The story is told of the great painter Michelangelo when he was in his studio examining the work of his students. The great master walked thoughtfully past each student and made occasional comments of instruction. Then Michelangelo stopped at the painting of one of his most promising students. The master pondered the work of his student for a long time. Then to the utter surprise of the entire class, Michelangelo took a brush and wrote something across the canvas of his pupil’s work. ‘What did he do?’ his students thought. Was he condemning what the student had done? Not at all! What Michelangelo painted across his student’s work was the word, “Amplius,” which means to amplify or to make larger. He wasn’t rejecting the work, because it showed great skill – it was good as far as it went. The problem was that it was too small. The small size of the canvas had made the painting’s design appear cramped. Michelangelo was trying to teach his student that he needed to think bigger – amplius - amplify, make it larger!
Across many of our lives, the Lord would have to write “amplius.” For many of us, our spiritual outlook is too confined; our vision of what God can do for us and through us is too restricted by our own self-imposed limitations. Many times we fail to see what God is doing, and what God can do when we put our trust in God. In his letter to the Ephesians, the Apostle Paul prayed for the members of the church that their relationship with God would grow and that they would “have the power to understand…how wide, how long, how high, and how deep [God’s] love really is” (Ephesians 3:18). We need to see the bigness of God and all of what that means for us. In another letter, Paul wrote: “I can do all things through Jesus Christ, who gives me the strength” (Philippians 4:13). Do you believe that God can do big things through you? We all must learn that God can do big things; we need to learn that God can do big things in and through our lives.
God is encouraging us to expand our horizons and to see the possibilities that God is opening up for us. God longs to increase the dimensions of our souls to strengthen our witness, to widen the outreach of our lives. Imagine what great things God can do through us with all of God’s power and might! We must trust in God to do bigger and better things in our lives, we need to open our hearts to all of the divine possibilities. With courage, let’s ask God where God may be leading us. And then let us listen, and in faith respond, to the voice that calls to us with the challenge: “Amplius – Larger!”
Read: Ephesians 3:14-21
empower us from the stores of your unlimited resources
with inner the strength that comes from your Spirit.
Help us to trust in you and your divine work as our faith grows,
rooted in the rich soil of your love and strength.
Enlighten us to understand how wide, long, high, and deep your love is,
and help us to live in that love.
Complete us with your fullness and power,
and accomplish in and through us infinitely more than we even ask or imagine.
Glory to you, O God, in your church; through Jesus Christ our Lord we pray.