We were handed a printout of Ephesians 3 during Sunday School and given a few minutes to read it and mark what stood out to us. Do you realize that this chapter identifies the mystery that had been hidden from the beginning but was revealed to Paul. He became the administrator of that mystery -- that through the gospel (Jesus Christ) -- the Gentiles became one with Israel! They became "sharers together in the promise of Christ Jesus" (v. 6). While Paul had been out persecuting Christians, with the sanction of the Jewish leaders, God had other plans for him. The Lord stopped him in his tracks and gave him a new heart and a new purpose. It was Paul's role, then, to "preach to the Gentiles the boundless riches of Christ, and to make plain to everyone the administration of this mystery" (9-10). As Paul prayed for the Ephesian church in verses 14-21 he includes these words: I pray that you may "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."
It was not enough for the Lord to reveal this mystery to Paul. He made it possible for us, even today, to be "sharers together in the promise of Christ Jesus." And He calls us grasp the immensity of Christ's love, which is completely beyond knowing! And to be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God is an utter impossibility. Even if we could somehow grasp it, we could never contain it. Mind boggling and soul stirring words!
Pastor Pat's message on Isaiah 6:8-13 was a call for us to live as faithful servants of God. Here's just a portion of the sermon.
Becoming a Servant of God
- Acknowledge our hopelessness without God.
- Be shattered by our sinfulness.
- Receive God's grace and be cleansed.
- Glimpse God's heart and be available to serve Him.
We usually think that our development comes from building on our strengths. But with God (as seen in Isaiah and in Jesus) we must be taken apart first. Isaiah saw his own weakness. "Woe to me!" I cried. "I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people o unclean lips, and y eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty" (6:5). As for Jesus, to fulfill the purpose God had for Him cost Him His life.
Like Isaiah, we are called to listen to God, be undone in His presence, and trust Him with our lives and our service.