I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, 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 3:17-19)
Today is Valentine’s Day. I’m sure every reader has childhood memories of giving and receiving cards and candy. If you’re a parent, you may be knee-deep in that process today with your kids. I have a distinct memory of small, heart-shaped candies that had an assortment of messages on them: “Be Mine,” “I Love You,” “You’re Sweet,” and so on. Those Valentine’s Day memories are not always sweet ones: Sometimes “the one” who one of my children had most hoped would send a “Be Mine” message sent no message at all; there were other times when a sincere message of childhood affection was ignored.
Many readers of this blog probably will probably give a Valentine’s Day gift and/or card to a spouse or sweetheart. Perhaps even that is not so sweet; maybe that love is not being returned . . . or maybe there is no one to give that card and gift to, and you are wishing and praying that God would bring you that special someone. Whether this day is a day of sweetness or sorrow for you, I hope you’ll find tremendous encouragement in the Bible’s message about our Lord’s unimaginable love . . . for you!
When was the last time you gave some serious thought to just how loved you truly are by your Savior? If you spent every waking moment marinating in and meditating on this truth, you would not even begin to plumb the depths of how deeply and divinely loved you are! Here is how Charles Spurgeon described this love in his Morning and Evening devotional:
Where shall language be found which shall describe His matchless, His unparalleled love towards the children of men? It is so vast and boundless that, as the swallow but skimmeth the water and diveth not into its depths, so all descriptive words but touch the surface, while depths immeasurable lie beneath.
The apostle Paul tells us in our verse for today that God’s love for us is so vast that it surpasses knowledge. Our finite minds simply cannot understand infinite love; and what we do understand would not fill a teaspoon to overflowing. It is a love that God in Christ had for us in eternity past, before time began (2 Timothy 1:9). When there was only the Triune God, there still was His love for us that surpasses knowledge. Then that love that surpasses knowledge created us in His own image. The heart that beat with that incomprehensible love never skipped a beat when we rejected God’s love, but rather it pursued rebels on the run. Who can understand that kind of love?
The love that surpasses knowledge sought us, caught us, and bought us with His own precious blood as He hung on a cruel cross. What agony Jesus endured to have us as His own! He was denied, betrayed, falsely accused, mocked, beaten, brutally scourged, endured a crown of thorns pressed into His brow, and shuddered as nine-inch nails were driven through His hands and His feet. And as if that wasn’t enough pain to experience in His pursuit of the objects of His affection — you and me — Jesus endured the heart-searing pain of the supernatural separation from His Father, who could not look upon His Son because He had become sin for us. Jesus cried out in His anguish, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?”
And if there is a brief flicker of time when we just might begin to sense the depths of the divine love that has been poured out upon us, notice the last portion of today’s verse: “That you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” It is impossible to fathom what it means to be filled with the love of God; how then can we possibly fathom what it means to be filled with all the fullness of God?
Beloved, know this: When knowledge is surpassed, it is simply best to receive and rest in its truth. This Valentine’s Day, may that truth fill your heart to overflowing. Christian, you are loved . . . deeply, passionately, and for all eternity. God wrote it in the Bible, His “Be Mine” Valentine’s Day card to you: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness” (Jeremiah 31:3).
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!