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Like Staring at the Ocean

Have you ever looked at a beautiful scene in nature and felt like you were unable to fully appreciate its beauty? Maybe you stood at the top of a mountain and looked at all the mountains, valleys, trees, and rivers surrounding you. You felt like you could stand there for days and still not take in all the beautiful details. Perhaps you stood on a beach looking out at the Pacific Ocean. In one sense, it is a simple scene – deep blue water and a light blue sky. In another sense, it is a complex scene. The great ocean seems to stretch on forever and the sky has no ceiling. Yet, somehow these two endless parts of creation gently kiss as they meet on the horizon. We enjoy the beauty of nature, and yet there is always more beauty to appreciate. We can never take it all in.

Christ’s love for us is similar. Paul expresses this as he prays for the Ephesian Christians. He prays for them “to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge…” (Ephesians 3:19 ESV). How can you know something that is beyond knowledge? You see, in one sense, we know and appreciate Christ’s love for us. In another sense, we have only begun to understand it. The Christian life could be described as growing in our knowledge of the unknowable love of Christ. Knowing the love of Jesus is a daily and a lifelong journey. Its like the view on top of a mountain. There is always more beauty to appreciate. There is always more of Christ’s love to understand.

How is it that we grow in our knowledge of the love of Christ? We grow as we study the Bible and as we spend daily time in prayer with our Savior. As we do so, God will show us more and more how sinful we are and how holy He is. We will see that the gap between us and Him is even greater than we thought. So, what does that have to do with understanding the love of Christ? Everything! The greatness of that gap is how great the love of Christ was to come down and rescue us. The greatness of that gap is all the sin God punished Christ for in our place. Christ bridged that gap through His loving death on the cross for us.

As we better understand Christ’s love for us, our love for Him will also increase. Things of the world won’t be as appealing. We will begin to hate our sin more. We will be more eager to live in a way that pleases our loving Savior. Christ’s love changes us from the inside out.

If someone is bored as they look at mountains or the ocean, they are severely missing something. If we are bored by hearing about the love of Christ, there is a problem. Do you feel spiritually dry? Do you feel far from God? Does the Christian life seem unexciting? Perhaps you are no longer amazed by the love of Christ. Perhaps worldly distractions are keeping you from enjoying the beauty of your Savior. Perhaps you need to be reminded that the Christian faith is a lifelong adventure to “know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge.”

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