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  • Writer's pictureRICHARD DEAN BROOKS



7I became a servant of this gospel by the gift of God’s grace given me through the working of his power. 8Although I am less than the least of all the Lord’s people, this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the boundless riches of Christ, 9and to make plain to everyone the administration of this mystery, which for ages past was kept hidden in God, who created all things. 10His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, 11according to his eternal purpose that he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord. 12In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence. 13I ask you, therefore, not to be discouraged because of my sufferings for you, which are your glory.

3: 7   When Paul became his servant, God gave him the ability to share the gospel of Christ effectively. You are not an apostle, and you may not be a professional evangelist, but God will give you opportunities to tell others about Christ. With the opportunities he will also provide the ability, courage, and power you need. Make yourself available to God as his servant whenever an opportunity to tell others about him presents itself. As you focus on another person and his or her needs, God will communicate his love through your caring attitude and actions. Filled with God’s Spirit, your words will be natural, loving, and compelling.

3: 8   When Paul described himself as “less than the least of all the Lord’s people,” he meant that without God’s help, he would never be able to do God’s work. Yet God had chosen him to share the amazing treasure of the gospel with the Gentiles and had given him the power to do it. If we feel that our roles are minor, we may be right— except that we have forgotten what a difference God makes. How does God want to use you? Draw on his power, do your part, and faithfully perform the special role God has called you to play in his plan.

3: 10   The phrase “rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms” refers both to the angels who are witnesses to God’s unfolding plan through Jesus Christ (see 1   Peter 1: 12) and to the hostile spiritual forces opposed to God (Ephesians 2: 2; 6: 12).

3: 12   We have the awesome privilege of being able to approach God with freedom and confidence. Most of us would be apprehensive in the presence of a powerful ruler. But thanks to Christ, by faith we can enter directly into God’s presence through prayer (see 2: 18; Hebrews 4: 16). We know we will be welcomed with open arms because we are God’s children through our union with Christ. Don’t be afraid of God. Talk with him about everything. He wants to hear from you.

3: 13   Why should Paul’s suffering make the Ephesians feel honored (which is what is meant by “which are your glory”)? If Paul had not preached the gospel, he would not be in jail— but then the Ephesians would not have heard the Good News and come to Jesus either. Just as a mother endures the pain of childbirth in order to bring new life into the world, Paul endured the pain of persecution in order to bring new believers to Christ. We should feel honored that others have suffered and sacrificed for us so that we might reap the benefits. Obeying Christ is not always easy. He calls you to take up your cross and follow him (Matthew 16: 24) so that God’s message of salvation can reach the entire world. This may require that you have to suffer adversity, whether physically, emotionally, or in some other way. But he will be with you at every step.Tyndale. NIV Life Application Study Bible

ON THE WAY HOME WALK WITH JESUS and do our part of sharing the GOSPEL with all who will listen!! by RICHARD DEAN BROOKS

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