April 25, 2014
READ: Ephesians 3:12-21
May you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high and how deep his love is (v.18).
His soft hair brushing against my chin, the tiny bundle snuggled on my shoulder. Though I’m well past the baby stage with our own children, I so enjoy these tender times with friends’ babies. Even when they’re fussy, I enjoy the opportunity to nestle them close—especially when I can feel the tension leave their little bodies as they relax in sleep. At the same time, these precious moments encourage me to let go of everything that previously seemed foreboding or demanding.
This picture is a reflection of God’s nurturing care for us. Psalm 68:19 says, “Praise the Lord . . . for each day he carries us in his arms.” A warrior king, David captured this same idea when he compared his submission to the Lord as being like that of a young child leaning against his mother (Psalm 131:2). Perfect, peaceful surrender. It’s the kind of restful place we all desire, especially when the storms of life seem strong (4:8).
When we get anxious about the future, we wonder how to exchange His yoke for ours (Matthew 11:29). Knowing He’s in control is not the same as living as if He is. In 1 John 4:17-18 we read, “As we live in God, our love grows more perfect” and “perfect love expels all fear.” So Paul’s prayer in Ephesians 3 becomes a powerful call to a strong but restful life, one where fear can’t prosper (vv.14-21).
The more we know His love, the greater we trust Him (1 John 4:16). When we understand that we’re safe, we come “boldly . . . into God’s presence” and live expecting God “to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think” (Ephesians 3:12,20). —Regina Franklin
365-day plan› 2 Kings 5:1-27
Read Hosea 2:1-23 and consider the connection between love, trust and obedience.
Although you’ve wanted God to carry your burdens, how have you remained independent of Him? What are some of the challenges you face in understanding His love for you?