By myself I only have a piece of the puzzle; together we have the whole picture

Ephesians 3:17b-19,

And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

The more you understand God’s love for you, the more confidently and boldly you’ll live out your faith. You’re not trying to get God to love you. You are “rooted and established” in it.

And you can’t do it alone! Our power is a shared power. “That you may have power to grasp it together with all the Lord’s people.”

All of us each have a piece of the puzzle. Together we see the whole picture.

“Embrace” What God Does For You

Romans 12:1b (The Message):

Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for Him.

I like that word “embrace.”  People “accept” Jesus as their Lord and Savior but that seems like we’re “allowing” Him rather than really “embracing” that reality.  It also sounds more familial.

And just imagine: God returns the embrace!  Our God is Lord and Nurturer (Comforter).  He is our Counselor, our Peace, our Joy.

3 Tools You Cannot Do without as God’s Servant

Ephesians 3:7-11,

I became a servant of this gospel by the gift of God’s grace given me through the working of his power. Although I am less than the least of all the Lord’s people, this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the boundless riches of Christ, and to make plain to everyone the administration of this mystery, which for ages past was kept hidden in God, who created all things. 10 His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, 11 according to his eternal purpose that he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord.

  1. Grace: God gives you this gift that allows you to serve. The moment you think you’ve earned the right to serve, you’re lost as God’s servant.
  2. We serve by God’s power. Servants are energized by God’s power. When we try to do it in our own power we lose motivation and are weary.
  3. We serve in humility. Service does not elevate us above people. If we allow it to, we are going down a dangerous path.

Managers of God’s Mystery

Ephesians 3:2-5

Surely you have heard about the administration of God’s grace that was given to me for you, that is, the mystery made known to me by revelation, as I have already written briefly. In reading this, then, you will be able to understand my insight into the mystery of Christ, which was not made known to people in other generations as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to God’s holy apostles and prophets.

Servants of Christ see themselves as managers of God’s mystery.

The “mystery” is that everyone is included in Jesus’ invitation to salvation, not just Jewish people.

What does it mean to be a manager of God’s mystery? A manager is someone who is given responsibility to oversee something that belongs to somebody else. God’s grace is a stewardship. He gives us forgiveness so that we can share forgiveness.

Jesus is WITH US!

One of the lynch pin verses of my ministry is the Great Commission that Jesus gives at the end of Matthew (28:18-20).  I believe it is our (the church’s) marching orders.  “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.”  Uhhh…seems cut and dry.  What’s our job?  Make disciples.

But what I love even more about this passage is what sandwiches it.  One day I was reading this and not really “with it” spiritually speaking.  Might I say I even had some doubts about what God’s purpose for my life was?  So maybe you need to pull out your Bibles out but look at this:  28:16-17, “Then the 11 disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go.  When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted.”  What?  Some doubted?  After they saw Jesus raised from the dead they doubted?  Pretty much.  Isn’t that how I am sometimes?  God comes through again and again for me.  And yet, I sometimes doubt.

But look what happens immediately after that phrase, “but some doubted?”  “Then Jesus came to them and said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  Therefore….'”  In other words, we can only accomplish the mission Jesus set out for us because He is with us.  Moreover, we don’t have to doubt because Jesus is with us.  Surely Jesus isn’t with us 2,000 years later!  Yes, He is, because it ends in the same way, “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”  Don’t you love God’s Word?