Review Day in the School of Union and Love



Wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you. 

Jesus, I belong to you.

I lift up my heart to you.
I set my mind on you.
I fix my eyes on you.
I offer my body to you as a living sacrifice.

Jesus, we belong to you. 

Praying in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, amen. 

1 John 4:16

And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.


Review days in school were days to pause, catch our breath, and revisit some of the essential learnings of the past season. Without times of review, we can become too occupied swallowing fresh information rather than taking the time to savor and apply what we’ve learned. It is in the savoring that learning sticks.

Today we’ll take a few moments to review all we have considered in our series so far and to build our anticipation for what is ahead.

We began by immersing ourselves in Ephesians 3:14–21, what we are calling, “The Prayer for Union and Love.” It is the foundational passage for all we are learning together. Let’s read it again, out loud, to get it set in our hearts and to continue to memorize it:

For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

The centerpiece of this prayer is found in verse 19, in the little phrase, “to know this love.” Embracing that Jesus dwells in our hearts through faith—that we are living in union with him—opens the door to us experiencing and knowing the love that Jesus has for us.

Paul, our Apostle of Union and love, writes this incredible prayer from his own experience of God’s love in Jesus (Acts 9:1–17; Gal. 2:20b). His understanding of the mystery of the gospel, which he will say is “Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Col. 1:27), he has learned by revelation from Jesus himself (Gal. 1:11). His language for talking about being a follower of Christ will be summed up in a two-word phrase (and variations of it) that will fill the pages of the New Testament. That phrase is “in Christ.”

As Paul learned from Jesus himself what he understood the gospel to be, we are now going with the Lord of Union and Love, Jesus, into the School of Union and Love, his teaching—primarily in John 14, 15, and 17.

Learning at the feet of Jesus, we are unpacking his words related to union with himself (him in us and us in him) and love. We are doing this because the ideas of union with Christ and his “love that surpasses knowledge” (Eph. 3:19) are inseparable. To experience one is to experience the other. Union with God in Christ is not only the goal of every human life; it is also the relational trajectory of the entire Bible.

And where is all this going? Learning at the feet of Jesus, and opening ourselves to his Spirit dwelling within us, we are becoming Witnesses of Union and Love. We are becoming witnesses who share what we have experienced. The world will see Jesus because they are meeting us—his witnesses in whom he dwells and through whom he acts.

Jesus is guiding us to a corporate reality he has prayed that the Father will bring to pass: that we as Witnesses of Union and Love will become one in heart and mind—a truly unified Community of Union and Love. We learn how to love with our brothers and sisters in Christ on the training field of relationships. By the Spirit of God at work among us, as the body of Christ, we are becoming one—just as Jesus and the Father are one (John 17:22–23).

We continue on our journey together in the School of Union and Love with Jesus. Next, we will draw on the Gospel of John and the other gospels as we explore more of what it means to mature in love in Christ (1 Cor. 13:8–12). From there we will move into the New Testament, deeper into the letters of Paul, to discover what being “in Christ” means for you and me—and for the world God loves (John 3:16).


Lord Jesus, I am in you and you are in me. I thank you for the unfolding story of union and love in my own life. I welcome you to make me the kind of person who is a carrier of your wide, long, high, and deep love into all my relationships. In Christ Jesus, I pray, amen.


What have you learned so far in our series about being in union with Jesus? What have you learned so far that has given you a renewed perspective on God’s love for you and for others?

For the Awakening,
Dan Wilt 

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WHAT IS THIS? Wake-Up Call is a daily encouragement to shake off the slumber of our busy lives and turn our eyes toward Jesus. Each morning our community gathers around a Scripture, a reflection, a prayer, and a few short questions, inviting us to reorient our lives around the love of Jesus that transforms our hearts, homes, churches, and cities.

Comments and Discussion

3 Responses

  1. The overall benefit of what has been revealed to me thus far, is the firm conviction that the Church is truly a living, breathing, organism, and NOT the cold lifeless organization that is often expressed as. The true Church, the one that Jesus is building, is NOT a machine, designed and fabricated by human means, but rather Christ incarnate through His people.

  2. Love’s a key to God’s kingdom. (“The greatest of these is love’). When we begin to experientially know the love of God (not just understand it as a concept) we begin to actually rely on and totally depend on God’s love for us moment-by-moment. We learn to live in love throughout each day, not just to philosophy about it. As we, more and more, live in God’s love we experience the reality of literally living in God and of God truly living in us. (1 John 4:16.) Perhaps church could become a place where people train together to live in love by listening to God’s Spirit and each person saying and doing whatever the risen Jesus prompts them to.

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