Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Ephesians 3 - It's all about love
Tina Turner sang a song called "What's Love got to do with it?". Well, although chapter 3 continues the discussion of how we Gentiles have been adopted into God's family, along with his "chosen" people, my favorite verse is verse 18 where it talks about grasping how wide, how long, how high and how deep is the love of Christ. I don't know about you, but I love being loved and love has everything to do with our relationship with the creator of the universe.

Ephesians 3 tells us that
His love surpasses all knowledge. I am thankful that His love is not bound by my imagination or my experience. I need that kind of love in my life.

But also it is a message of inclusion. For those that have always felt like outsiders, this chapter reminds us that we all get to partake in his love, it isn't just for the original "Chosen". We are all His Chosen people.

I pray for a glimpse of the power of His love.

Ephesians 3

The Secret Plan of God
1-3 This is why I, Paul, am in jail for Christ, having taken up the cause of you outsiders, so-called. I take it that you're familiar with the part I was given in God's plan for including everybody. I got the inside story on this from God himself, as I just wrote you in brief.

4-6 As you read over what I have written to you, you'll be able to see for yourselves into the mystery of Christ. None of our ancestors understood this. Only in our time has it been made clear by God's Spirit through his holy apostles and prophets of this new order. The mystery is that people who have never heard of God and those who have heard of him all their lives (what I've been calling outsiders and insiders) stand on the same ground before God. They get the same offer, same help, same promises in Christ Jesus. The Message is accessible and welcoming to everyone, across the board.

7-8 This is my life work: helping people understand and respond to this Message. It came as a sheer gift to me, a real surprise, God handling all the details. When it came to presenting the Message to people who had no background in God's way, I was the least qualified of any of the available Christians. God saw to it that I was equipped, but you can be sure that it had nothing to do with my natural abilities.

8-10 And so here I am, preaching and writing about things that are way over my head, the inexhaustible riches and generosity of Christ. My task is to bring out in the open and make plain what God, who created all this in the first place, has been doing in secret and behind the scenes all along. Through followers of Jesus like yourselves gathered in churches, this extraordinary plan of God is becoming known and talked about even among the angels!

11-13 All this is proceeding along lines planned all along by God and then executed in Christ Jesus. When we trust in him, we're free to say whatever needs to be said, bold to go wherever we need to go. So don't let my present trouble on your behalf get you down. Be proud!

14-19 My response is to get down on my knees before the Father, this magnificent Father who parcels out all heaven and earth. I ask him to strengthen you by his Spirit—not a brute strength but a glorious inner strength—that Christ will live in you as you open the door and invite him in. And I ask him that with both feet planted firmly on love, you'll be able to take in with all followers of Jesus the extravagant dimensions of Christ's love. Reach out and experience the breadth! Test its length! Plumb the depths! Rise to the heights! Live full lives, full in the fullness of God.

20-21 God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us.

Glory to God in the church!
Glory to God in the Messiah, in Jesus!
Glory down all the generations!
Glory through all millennia! Oh, yes!


Helene said...

Amen to that! Love is the most important thing- without love, we are like resounding cymbals! LOVE NEVER FAILS (1 Cor 13.) Check out the site meter web site to add a meter to your blog.

Tracy Downing said...

I loved reading your Blog. The story of the father showing his swearing daughter mercy and using it as a teaching example of Christ's love was particularly touching. Your writing is lovely. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.