This twelve-letter adverb plays a flamboyant role in a favorite Bible verse. But first let’s break it down.
As a verb, measure means “to ascertain the extent, dimensions, quantity, capacity, etc., of, especially by comparison with a standard:” Measurable is the related adjective meaning “capable of being measured.” Measurably is the adverb form, which www.dictionary.com refuses to expand upon, so I just have to remember that while an adjective modifies a noun, an adverb modifies a verb or an adjective.
Are you still with me? I’m not certain I’m still with me.
|An immeasurably better burger|
So now if I add the prefix im onto measurable, it becomes immeasurable, meaning “incapable of being measured; limitless.” And the adverb becomes immeasurably. In the sentence, This hamburger is immeasurably better than the one you burned, the adverb immeasurably modifies the adjective better.
How can I diagram a sentence in a blog?**
I think we’re all more than ready to leave words and proceed to the Word and the favorite verse. Ephesians 3:20 is the benediction to Paul’s prayer for his readers. Here’s the whole prayer for context with the verse highlighted:
14 For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 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, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
20 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, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
There are other places in Scripture which tell us God answers our prayers, such as: “If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” (Matthew 7:11, NIV—You can get what you need at 7-11.) And, “…your Father knows what you need before you ask him.” (Matthew 6:8, NIV)
But there’s something about that word immeasurably that’s makes me like Ephesians 3:20 immeasurably more. Sure it’s great that God knows what I need before I ask, but what if I don’t know what to ask for? What if my imagination is limited?
It’s like what I wrote about Moses in a Secret Place devotion some time ago: Moses imagined he could help the enslaved Israelites by killing one oppressive foreman. Compared to God in the imagination department, Moses was somewhat limited. God drowned the entire Egyptian army after sending the Israelites across the Red Sea on dry land. Now that took care of the oppression problem.
I long to be not limited by my pea-sized imagination. I long to tap the power of God’s ginormous imagination. How about you?