Reflection on “For This Reason!” June 4, 2024.

For this reason, I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of His glory, He may grant you to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you,  being rooted and grounded in love,  Ephesians 3:14-19.

To be ‘rooted and grounded in love’ is an intriguing phrase. Who is the Author of Love but Our Father God? The Fruit of the Spirit are attributes that carry love. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things, there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23.

We know God created all things, including plants with roots that absorb nutrients and water from the soil. Trees are anchored in the ground with their roots.

But what is LOVE? Does it grow? What ‘grounds’ love? “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And He said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” Matthew 22:36-40.

      How precious is Your steadfast love, O God! The children of mankind take refuge in the shadow of Your wings. They feast on the abundance of Your house, and You give them drink from the river of Your delights. For with You is the fountain of life; in Your light, do we see light. Psalm 36:7-9.

We are rooted in His Love when we study His Word daily and learn and live in His great Love in sending Jesus. “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through Him.” John 3:16-17.

And He said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.” Mark 17:14-16.

But the steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting for those who fear Him, and His righteousness to children’s children, to those who keep his covenant and remember to do His commandments. Psalm 103:17-18.

These verses remind me of my Dad who raised my two brothers and me. On Saturday evenings he told us Bible Stories to practice for teaching a boys’ class the next day. I particularly remember Abraham on Mount Moriah when he was to sacrifice his son, Isaac. I learned from listening to Dad what it was like to teach God’s Word, not only for himself but also for his children. Our children’s children won’t know unless we understand our responsibility to live and teach them what we have learned.

David’s song begins with Thanks. Oh, give thanks to the Lord; call upon His name; make known His deeds among the tell of all His wondrous works! Glory in His holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice! Seek the Lord and His strength; seek His presence continually! I Chronicles 16:8-11.

Choosing and living the verbs—give, call, make known, glory, rejoice, and seek is a beginning of being rooted and grounded in God’s love.

The evidence of God’s love is all around us when we see His creation everywhere. The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims His handiwork. Day-to-day pours out speech, and night-to-night reveals knowledge. There is no speech, nor are there words whose voice is not heard. Psalm 19:1-3.

Where are people planning to go for relaxation? What does a painter often paint, but the things of nature God created: animals, plants, and people!

The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims His handiwork. Often there is a promise with a commandment: “Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6.

Often, life does not go as we plan or anticipate. There is always a reason.

Then I read, But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:9-10.

How close are you living with Jesus, the giver of Life and Light? Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. John 15:4-5.

Now may the Lord of peace, Himself, give you peace at all times, in every way. The Lord be with you all. 2 Thessalonians 3:16.