Faith of a Father

"Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; for he is faithful that promised; – Hebrews 10:23

Ephesians Chapter 3

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Well it has been a while since I wrote on my blog, and even longer on the book of Ephesians. Picking up in chapter 3 we see the chapter broken into 2 parts. The first part is Paul’s call on his life to the Gentiles and the second is his prayer for the Ephesians.
Paul begins this chapter telling the Christians at Ephesus that he has been called by God to minister to them, and more broadly to the Gentiles. Of course this did not sit well with many of the Jews, as we note that he was actually persecuted for bringing the gospel to the Gentiles. How sad that people would actually be upset for spreading the Gospel.
Paul then explains that he was called to this ministry by God. He did not appoint himself to this role, but it was a calling from God. What does this calling mean, what’s the difference? I think we have all seen examples of people going into a ministry in their own strength just to see then fizzle or fade away. Maybe they had good intentions, or maybe they saw it as a way to lift themselves up in the eyes of others, or, maybe it wasn’t their desire at all but an expectation from their parents. As we see of Paul’s ministry throughout the Scriptures because he was obedient to the will of God, his ministry flourished.
Lord, help me not to place a calling onto the lives of my children, but to teach them to listen to your will for their lives and then that I can truly say, not my will, but thine be done.
Next we see that Paul confirms to the Christians in Ephesus that they are not second class Christians in God’s eyes but are fellow heirs with the Christian Jews. I’m not sure whether the Christians at Ephesus had an inferiority complex or whether they were feeling the heat from the Jews but either way it was a good opportunity for Paul to encourage them and to strengthen their understanding of their equal position in Christ. This encouragement from Paul has reminded me that I do too little encouraging to those around me, particularly to those that seem to be more introverts or seem to have a lack of self worth. This act needs to be more prevalent in my life. Why not examine your life, how are you doing in this area?
Also in this passage, it is interesting yet sad that some of the Jews actually persecuted Paul for his ministry to the Gentiles. Somehow they must have felt “better” then the Gentiles, and why not as they had been told all their lives and for centuries past that they were better as they were the “chosen people”. It is sad how they seem to forget how often they rejected God’s will and plan for them as a people. Yet Paul told his friends in Ephesus not to faint because of his tribulations but that it is there glory and his ministry to them was a gift of grace to him.
Here we learn from Paul that we are to preach and teach the gospel of Christ to whomever God calls us to go to regardless of how who we may disagree. We have to be willing to suffer for Christ’s sake and not follow a path of ministry by it’ ease. I think that we as Christians in America are far too often too quick to say woe is me for the little discomfort we feel when we witness yet Paul, even though he was being persecuted for ministering to the Gentiles, he thought so much of them to not think of his problems but to pray for them at Ephesus.
I wonder how I would have responded if I were called to minister to an “outcast”, a “second rate” people group? And if I were to heed the call, how would I respond to the persecution? Paul took all of this as a great gift, would I? Would you?
While some of us are called to go to another part of the country or another part of the world to share the Good News to others, I believe that each one of us has been called to a special “people group” that are all around us. This might be our immediate or extended family, our neighbors, co-workers, or those we meet on the street or next to us on the plane. How am I, how are you doing reaching these people for Christ? Do we shy away because we may be viewed as a kook or a religious fanatic? Are we willing to take some verbal abuse as we share the Gospel in Christian love? I think of those in other parts of the world that are bold Christians that are willing to proclaim the Good News to others even in the face of physical abuse, torture or even death.
In the past, the Gospel was not directed specifically at the Gentiles but now, through revelation from God, the Gospel was opened publically to all men. Paul counts his ministry as a gift of grace. Praise God that He is no respecter of persons and that we, Gentiles, have free access to the unsearchable riches of the Gospel.


Author: faithofafather

A father of 5 children, my goal is to be an encouragement and blessing to others as we walk through this life living the Christian faith rearing our children for the glory of God.

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