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{Guest Post} “Love Thy Neighbor”

When I think of the greatness of this great plan I fall on my knees before God the Father (from whom all fatherhood, earthly or heavenly, derives its name?, and I pray that out of the glorious richness of his resources he will enable you to know the strength of the spirit’s inner re-enforcement- that Christ may actually live in your hearts by your faith. And I pray that you, firmly fixed in love yourselves, may be able to grasp (with all Christians) how wide and deep and long and high is the love of Christ- and to know for yourselves that love so far beyond our comprehension. May you be filled though all your being with God himself!

Now to him who by his power within us is able to do far more than we ever dare to ask or imagine- to him be glory in the Church through Jesus Christ forever and ever, amen!

Ephesians 3:14-21 {Phillips}

The second half of Ephesians 3 is packed full of valuable, life-giving truths, but today I’m going to put a deeper twist on Paul’s words and share a message of radical love.

Are you ready to get radical? I can’t help but wonder what the world could be if we were people who truly grasped exactly how wide, deep, long and high is God’s love for us. If we were so full of God’s love, a love far beyond our comprehension, that our entire being is literally filled through with God Himself.

I wonder if, when Paul prayed that we will know a glorious inner strenth {MSG}, he might have known that sometimes loving someone would take an inner strength that can only come from the Spirit and knowing the depth of God’s love for ourselves.

Because the truth is, there are people that do things that make it impossible for us to muster love for them. That’s a hard truth, but it is truth. We’re human.

I wonder though, if we allow ourselves the faith it might take to let the Spirit fill us to excess with God’s incomprehensible love…could we then offer that same radical love, a love far beyond anyone’s comprehension, to those seemingly undeserving of it?

Undeserving of course is a matter of degree. There are “smaller situations”…gossip, a misspoken word, a misunderstanding, a wrong look…you know what I’m speaking of. But today I’d like us take stock in how we feel about some of life’s “harder situations.” We could be right in the middle of the situation, we might be on the periphery looking in, or we may simply have an opinion while reading about it in our local paper.

Affairs
Murder
Addictions
Theft
Rape
A drunk driver killing a family

What if a person did something so horrific that everyone turned their backs on them and no one was left loving them?

Again, I have to wonder what the world could be if we, as a body of believers, decided to love these people…not their acts of wrongdoing. Imagine if we could put down our own stones, drop all condemnation, radically love, and say, “Sin no more.” {John 8:3-11}

I wonder if we pointed people towards Christ with a showing of radical love, rather than judgement, how much further that message could reach?

We have been called to love each other as Jesus loves. As the Sidewalk Prophets song says:

I am the thorn in Your crown, but You love me anyway.
I am the sweat from Your brow, but You love me anyway.
I am the nail in Your wrist, but You love me anyway.
I am Judas’ kiss, but You love me anyway.

If we can’t love each other in the hard stuff, through the hard stuff…how are we going to love each other through smaller misunderstandings?

Has someone hurt you beyond repair? Has someone done something that’s caused you to turn your back on them?

I believe when we have full faith {complete confidence and trust} in God’s love for us… His perfect love, His great love, His miraculous love, His mysterious love…when we are filled through all our being with God Himself, we can love others under any circumstance because His radical love is coursing through us.

Radical love…it’s a tough thing! But as Paul said, “With God’s power working in us, God can do much, much more than anything we can ask or imagine.” {NCV}

Jesus loves radically. Do we?

 

Tracie is a child of God, mother of four daughters, photographer, blogger, twitterer, living with MS…and blessed beyond belief! You can find her blogging at {tsi} photography or on twitter as tmstier. Her newly released e-book is 31 Days of Faith {finding joy in your anguish}. She adores her Good Morning Girls, Amy and Stacey…together with a team of amazing women, they write a blog for Mothers of Daughters called the MODsquad.

 

 

 

 

 

 

{Week 6} Experiencing an Ephesians 3:20 Weekend!

“God’s love has a width, length, height, and depth, but we will never reach the end of it. Our capacity to experience God’s love will be exhausted and full long before God’s capacity to give it is strained. The picture of having Christ “dwell” inside us by faith presents us with compelling and comforting possibilities. What Christ does in us and through us will always be “exceedingly abundantly above all we ask or think.”

- Max Lucado

I experienced an Ephesians 3:20 weekend these last few days as I spent time with Sally Clarkson, Courtney, Whitney and my own sweet Good Morning Girls group at the Mom Heart conference in Dallas. Just last year, I had attended my first Mom Heart conference with Courtney……now a year later, Courtney and I are both speaking at it! My, how your life can change in just one year! Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I would speak to a room full of women…..around 800 to be exact…..about the importance of being in God’s Word! Totally out of my comfort zone……TOTALLY! But God is so good! He was with me every step of the way!

I just LOVE it when God’s Word becomes ALIVE!!! I was praying Ephesians 3:16 “I pray that out of his glorious riches he may STRENGTHEN you with POWER through his SPIRIT in your inner being,” as I was preparing to speak…..that God would strengthen me and give me the power I was needing through the Holy Spirit to do his will in my life. Want to know something? He’ll do the same for you! What are you facing today that you feel you can’t do in your own strength? I’m learning that’s right where God wants us sometimes…….totally out of our comfort zone and totally dependent on HIM! It’s in that uncomfortable spot…..that uncomfortable place in life where we learn to trust Him, to lean on Him and to gather our strength to do what He has called and equipped us to do. Take courage my sweet sisters……if called has called you, he will also equip you! And he won’t just equip you, he’ll “do immeasurably MORE than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.”

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Right before Whitney had to fly home, we made this video for you…….so sorry for the poor quality! The battery on my video camera had died by this point so I had to use my iphone..

 

Thanks to all our other sweet Good Morning Girls who stopped us and said “Hello!”

This week read: Ephesians 3:14-21

Digging a little deeper: For those of you who would like to learn more about these verses this week, I’ve provided a few resources below for you to use to help you…….dig a little deeper!

1. John MacArthur

a. Ephesians 3:14-21 The Christian Turn

b. Ephesians 3:14-21 Experiencing the Power of Christ

2. John Piper

a. Ephesians 3:14-21 Far More Than You Think

Until next time…

Love God Greatly!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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