that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height—to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. (Ephesians 3:17–19)
If we want to grasp even a fraction of the vastness of the I AM of God, space is perhaps the best place to start because it’s so endless and unexplored. We’ve come a long way in our knowledge of the fascinating phenomenon called ‘space,’ but have undoubtedly not even scratched the surface. Scientists estimate that there are around 100 billion stars in the observable universe – one billion trillion, to put another way – and the observable universe contains an estimated 10 billion galaxies. These kinds of numbers are breathtaking, but this is the observable universe. The implication is that there is are ‘unobservable’ parts of the universe – parts beyond our human capability to observe. This incredible truth is a wonderful illustration of the limitless love of God.
God’s capacity for limitless love is encapsulated in I AM that I AM.
We serve a God who cannot be qualified or quantified. If we struggle to comprehend the vastness of the universe, we can see that it is beyond human ability to fully grasp the vastness of God that I AM defines. ‘Limitless’ serves to a limited extent because it suggests something that goes on and on, far beyond sight or reason, and without end. It helps to remember that God holds this universe in the palm of His hand. This gives us some perspective of who and what He is, and it’s about all that our puny intellect can grasp. And because God’s love cannot be separated from His nature and character, this vast I AM is also the measure of His limitless love.
Essentially, ‘I AM’ is the personal name of God – the one by which He personally defines and identifies Himself. This on its own is a fascinating study, but we don’t have time for that here. What is important is that God uses nothing else to qualify or define His existence. I AM is perfect and eternal. He was, is, and will be. I AM requires nothing else, because it is perfect and complete. It has no definable beginning and no definable end. It has no boundaries, barriers, limitations, or inconsistencies. It is eternally present and eternally self-sufficient. The limitless love of God exists in and is the expression of the vast, immeasurable, infinite, perfect, complete, and self-sustaining identity of the great I AM.
This means that God’s limitless love is defined by I AM and not by who or what we are.
This is a wonderful, powerful truth to take hold of and live by. His limitless love cannot be altered or affected by anything we say, think, or do – or don’t say, think, or do. It is the expression of who and what He is, not who and what we are. We can neither add to it, nor take away from it. And because God is love just as He is also I AM, the two are inextricably united in a dynamic, self-sustaining, perfect balance.
What a relief it is to know that nothing can alter God’s limitless love for us – for the whole world, for that matter. While it may be difficult to understand, God loves those who reject Him as much as He loves us. This is often a difficult truth to grasp, but it is absolute and we must understand that God doesn’t have different kinds of love, or degrees of love. The Bible says ‘for God so loved the world.’ It doesn’t say that Jesus died only for those who would receive Him. He died for all, whether they receive Him or not.
God’s limitless love means that He never stops loving anyone.
We need to understand the difference between God’s love for humanity and the blessing of new life in Him. As born again, Spirit-filled Christians, we become God’s children, i.e. we are adopted into His family and through grace are able to enjoy a personal relationship with Him. This does not mean that God loves us more than the people who do not accept His love. It means that we are able to receive the expression of His love and care in our lives, are able to interact with Him in a relationship of love. We are able to actively participate in the limitless love of God and so enjoy the blessings and privileges that come with reciprocating love.
All of this is wonderful, but it is not the fact that God loves us that sets Christians apart. It is the fact that we have a love relationship through which His limitless love is expressed and manifested in our lives. The only difference between a believer and a non-believer is that Christ is in the believer. The limitless love of God is not altered in any way. He loves those who reject Him as much and as perfectly and completely as He does His children. He died for all of us, and that will never change.
Limitless love does not mean blind love.
It’s easy to slide into the place of complacency where God’s limitless love becomes a kind of ‘get out of jail free card.’ The reality is very different. God loved humanity so totally and completely that He died for every single person. That hasn’t changed and never will. If someone rejects Him, this doesn’t alter the limitless love He has for them, but it does prevent that love from actually manifesting. That love also does not prevent the spiritual repercussions of their choice, which is judgement and death. This is because the limitless love of God exists in balance with every other attribute or characteristic that defines Him.
In the same way, God’s limitless love for us will never overlook our sins of commission or omission. It doesn’t blind Him to the things in us that need to change, to our rebellions and disobedience, or to the weaknesses and temptations we still need to overcome. We still face spiritual consequences for our choices, and God still loves us exactly the same. The difference lies in the fact that our relationship with Him provides the way for us to repent, receive forgiveness, and to grow in relationship and so receive more of that limitless love.
The limitless love of the great I AM is our power to live in Christ.
This is the foundation of the assurance of God’s limitless love for us. When we see it in the true context it means that that there is no limit to the power of God working in us. It is as if God is saying ‘I AM your strength, I AM your healing, I AM your deliverance, I AM your restoration, I AM your transformation, I AM your absolutely everything you could ever possibly need.’ I AM manifests in us through His love as we respond to His limitless love.
Today’s verse is a beautiful summation of this. When we allow that love to work in us in humility, we begin to comprehend ‘the width and length and depth and height’ of the limitless love of God contained in the limitless I AM. We begin to build on our solid foundation in Christ, we begin to change, we begin to receive more and be transformed more. We’re ‘stretched’ to accommodate more of the fullness of God. The abundance God speaks of is grounded in love. As we grow into the limitless love of God, we will find that the natural outworking is that the love God holds for the entire world will begin to take root in us.
Father, as Your children, we are humbled by the reminder that Your limitless love cannot be altered, changed, or diminished by anything. Help us to see Your love as it really is, to remember always that You love the world with the same immeasurable capacity. Draw us deeper into that wonderful love relationship with You, and transform us so that we may know Your heart for the world and overcome our limited understanding that always seems to focus on ourselves.