How do I love thee?

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach…

Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Sonnet 43

Long before Elizabeth Barrett Browning penned these words, someone else wrote similar words of love. But they weren’t of a lover to a mate, but rather a Father to His children.

And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love really is.

Ephesians 3:18 (NLT)

Even Paul, as he wrote of the vastness of God’s love for us, couldn’t comprehend it in its entirety. They go much further than a sonnet.

May you experience the love of Christ, though it is so great you will never fully understand it. Then you will be filled with the fullness of life and power that comes from God.

Ephesians 3:19 (NLT)

There is great power in knowing how much someone loves you. You know that person will stand beside you and fight with you—even for you. You know that you have someone at your back, at your side, or in front of you if need be. That love makes you stronger because you know that you are not alone.

How much stronger should we be because of the love that God has poured out for us? This is not a sappy, fluffy, poetic sort of love, but a love of great strength and power.

Now glory be to God! By his mighty power at work within us, he is able to accomplish infinitely more than we would ever dare to ask or hope.

Ephesians 3:20 (NLT)

When you love someone and that person reciprocates your love, you work together to strengthen that bond and to strengthen each other. Just imagine how much stronger you could be if you more fully understood the love that God has for you? Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s words are frail in comparison to the greatness of the love that God has already bestowed upon us. Though we are loved freely, purely, and with passion, God’s love for us is far too great to be contained within the confines of iambic pentameter.

Daily Bible reading: Isaiah 22-23, Ephesians 3

Receive

So I tell you to believe that you have received the things you ask for in prayer, and God will give them to you.

Mark 11:24 (NCV)

I am guilty of going to God in prayer with a laundry list. I plan out all the things I need and/or want, quickly spout them off, say amen, and be done with it. But did I really believe that God would come through?

In some church circles, this verse has become all about money. It’s not. Read back a few verses. It’s about a fig tree. Jesus was hungry. The tree had no fruit. Jesus cursed the tree. The tree withered. No money involved.

While I firmly believe that God can and will provide for us financially, this verse says so much more than that. It’s not about what you can get from God, but rather about how you go to God. It’s about taking God at His word and knowing that,

With God’s power working, in us, God can do much, much more than anything we can ask or imagine.

Ephesians 3:20 (NCV)

If someone tells you they have a gift for you, but you don’t believe they really have it, how easy will it be for you to receive that gift?

Go to God’s Word. Discover His promises. Learn what He has already provided for you. Then you can go to pray knowing that He has already made a way for you and doubt will no longer prevent you from receiving your promises.

Daily Bible reading: Deuteronomy 3-4, Mark 11:20-33