Bringing the Light to Others
My youngest will still have intermittent fears of being in the dark. There is so much uncertainty within the dark areas of the room. She lacks boldness and confidence in the ability to be in a dark room and fall asleep. But everything is revealed once we turn on a night light for her. God has brought His light through the Gospel to all the world. However, are we being a light of Christ to those around us, and are we being a minister and servants for Him?
7 Of this gospel I was made a minister according to the gift of God's grace, which was given me by the working of his power. 8 To me, though I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, 9 and to bring to light for everyone what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God, who created all things, 10 so that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places. 11 This was according to the eternal purpose that he has realized in Christ Jesus our Lord, 12 in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through our faith in him. 13 So I ask you not to lose heart over what I am suffering for you, which is your glory.
Although Paul was provided the direct Gospel of Jesus through his revelation with Christ, on the road to Damascus, he described himself as the very least is all the saints. Paul is likely well-known by the other apostles and Gentiles for all his teaching and spreading of God's Word. However, he expresses humility knowing that God can still use someone like him, someone who was persecuting Christians. Paul became a minister of God's grace, someone who executed the commands given to him by God. God's grace was 'given,' meaning it was 'gifted' to everyone. There is nothing we can do to earn it because God's grace was already given.
Paul uses the word 'working' power of God. This word here is used only to describe supernatural or superhuman power. But, the word minister also means 'servant.' Paul was willingly serving God despite being under house arrest. It is only by God's great will and power that we have the ability to overcome sin. It was the superhuman, supernatural power of the resurrection that gives us salvation.
What was the purpose of Paul's calling? He was to preach the Gospel to the Gentiles by bringing the light so that the hidden mystery could be revealed to the Gentiles. The Gentiles were once in the dark about God's promises. When we walk into a dark room, our eyes can slowly adjust, but it will never be a clear picture. It is very hard to search for something in the dark, and at times, what we are looking for may even be ‘unsearchable.’ If we use candlelight, we may see a certain distance, but shadows still block our view. But if we switch on a light, there is an immediate change, and the darkness is no longer present. Everyone has access to salvation by faith alone. The light has been turned on, but we just need to open our eyes to see. We need to open our eyes to God's will in our lives. Are we intentionally keeping our eyes closed and not looking for God's will for our lives? One way we can open our eyes is by reading God's Word.
Additionally, God will provide us with wisdom. Paul says that through the church, manifold wisdom can be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places. The word 'manifold' here can mean a painting with many colors, or it can mean a variety of forms. The wisdom we get from God is so intricate, with many facets. God's wisdom looks different in all of our lives, but the wisdom He provides us is varied, and a beautiful masterpiece meant for each of us.
God put all of this in motion for His eternal purpose, and that is for all to live in the Kingdom of Heaven with him, and this is through Jesus Christ, our Lord. And when we have faith and are steadfast in our faith, we can proceed with the boldness and confidence that only God can provide. We are to act in faithfulness to God boldly, and we are called to love one another and be a witness of Christ to those around us. The more we read God's Word and spend time in prayer with Him, the more confident we walk in the footsteps of Christ.
Even though Paul viewed himself as the least of the saints, God used Paul in tremendous ways. God is still using Paul to this day to spread the Gospel to us and today's world. We can be used, and God will provide us with a masterpiece of wisdom through His grace. Then, we will be able to bring the light of Christ to those around us with boldness and confidence.
Posted in Ephesians
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Trusting God in a Time of TransitionThanksgiving Among ChallengesOverwhelmingly Overwhelmed?Building Authentic FaithHoliness, It's What I Long ForSatisfy the CravingPreparing The Temple of God - 1 Peter 2:4-10Absolute Submission - 1 Peter 2:11-17Enduring Unjust Treatment - 1 Peter 2:18-25Building Stronger Marriages - 1 Peter 3:1-7Retaliating With Grace - 1 Peter 3:8-12Trial and Defense - 1 Peter 3:13-22Putting Aside Our Sinful Nature - 1 Peter 4:1-6Taking Responsibility and Ownership of God's Grace - 1 Peter 4:7-11Count Yourself Blessed - 1 Peter 4:12-19Shepherding the Followers of Christ - 1 Peter 5:1-5We're Not Alone in This Journey - 1 Peter 5:6-14Setting the Tone - Galatians 1:1-5The Simple and Pure Truth - Galatians 1:6-10Not by men, but by God - Galatians 1:11-24Discernment and Strength - Galatians 2:1-6Remain Firm Amongst Peer Pressure - Galatians 2:7-14Overcoming Anger and Frustration
Justified By Faith - Galatians 2:15-21Fools Without Faith - Galatians 3:1-14Keeping Our Promises - Galatians 3:15-18Imprisoned by Sin - Galatians 3:19-29Being an Heir of God - Galatians 4:1-7Transformed by Faith - Galatians 4:8-20Children of Promise - Galatians 4:21-31Stand Fast in Liberty - Galatians 5:1-12All About Liberty - Galatians 5:13-15Actively Living in Christ Produces Fruit - Galatians 5:16-25Spiritual Obligations - Galatians 6:1-5What Seeds Are We Planting? - Galatians 6:6-10Emphasize the Truth - Galatians 6:11-18Saints...In Christ - Ephesians 1:1-2Richly Blessed in Christ - Ephesians 1:3-6In HIM...we have... - Ephesians 1:7-14Praising Others and Lifting Them Up in Christ - Ephesians 1:15-23Where Did We Come From - Ephesians 2:1-10Filling God's Dwelling Place - Ephesians 2:11-22The Mystery of Christ - Ephesians 3:1-6Bringing the Light to Others - Ephesians 3:7-13Bowing Our Hearts With Humility - Ephesians 3:14-21Unified as the Body of Christ - Ephesians 4:1-6Gifts in Unity - Ephesians 4:7-16Putting On Our New Self - Ephesians 4:17-24Edifying Words in Christ - Ephesians 4:25-32Being Imitators of God - Ephesians 5:1-2Guarding Our Hearts, Our Words, and Our Actions - Ephesians 5:3-14
Walking Wisely - Ephesians 5:15-21Godly Marriage - Ephesians 5:22-33What Kind of Parents Are We? - Ephesians 6:1-3Equipping Ourselves in Christ - Ephesians 6:10-20Being the Encouragement to Others - Ephesians 6:21-24Being Set Apart From This World - 1 Corinthians 1:1-9Let the Division Cease - 1 Corinthians 1:10-17My Wisdom or God's? - 1 Corinthians 1:18-25What Are We Boasting In? - 1 Corinthians 1:26-31Keep the Main Thing the Main Thing - 1 Corinthians 2:1-5Being Active in the Holy Spirit - 1 Corinthians 2:6-16Growth in God - 1 Corinthians 3:1-4The Fields of God - 1 Corinthians 3:5-9Building God's Temple - 1 Corinthians 3:10-17Don't Deceive Yourself - 1 Corinthians 3:18-23Faithful Stewards - 1 Corinthians 4:1-6Are We Being Humble - 1 Corinthians 4:8-21Purging Our Sin - 1 Corinthians 5:1-13Disputes Within the Church - 1 Corinthians 6:1-8No Tolerance for Sexual Immorality - 1 Corinthians 6:9-20Being True to Your Marriage/Relationship - 1 Corinthians 7:1-11Being True to Your Calling - 1 Corinthians 7:17-24Single or Married? - 1 Corinthians 7:25-40Knowledge and Love - 1 Corinthians 8:1-6Not Being a Stumbling Block for Others - 1 Corinthians 8:7-13Willingly Surrendering Our Rights to Christ - 1 Corinthians 9:1-23Let History be an Example to Abstain From Sin - 1 Corinthians 10:1-22Do Everything For God's Glory - 1 Corinthians 10:23-33Imitating Christ - 1 Corinthians 11:1