So here is the last devotion of this beautiful prison letter. The 113th blog all starting with I.
I wish it was an even number it seems odd ending on an odd one!
I hope they have been a reminder of the beauty of God the Father, the mystery of Jesus Christ and the powerful help of the Holy Spirit.
If they have stimulated your thinking, encouraged your walk and if they have lifted your head to heaven then I am thankful.
On the days of offence then I hope not only for forgiveness but also that by seeing the whole landscape of what has been just short of 4 months that the provocation into the pursuit of truth is not destructive.
For those who regularly message a thank you to encourage, thank –you.
Okay Apostle Paul let’s finish this …
“Grace to all who love our Lord Jesus Christ with an undying love.” Ephesians 6 v 24
Powerfully moving especially when we remember that around 40 years later Jesus says to the Church in Ephesus that they had lost their first love for Him.
I think this final message from the Apostle is crucial: stay in love with Jesus!
To stay in love will not come naturally in fact if we do not take action we will definitely grow cold.
We need to keep on choosing Jesus.
We need to keep on putting Jesus first in our decisions.
We need to keep on being blown away by Jesus’ love for us.
You will know the story of undying love of a not very successful preacher who married the love of his life. He had high hopes for this new chapter. They would share everything together. They would dream together, walk hand in hand into the future they would build together. But it wasn’t long before his loved one began to break his heart. She chose another man to be with. In fact she chose not just one. Were the children she bore his? He couldn’t be certain. But he turned from being a struggling preacher to a broken-hearted father, a betrayed husband and an embarrassed Pastor. But it got worse for him. His wife was abducted by the men she cavorted with. Was this God’s judgment on her? Was it God’s mercy on him? More questions raged in his mind until he was left with one conviction. He had to go and get her. He had to buy her back from slavery. He had to redeem her.
Their names are Hosea and Gomer. A story of undying love. A picture of God and His people.
God loved us though we were unfaithful.
God loved us though we wandered away.
God rescued us when we got ourselves into trouble.
God redeemed us when we found ourselves trapped.
God loved us when we stopped loving Him.
God’s undying love.
But let us step into undying love for Him.
So when it appears He has stepped away from us. When it feels He has let us down. When He is not doing what we think He should be doing: we love Him with a love that is undying and incorruptible.
It does not shrivel up, it is not spoiled; it does not decay for it has an unending existence. This is not a fad, nor an affair. It is an abiding emotion. The Apostle knew it. He knows that neither nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth nor anything else in all creation will stop this undying love.
Let me close with this prayer from the Apostle:
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, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge – that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. (Ephesians 3 v 17-19)