Episode #171. Today we’ll read Ephesians chapter 3 together. Paul’s ministry to the Gentiles and a prayer for spiritual power.
Joy: You’re listening to the Lifting Her Voice podcast, Episode #171. Today we’ll read Ephesians chapter 3 together: Paul’s ministry to the Gentiles and a prayer for spiritual power.
Welcome to the Lifting Her Voice podcast. I’m your host, Joy Miller, and I invite you to grab your Bible and join me as we simply read God’s word together. Some things require discipline and sometimes that’s just not easy to muster by yourself, no matter how badly you want to do it or how much you know you should. It’s just easier to do it with a friend. So refill your coffee or tea, get comfortable in your favorite chair and follow along as I read aloud. I’m so glad you’re here!
There is something about absolute truth that just gets you where you live. My pastor Hans Frei delivered one of those sermons on Sunday. It was one of those “You may not want to hear this…” sermons that takes guts to deliver, but he delivers them anyway because he loves God’s truth and he cares about our holiness more than he cares about being popular.
I absolutely encourage all of you to log onto the Lake Don Pedro Baptist Church website and go to Hans’ most recent sermon. It’s called, “Uncertain, Uninformed, Unconcerned, Unprepared” and it may be one of the most practical sermons I’ve ever heard on eschatology. That’s our church word for the day that refers to the study of end times.
Something you have to understand about Hans is that he N-E-V-E-R preaches about end times. I can’t even recall his ever having done a study of the book of Revelation in the 17 years I’ve gone to this church. His reasoning is simple. He says that we are much better off to pay attention to living well today according to God’s precepts than to spend our time speculating about what we’ll never know until it happens.
No One Knows
I really hated this outlook at first. I mean, who doesn’t like to wonder? But Matthew 24:36 tells us, Now concerning that day and hour no one knows — neither the angels of heaven nor the Son — except the Father alone. And so does Mark 13:32, and Matthew 24:42, and Luke 12:40, and 1 Thessalonians 5:2, and 2 Peter 3:10 and myriad others. Indeed, we would do well to fulfill the calling of God today in our everyday, so that he will not find us sleeping. And a good first step to begin that journey is to listen to Hans’ sermon. It really is that good. Let me know what you think at Lifting Her Voice.com, Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.
Ephesians Chapter 3
Paul’s Ministry to the Gentiles
For this reason, I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus on behalf of you Gentiles — assuming you have heard about the administration of God’s grace that he gave me for you. The mystery was made known to me by revelation, as I have briefly written above. By reading this you are able to understand my insight into the mystery of Christ. This was not made known to people in other generations as it is now revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit: The Gentiles are coheirs, members of the same body, and partners in the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel. I was made a servant of this gospel by the gift of God’s grace that was given to me by the working of his power.
This grace was given to me — the least of all the saints — to proclaim to the Gentiles the incalculable riches of Christ, and to shed light for all about the administration of the mystery hidden for ages in God who created all things. This is so that God’s multi-faceted wisdom may now be made known through the church to the rulers and authorities in the heavens. This is according to his eternal purpose accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord. In him we have boldness and confident access through faith in him. So, then, I ask you not to be discouraged over my afflictions on your behalf, for they are your glory.
Prayer for Spiritual Power
For this reason I kneel before the Father from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named. I pray that he may grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with power in your inner being through his Spirit, and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. I pray that you, being rooted and firmly established in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the length and width, height and depth of God’s love, and to know Christ’s love that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
Now to him who is able to do above and beyond all that we ask or think according to the power that works in us — to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
So much passion emanates from the pages here. I’ve never seen Paul so moved; so humbled. The enormity of his calling presses on him and yet there is so much joy in it. The love of Christ is flowing through him here with power. He confesses with amazement that he – the least of all the apostles – has been entrusted with the revealing of the mystery; God’s mystery that the Gentiles are children of the promise too…co-heirs with Jesus.
This is us, my friends, Christ’s Church. We have access and confidence and boldness through Him. How awesome is that?!
His grace should bring us to our knees also. What He has done for us, the new life He has provided for us. This inclusion into the family of God through Christ. It’s mind-boggling and I never want to forget for a moment, like Paul. Let’s pray.
Oh, Jesus, thank You. Thank You that You have strengthened us with power through Your Spirit. Thank You that You are so close, that You dwell in our hearts through faith. Thank You for firmly establishing us in Your love, and that You have given to us this comprehension of what is the length and width, height and depth of God’s love. Thank You that You have filled us. Now to him who is able to do above and beyond all that we ask or think according to the power that works in us — to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
Thank you for joining me here today. I pray God will grow in you what has been planted and watered here. In this time of unprecedented struggle worldwide, we can look to God for guidance and comfort. Be sensitive to those in your circle of influence who need a word of encouragement and invite them to join us. If you like this show, it would be great if you give it a five-star review. Don’t forget to subscribe wherever you get your podcasts. See you right here tomorrow. Be well!
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Christian Standard Bible(r), Copyright (c) 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible(r) and CSB(r) are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.
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