Summary: second in a series on Ephesians 3
Compelled... to Tell Every One Every Thing
Eph 3:7 CEV God treated me with kindness. His power worked in me, and it became my job to spread the good news.
Eph 3:8 CEV I am the least important of all God’s people. But God was kind and chose me to tell the Gentiles that because of Christ there are blessings that cannot be measured.
Eph 3:9 CEV God, who created everything, wanted me to help everyone understand the mysterious plan that had always been hidden in his mind.
Have you seen a dusty piano?
Many homes have a piano in it that is never or rarely used. The children played it in their youth, but it’s been silent for years. Now it is polished infrequently – when someone notices a layer of dust. It displays family pictures and various trinkets collected over the years. It really adds to the character of that room. Yet the piano remains silent.
There is something sad about an instrument of beauty that is capable of stirring music – that sits quietly in the corner, functioning as a plant stand.
Many of us are like that old piano. We’re all clean and looking good on the outside – capable of so much more than is being accomplished. But instead of accomplishing our purpose in life we are intent on personal happiness, pleasure or mere survival.
The potential is present but the reality is boring and dismal
"You lose with potential. You win with performance."
Bill Parcells, Pro football coach, Cited in BITS & PIECES
Benjamin Franklin’s thoughts captured on this gravestone inscription are very true:
"Died - age 25
Buried - age 70
Here lies the average person"
And what is that purpose in life? Whatever the one to whom we are indebted for our life says!
Prayer or Teaching or Potential
Howard Hendricks wrote, Years ago in a church in Dallas we were having trouble finding a teacher for a junior high boy’s class. The list of prospects had only one name - when they told me who it was I said, "You have got to be kidding." But I couldn’t have been more wrong about that young man. He took the class and revolutionized it. I was so impressed I invited him to my home for lunch and asked him the secret of his success. He pulled out a little black book. On each page he had a small picture of one of the boys, and under the boy’s name were comments like "having trouble in arithmetic," or "comes to church against parent’s wishes," or "would like to be a missionary some day, but doesn’t think he has what it takes."
"I pray over those pages every day," he said, and I can hardly wait to come to church each Sunday to see what God has been doing in their lives."
Three Reasons We Are to Tell Others
#1: God treated me with kindness
Gratitude overwhelms us – or it should!
We were lost without Jesus
We were treated kindly
Dr. John Rosen, a psychiatrist in New York City, is well known For his work with catatonic schizophrenics. Normally doctors remain separate and aloof from their patients. Dr. Rosen moves into the ward with them. He places his bed among their beds. He lives the life they must live. Day-to-day, he shares it. He loves them. if they don’t talk, he doesn’t talk either. It is as if he understands what is happening. His being there, being with them, communicates something that they haven’t experienced in years - somebody understands.
But then he does something else. He puts his arms around them and hugs them. He holds these unattractive, unlovable, sometimes incontinent persons, and loves them back into life. Often, the first words they speak are simply, "Thank you."
#2 God gave me the power I need
I am forgiven
I am healed
I am restored
#3: It’s my job
It’s a great job – helping others to find him
Mat 11:28 CEV If you are tired from carrying heavy burdens, come to me and I will give you rest.
Mat 11:29 CEV Take the yoke I give you. Put it on your shoulders and learn from me. I am gentle and humble, and you will find rest.
Mat 11:30 CEV This yoke is easy to bear, and this burden is light.
Three Excuses That Don’t Matter
#1: “I am the least important of all God’s people”
Listen - You are what God needs in your place on this earth.
You are being watched and God can use you like he used Paul – no matter how little you think of yourself.
In fact, it’s good to think humbly of your self
It is good to think little of oneself
Not false modesty… Humility is a matter of really understanding who you are. Paul understood and he was not guilty of false modesty. When he looked at himself from certain aspects, Paul felt that he was less than the least of all saints.