Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The Road Through Ephesus... Remembering Ephesians 3:1

I haven't done this in a while.  Moving back to Michigan, starting my MA, and getting a new job has kept me busier than I would have liked.  I'm still working on the MA, but I am currently taking a two week class where I just get to sit and write for hours.  It's pure bliss and I'm hoping to catch up on our Ephesians series.

The last time I wrote about Ephesians we were finishing the last verse of chapter 2.  And that was over a year ago.  If you need a refresher of what we've talked about so far in Ephesians, look for the cluster of words on my blog.  When you find it, click Ephesians and you should find all the entries there.  For now though, I think we should just jump into chapter 3.  Sound good?

Okay, here it is:

Ephesians 3:1

"When I think of all this, I, Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus for the benefit of you Gentiles..."

I really like this verse.  Partly, because it has an ellipsis at the end.  I think Paul might have been a little ADD because he starts this thought here and doesn't finish it until verse 14.  He gets sidetracked talking about other things.  Important things, but other things none the less.

But look at how the verse starts: "When I think of all this..."  Paul is intentionally choosing to remember.  In this case, he is remembering everything he just wrote.  He's remembering that the Gentiles are called.  That they are no longer outsiders.  That they are holy.  

These people who the Jewish people thought were so far from God are able to have a relationship with Him now.

That's amazing.

What's also amazing is that Paul is choosing to remember this.  He is choosing to focus on the fact that these are now his brothers and sisters in Christ and God has called Paul to serve them.  Paul has been taken captive by Christ for the benefit of the Gentiles, so that they too can know the Good News of Jesus.


I think we sometimes choose to forget instead of choosing to remember.  Paul didn't forget the Gentiles' past.  He didn't forget who they used to be and how they were so far from God.

We need to remember that too.  We need to remember how far we were from God.  How broken our relationship with Him was.  We need to remember how Jesus found us and how He redeemed us.  Not because we want to live in the past.   Not because that's who we are anymore.  But because, Jesus saved us.  He rescued us.  He forgave us.

Remembering reminds us of His mercy.  It reminds us of His grace.  It reminds us of the incredibly high price He paid to ransom us.  We need to remember our past.

There's a song by Point of Grace that has these words in it:

But it's the memory of 
the place you brought me from
that keeps me on my knees
even though I'm free

Heal the wound, but leave the scar
A reminder of how merciful you are...

Don't let me forget
Everything you've done for me
Don't let me forget
The beauty in the suffering

We can't forget. We have been saved for a purpose.  We are to point others to Him.  How can we do that if we forget where we came from and how messed up we were?

So.  Today, remember.

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