To Know the Love of Christ
“And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God”
“And to know the love of Christ – The love of Christ toward us; the immensity of redeeming love. It is not merely the love which he showed for the Gentiles in calling them into his kingdom, which is here referred to; it is the love which is shown for the lost world in giving himself to die. This love is often referred to in the New Testament, and is declared to surpass all other which has ever been evinced; see the Rom 5:7-8. To know this; to feel this; to have a lively sense of it, is one of the highest privileges of the Christian. Nothing will so much excite gratitude in our hearts; nothing will prompt us so much to a life of self-denial; nothing will make us so benevolent and so dead to the world.”
– Albert Barnes
Love is the well from which the power and passion of Christ springs and through which His purposes and works flow from our lives into the world around us. Devoid of this love we feel no impulse to preach, teach and reach out into the lives of others. Where there is no impetus to make known the unsearchable riches of Christ there is something lacking. The remedy is simple and glorious.
“But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life”
We do God a great disservice when we try to do in our own strength that which only a “faith empowered by love” (Galatians 5:6) can accomplish. If the fire inside fades, spend time with Him “praying in the Holy Spirit”; only His fire can fulfill His desires. When the flames burn low and the internal inspiration fades turn again to the One in whom ALL glory and mercy resides.
“Then there came again and touched me one like the appearance of a man, and He strengthened me…”
Ruth and Boaz
“And it shall be, when he lieth down, that thou shalt mark the place where he shall lie, and thou shalt go in, and uncover his feet, and lay thee down; and he will tell thee what thou shalt do.”
How powerful and penetrating is the story of Ruth and the right of redemption! Her need was great, her commitment to God pure and her hope of redemption was tied to the man Boaz. So is it with us. Boaz was the name of one of the pillars in Solomon’s Temple and its meaning to us is the foundation of all prayer: “In Him is strength”! Ruth went to the ONE who had the right and the ability to move on her behalf. It is a picture of the Lord as our hope for answered prayer; it is He who has all power and might to move on our behalf. What were her instructions concerning this ONE?
“And it shall be, when he lies down, you shall note the place where he lies down, and shall go in and uncover his feet, and lie down and he will tell you that which you are to do” (LITV)
May God show us afresh the beauty of this interaction between Ruth and Boaz. How many times do we rush feverishly into prayer with our requests and burdens with little regard for His person? Often in our haste we ignore His Lordship and Omnipotence and miss out on the peace and the repose of the moment with Him. Ruth did not clamour Boaz; she laid down at His feet expressing the need for him to move on her behalf. She then uncovered his feet speaking of the desire to KNOW His way in the matter! This is to impress upon us the wonder of our resting, asking and discovering His ways and His provision.
As with Ruth there are times in the situations of life where the need is great and the way seems shut. It is in these moments where as a child we come in surety and love and find rest at the feet of Him whose very name means “In Him is Strength”.
“And now, my daughter, fear not;
I will do to thee all that thou requires”
Effectual Prayers Part One – Incense
Effectual Prayers Part Two – Love
Effectual Prayers Part Three – Righteousness
Effectual Prayers Part Four – Humility and Repentance
Effectual Prayers Part Five – Wisdom
Effectual Prayers Part Six – Asking Largely
Effectual Prayers – Part Seven – Elisha and Jericho
Effectual Prayers – Part Eight – Ruth and Boaz
Effectual Prayers – Part Nine – Discipleship
Effectual Prayers – Part Ten – Knowing Jesus
Effectual Prayers – Part Eleven – The Fragrance of Prayer
Prayer the Privilege of Relationship
“After this manner therefore pray ye:
Our Father which art in heaven”
The true foundation of prayer is relationship. While many religious people may use rote prayers and vain repetitions, relationship is the determining element of the power and efficacy of prayer (Ezekiel 14:14, 20). True prayer has as much to do with listening as speaking. Prayer is the fragrance of relationship, the very atmosphere in which our hearts touch the Holy presence of God Himself. We see in the opening line of Jesus’ prayer that he presents the Fatherhood of God as the first key to prayer. For prayer is to be the conversing of His child with their heavenly Father in the bonds of love.
“Hallowed be thy name”
Matthew 6:9 KJV
“Your name be honored as holy”
The entrance into this Holy place of communion will be most felt within the hearts of those who know of His Holiness. The heart that spends time in prayer with Him will have a desire to keep His Name Holy in their thoughts, desires, intentions and deeds. One does not come brazenly or carelessly into this place for “the fear of the Lord is the beginning (principle part) of knowledge”. There is a beauty and a fire associated with the true prayer of relationship where the intimacy of connection grows as the years pass and becomes as natural as breathing. The intensity of the soul to cultivate an audience with Him becomes the chief purpose and desire of life itself.
“One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after;
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life,
to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to enquire in his temple”
It becomes the one thing. It is not something to be scheduled into specific meetings and times of prayer for in reality it becomes the very posture of our hearts in everyday living. How privileged we are to have such access to God Almighty. The true wonder of prayer is to be held within the miracle of relationship! Relationship with the Father has no end or limit other than the condition of our own hearts! The Eternal Mystery of God in Christ is infinite in nature and scope; so is our knowing of Him.
“For prayer is nothing else
than being on terms of friendship with God”
Saint Teresa of Avila