What does it mean to live a full life? Does it mean a busy life? Or a long life? Whether busy or long, there is a desirable fullness on offer that is not to be missed. It’s a life filled with love – love that is grounded in God’s love, love as seen in the life of Jesus, love that honours and respects and gives itself in commitment and compassion. That’s what Paul prayed for when he wrote, “Live full lives, full in the fullness of God.” (Eugene Petersen’s translation of Ephesians 3:19) This was coupled with the prayer, “May you be strong to grasp what is the breadth and length and height and depth of Christ’s love, and to know it, although it is beyond knowledge.” To know it is to live it. It is not something theoretical; it is not head knowledge. It is experienced. It is lived out in practice. The distinctive understanding of God that comes through Jesus is that God is love. Gods are usually associated with power. Terms like Almighty and Sovereign thus put the emphasis on power. But power without love is disastrous. The good news of the Gospel is that God is full of love for his creation and his creatures, especially for humanity, and not just for humanity in the abstract, but for people in all their individuality, for you and for me. Saturated with God’s love, we then live that love in our relationships. This operates on the personal level, but also on the public or political level where it becomes a concern for justice and peace, for the good of the whole community and for communities everywhere, When a life is filled with love, there is no room for bitterness or hatred. A life full of love is not overwhelmed by fear or anxiety. Defensiveness gives way to positive action. Suspicion gives way to prayer for the other. Competition gives way to cooperation. Rejection gives way to respect.
- According to Ephesians 3:14-21, what did Paul pray for his readers?
- What does a love-filled life look like?
- How does love show itself on a public or political level?
- Ephesians 3:18 prays that all Christians will live lives full of love. Why don’t they?