Have you ever met someone who ended up changing your life? Perhaps this person was a childhood friend, a spouse or "significant other", or maybe even a complete stranger. Perhaps they were a celebrity or public figure. Television shows like Extreme Makover: Home Edition based their entire storyline on the way groups of people could band together to change the lives of an individual family. Some of my favorite YouTube clips involve people being given a surprise gift to bless their life. The impact that others have on our lives is significant and we all have a tremendous opportunity to affect each other for good or for bad. It is one of the special stewardships we have from God- how we use our lives to affect others.
In the book of Ephesians, the apostle Paul shares a prayer that he has on his heart for the church. Ephesus was a large town, an important stop along trade routes, and a cultural center featuring the very latest in philosophical and religious thought. The Ephesians were familiar with political, social, corporate and individual power, but for those who had turned to Christianity, the apostle Paul was intent that they become aware of a new power through spiritual strength. He desired that God would, "grant you to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith…" Paul writes about the impact that coming to know the Lord has on a person's life.
Then Paul follows with these words:
"that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God." Eph. 3:17-19
When God steps in to change a person's life, He does so, in part, by showing us how much He loves us! He gives us a powerful strength to understand His love, and when we do, it changes us. He shows us how broad His love is to reach across the scope of all time. He shows us the lengths to which He is willing to go to save us in coming to earth to die for our sins. He shows us the depth of His love in the way that He continues to bless, refine, discipline, and lead us, and He shows us the unsearchable heights of His love as He reveals Himself to us.
Time spent in prayer, reading the Bible, and fellowshipping with other believers is time well spent getting to know God. Has your life been changed by God? In what ways has knowing God's love for you affected the way you relate to others? I join with the apostle Paul in praying that you would know the Lord by faith, and that we would be so changed by His presence that we would know the breadth, length, height and depth of His love for us.