectly” then God will condemn us.
My prayer, like the Apostle Paul’s, for you is that you may be rooted and strengthen in Christ’s love for you. A love that vanquishes fears and shame. A love that transforms. A love that gives hope and belonging to the downtrodden and rejected.
Yes, this love is Good News, indeed!