“For this reason I too, having heard of the faith in the Lord Jesus which exists among you and your love for all the saints …” (Ephesians 1:15)
The smallest little words in scripture can sometimes have the biggest impact — if we are paying attention to them! Such is the case here in Ephesians 1:15, where Paul commends the faith that the Ephesians have in Jesus, and their love for “all” the saints.”
That word “all” is vital — and potentially very convicting. He does NOT say that he gives thanks to God because of their love for “some” of the saints. Or for their “favorite” saints. No, he thanks God because he has heard of their love for “ALL” of the saints. That is surely a matter for our reflection.
Do you have a love for “all” of the saints? All of us who are genuinely Christians can say that we love “some” of the saints: that person in church who always says something encouraging to us; or the sweet little senior adult we are just drawn to. There is the pastor or staff member who means so much to us; the teacher or discipler who has invested in us; the bosom friend in the church whom we just could not do without. We can truly say that we love them.
But love for these special favorites in the church is not what the Lord commends here. He says love for “ALL” the saints. As my old Sunday School teacher said of scripture, “all means all!” We are to love “ALL” the saints:
— Not just “some;” “all”!
— Not just your favorites; “all”!
— Not those who are like you; “all”!
— Not the ones in your little group; “all”!
“All” means “all”! The loud person. The disagreeable person. The different person. The smelly person. The ugly person. That one that you are not just immediately drawn to in the church. “All.”
Because our love as God’s people, is to reflect His own love: “For God so loved THE WORLD that He gave His only begotten Son.” So like Him, we are to love them “all.”
For whom might you need to pray today, that God would give you His love, that it may be said that, like Him, you love “ALL the saints”?