Paul’s prayer for believers in Ephesians 3 is astounding, it deserves our continuing attention and meditation. Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones concludes a section of his exposition of this prayer by saying, “I cannot do anything better at this point than to quote a little verse which Hudson Taylor used to pray for himself every day of his life”:
Lord Jesus, make Thyself to me
A living, bright Reality;
More present to faith’s vision keen
Than any outward object seen;
More dear, more intimately nigh
Than e’en the sweetest earthly tie.
My prayer is that as God would enlarge our hearts to see Christ and the love of Christ with greater fullness and clarity. And that because we are more aware of His love for us, we then might love Him more! And don’t forget that we are not talking about mere head-knowledge. Again, as R. Kent Hughes writes: “This knowing is not just in the intellect but in the heart. Samuel Rutherford wrote from prison in Aberdeen, ‘Love, love (I mean Christ’s love), is the hottest coal that ever I felt. Oh, but the smoke of it be hot! Cast all the salt sea on it, it will flame; hell cannot quench it; many, many waters will not quench love.’ For those who have not experienced this love, no words will suffice. For those who have experienced it, no words will quite do.” (R. Kent Hughes, Ephesians, 118.)
And I really appreciate what Dr. James M. Boice observes when he writes that “we are to grow in our awareness of that love, particularly through the routine hardships, sufferings, and persecutions of life.” He then goes on to give a wonderful illustration of how the dimensions (the width, length, height, depth) of Christ’s love were testified to by a prisoner long ago.
“In the last century, when Napoleon’s armies opened a prison that had been used by the Spanish Inquisition they found the remains of a prisoner who had been incarcerated for his faith. The dungeon was underground. The body had long since decayed. Only a chain fastened around an ankle bone cried out his confinement. But this prisoner, long since dead, had left a witness. On the wall of his small, dismal cell this faithful soldier of Christ had scratched a rough cross with four words surrounding it in Spanish. Above the cross was the Spanish word for “height.” Below it was the word for “depth.” To the left the word “width.” To the right, the word “length.” Clearly this prisoner wanted to testify to the surpassing greatness of the love of Christ, perceived even in his suffering.” (James Montgomery Boice, Ephesians, 111.)
I pray that you may perceive Christ’s love no matter what your circumstances. To God be the glory.
Have a wonderful rest of the week,
Source of above quote: M. Lloyd-Jones, The Unsearchable Riches of Christ: An Exposition of Ephesians 3, 149