Our church is undergoing some major changes right now, not the least of which is being replanted in a new area of town with a new name. (It still feels kind of funny to be called a “new church plant” when the church itself has been around for a while.) Anyway, all that said, we had a preview service the other day and our pastor set out a challenge for us, so I thought I would share it with all of you.
He pointed out that the book of Ephesians was a letter written to a new church plant that Paul had started. He also noted that in the letter, Paul didn’t ask where they were meeting, if they had enough volunteers working the nursery, or any of the other modern day logistical things that are usually addressed to a new church.
No, Paul focused on one thing and one thing only. The gospel. He wanted to make sure that this church stayed true to its calling. Its only calling…to spread the gospel.
Back to the challenge. Our pastor said that for the next week we are to read the first chapter of Ephesians every day and see how we can work it into our daily lives and daily conversations.
In other words, we are to live the Living Word as it is found in Ephesians. He had us pair up with someone before we left and share any thoughts we might have about reading the same passage of Scripture everyday. Any worries or negative or even positive thoughts could be shared with each other.
My comment? Well, I was afraid I might start to just get too used to it, and begin to gloss over it. To combat that, I’m going to really try to read prayerfully and stop when something stands out to me.
Like this morning, morning number one, the thing that really stood out to me in the version I was reading was this part (courtesy of Biblegateway.com)
In love 5he[c] predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— 6to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.
And Ephesians 1:9
9And he[d] made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure…
I thought it sounded pretty neat that the Lord did all of this for us, not because He had to, or felt obligated to save our scrawny skins, but because it was according to His pleasure.
Now, I know that I could go dive into my concordance and do a big word study, which believe me, I love a good word study, but for now, it’s enough for me to just see that word “pleasure” and find it attached to God’s name when He is thinking about saving me, and rest in that.
I want to live there for today…knowing that all of this work He did to save me was according to His pleasure.
How’s that for a soft place to land after a hard day?
Sounds good to me.