Verse for today – “Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God… (Ephesians 1:1).”
Paul begins this letter to the church by identifying himself. Paul is the new name for a man named Saul from the book of Acts (another book in the Bible). Saul persecuted Christians when the church first started, but when he met the Lord Jesus personally, in Acts chapter nine, all of that changed and he became a different person. Paul now calls himself, “an apostle of Christ Jesus.” The word, apostle, literally means a sent one, or one sent on a mission. So, as Paul begins this letter, he wants us to know that he is no longer representing himself, or those who disapprove of Christianity. He is now representing Jesus Christ. AND, Paul believes that God Himself called him to this new life. He said, “I am an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God.” GOD called Paul to represent HIM!
Applying this idea to life in the 21st century, I must ask the question, “Who am I representing today?” It is easy, and common to humanity, to make life all about me, my comfort, my pleasure, my plan. I want to be noticed, to be significant, to look good and be well thought of by others. But if this is my attitude – our attitude – we are only living for ourselves. Many would say, “What’s wrong with that? I am a free man or woman?” Fair enough; certainly, you are right. But this book, the book of Ephesians, calls us to much more! Would you be willing to take the journey? Are you willing to consider what God may want for your life?
This year our world is facing a new challenge—the Corona Virus. A lot of people are afraid! The virus has caused our world, at least temporarily, to become a very different place. People are isolated, jobs are lost, certain necessities are scarce. Please consider this thought. God has a plan for your life. He wants to use you to bless others. First, of course, God wants to bless you by helping you find HIM; something the Bible calls salvation. Something Paul talks about a lot in this letter we’ve just begun.
Thanks for joining us on the journey.