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Friday, October 23, 2009

How Deep Is God's Love?

Paul prays in Ephesians that they might grasp how wide and long and high and deep is God's love. Remember, he is writing to Christians. They already knew God's love but did they grasp how big it is?

I worked with college students several years ago. (I must admit I sometimes miss the freshness of their faith.) We had planned a mission trip to Mexico to do various projects. Most of them were building projects but we were doing some vacation Bible school like things with children, as well. It was the first mission trip for these students. We hoped to take twenty on the trip. God gave us 104 total people, counting other adults who went.

We knew what we wanted to do but we didn't know how much it would cost. I went to a local builder's supply and told them what we wanted to do in the week in Mexico. We totaled the materials and came up with a figure of $13,000. We decided to go to the local churches to ask for help. We had one month to raise the money.

Both of the associations (of churches) we were affiliated with met on the same day at the same time. We asked to be on the front of one's program and at the end of the other's. The first one was comprised of rural churches. We expressed what we wanted to do and they committed their prayers and resources. We immediately jumped in the car and went to the other association. These were mostly city churches with lots of money. We presented our vision and they openly laughed at us. They thought we were ridiculous to try and raise that much money in one month. (The year was 1978.)

One month later we started on the trip to Mexico but we didn't have $13,000. We had $40,000! We did things we hadn't planned. We bought two used cars to be gifts for missionaries in Mexico. We tried to help wherever we could. We knew it wasn't our money. When we got back we had so much money left over that we sent seventeen college students to do mission work that summer.

The rich association of churches came forward when they found out we had so much money left over. They told us to save it for next year's mission trip. These churches had done very little to help. The other association was exuberant with God's supply. They didn't try to put any restrictions on it. 

We didn't think that was what God wanted us to save the money. If God raised it in one year, couldn't He do it again? Do we really grasp how much God loves to work with us?

God's love overwhelms me. He does amazing things to reach people with the Gospel. Money was no object because He loved us and He loved the people we were going to minister to. His overwhelming supply came because He wanted us to see His love in a tangible way.

That is the story of God's love. It is never ending. You see it when He comes for you for salvation. You continue to see it through your life. There is nothing impossible once you grasp the depth of His love. There is no supply outside of your reach when you work in the middle of His love. Even when He is silent you know He is merely trusting you to do the right thing when you don't feel His presence. You know you have never lost His love and you still press forward.

If you ever walk away from God, He, because of His immense love, will come for you. 

I suppose all of my life will be lived in amazement at the depth of His love.

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