Read His Words Before Ours!
For this reason.
These are the first three words in Ephesians 3.
Lean in, sisters. Paul is about to explain the motivation driving his life of incredibly challenging, incredibly impactful kingdom work.
What propelled him to get up after each beating?
What kept him going after shipwrecks?
What urged him to declare the Gospel with the same vigor he once used to attack the church?
For this reason.
Paul knew his why. And that made all the difference.
We discover Paul’s why by reading Ephesians 2. Read it aloud as if you were having a conversation with Paul, keeping in mind the passion saturating his words; this would not be a dull, emotionless speech!
Dear sisters, we share in Paul’s why:
We, too, were once far away from God, but have been lovingly brought near through Christ, who is our peace. (Ephesians 2:13-14) Upon His foundation, we too, together with all believers, are being built into God’s holy temple. (Ephesians 2:19-21)
For this reason, we, like Paul, can experience a similar desire to bow before the Lord, to humble ourselves at the awareness of all Christ has done for us. In this moment, overwhelmed with revelation of the mysterious love of our Father (Ephesians 3:1-7), the busyness and strife of the world around us fade away. The incessant cries for “Now and Must Do!” are wonderfully replaced with an eternal, holy urgency. This life shall pass away and we are assured we will spend eternity with Christ.
For this reason, we live with holy abandon!
But what about our co-workers, our neighbors, or the barista at our favorite coffee shop?
How can we share the good news,
the call from death to life,
and the Father’s heart longing to draw them near?
Are we willing to sacrifice our own comfort, or finances, or status
to invite the lost of our dying world into peace with God?
Paul told the church in Ephesus to not be discouraged over his afflictions on their behalf; he understood how his suffering would further God’s mission of sharing Jesus with the Gentiles.
Sharing the gospel will not be without sacrifice. It may be in the form of intense persecution, as Christians in some countries are currently experiencing. It may look like someone’s laughter after hearing the gospel. It could be a harsh “no” when asked to talk about Jesus. It might even just be the inconvenience of obedience when the Lord nudges us to hold the door for someone several steps behind us.
Regardless of what each day may bring, I desire to live with Paul’s boldness in pursuit of Christ and sharing Him with those around me. I want to trust so deeply in the Lord that even my levels of joy and peace in Him declare His goodness.
For this reason, I echo Paul’s prayer in verses 14-21, with an intense expectancy for the Lord to respond.
Will you join me, sisters?
Oh Lord, teach us to share the gift of the gospel with those around us. Strengthen us with power in our hearts through Your Spirit. Dwell within us and teach us how to love those around us. Help us comprehend Your love, which surpasses simple knowledge.
Lord, You truly are able to do beyond what we can ask or imagine. May we live our lives for You and Your glory. Solidify our “why” within us and help us invite others to meet you wherever we go.
Embracing God’s fullness in our lives is rooted in scripture and memorizing His word is vital to our continued growth and depth with Jesus. Tap and hold from your mobile device to download this week’s verse and make it your phone’s lockscreen!