The summer has been long, the monsoons have been a blessing, and I hope this finds you well. A year and a half after the pandemic began, our church is continuing to expand our offerings, including coffee hospitality between our 9 am and 10:30 am services, and also, Sunday School classes for kids and youth of all ages at our 10:30 am service. Of course, you are very welcome to join us in-person, or on-line! (See the blue “button” near the top of this website).
Currently, we are in the middle of a sermon series on the letter to the Ephesians. As we have gone through the letter, I have been struck – as I sometimes am, and as I always should be – by the incredible vastness of God. This letter has been called “the Grand Canyon of Scripture,” partly because it so clearly reveals this vastness. Ephesians 3:18, for example, expresses appropriate awe over “… how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ.” Wider than the Grand Canyon? Absolutely. Higher and deeper than space, which contains 300 sextillion stars (that’s a 3 followed by 23 zeros)? Yep. God is beyond our comprehension, and yet, has revealed Himself to us in a way that is absolutely miraculous. “With all wisdom and understanding, He made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ…. (Ephesians 1:8-9) This mystery was and is made known to us – Jesus died, was resurrected, and: “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us.” (Ephesians 1:7-8)
We are loved by Him, forgiven by Him, and invited into relationship with Him and one another. This is for us to understand, deeply.
In fact, without this understanding, I’m not sure our walk with Jesus can ever mature. Without this understanding, we always will be judging ourselves and others based on human opinions rather than divine truth.
Because, based on divine truth, we are encouraged, if not commanded (I know, we hate “commands,” but we’re talking not about human but divine will): “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” (Ephesians 4:2-3)
So, let me ask, where are you in your walk with Jesus? What’s going on with you? How are you treating your brother in Christ? What grudge are you holding onto with your sister in Christ? What kind of gossip have you either started or participated in? In what situations have you jumped the gun with your emotions, and your words, rather than taking a pause and considering humility and gentleness?
If you ask yourself these questions, and you see a little room – or a lot of room – for improvement, I want to offer a place to start. It’s not with guilt. It’s not with beating yourself up. It’s certainly not with continuing as you are, because “that’s just the way I am.” No, the place to start is with God’s Word, and understanding WHO God is. Because before you and I can humbly, and even joyfully, live in His ways, we need to understand, to the best of our ability, who He is, and where we stand relative to Him. We are sinners saved by His grace – redeemed, forgiven – lost, but now found. THANK GOD. Thank our vast, almighty, loving, gracious, merciful God.
If you have never read Ephesians, I encourage you to do so today. It takes 20-30 minutes, or you can listen to it by audio, by using www.bible.com. As you do so, consider your life in Christ, and may you “… be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” (Ephesians 3:19)