DATE POSTED Thursday, 2022-10-13
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL
SCRIPTURE FROM: Ephesians 3:7-9
TRANSLATION: The Message (MSG)
BIBLE TEXT: 7-8 This is my life work: helping people understand and respond to this Message. It came as a sheer gift to me, a real surprise, God handling all the details. When it came to presenting the Message to people who had no background in God’s way, I was the least qualified of any of the available Christians. God saw to it that I was equipped, but you can be sure that it had nothing to do with my natural abilities. 9 And so here I am, preaching and writing about things that are way over my head, the inexhaustible riches and generosity of Christ.
APPLICATION: Given the opportunity, we will tell of good news and all the good fortunes that come our way, even when we feel like God was instrumental in blessing us with those good things. However, we are often tempted to withdraw and keep that good news to ourselves, especially when we have heard so much about how critical friends and family are, when it comes to the things of God. In his former state, Saul (the birth name of Paul) had persecuted Christians and the work of the church. Imagine how long we tend to expect someone to prove to us that they have truly changed their ways. How long would we require testing them before seeing them involved in ministry? But thank God, Paul paid little attention to what people thought, He was dedicated, and busy about the Lord’s work, because of his new-found faith, and the unbelievable grace of God. It is evident that Paul didn’t see the need for seminary, nor numerous years understudying and training under a leading priest/pastor/bishop, etc. Paul had surrendered himself under the lordship of Jesus Christ, and he moved into ministry knowing that the Holy Spirit was more than adequate to lead him and direct his path. At that time, the Jews felt like the Gospel was designed for God’s chosen people and no one else. However, God led Paul into a ministry to the Gentiles, as they were very much a part of the world for whom Jesus died and rose again. I wonder, who do we tend to exclude from the Gospel? Is it intended just for us and our church? Is it for people we tend to put on our blacklist of individuals unworthy of redemption, or those whom we feel are unreachable? Friends, I believe if you look deep inside of self, you will find that there are people we place in such categories because of our personal judgment. Isn’t it amazing that God was able to look beyond the atrocities of Saul, and our sin, our condemnation, our curse upon Christians? Under his new name, God gave Paul a ministry to those that everyone else, all fellow Jews, rejected. Without any human training or without being attached to a certain denomination, God gave Paul the boldness and wisdom to preach, teach, witness and encourage the Ephesian church. I have no doubt that God still sees folk that might otherwise appear as impossible to win over to Christendom. I have no reason to doubt that God places folk like that right in our face at times. He may have already prepared us for our life work of winning such people to Him. Have you prayed diligently enough to the Father to accept whatever He places before you? Many of you have not been to seminary, and many may not have even attended the latest evangelism training classes, but are you bold enough to simply let God do His work through you, like He did in the life of Paul? People still need the Lord, and I believe that God still wants workers to attend to the needs of His flock. We won’t put our pastor out of work, for each of us have been given the command of Matthew 28:18-20 – Go now into the world and preach the Gospel to all people.
BLESSING(S) NOTED: If God could fill the heart and mind of a man with Paul’s background, I am convinced that He can also ready us for His ministry and service to the very unlikely people that we come into contact with! Let’s remember, He is looking for our availability, for He provides the ability!
PRAYER: Precious Lord, take my hand, lead me on, and into the ministry for which You have prepared for me. Many readers will probably flick this devotional over their shoulder so it could be directed to those whom they feel are qualified. But Lord, after once again being reminded of the powerful work You performed through the apostle Paul, in spite of his awful background, I have no doubt that You can use other humans like me, and my readers who are fully committed to You. Lord, may Your will be done in and through us today, is my humble plea, regardless of who we might come into contact with. AMEN!
FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog might indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. You may also visit me on Spotify and listen to Nuggets while you’re out and about. I would encourage you to find a church home near by your home, and attend as frequently as you could. Get to know God, and allow His people to encourage and strengthen you in your Christian walk, while making every effort to be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!