Summary: We get the opportunity to reveal a mystery to people, one that was hidden until Jesus opened the door!
• We are so glad you have chosen to worship with us this morning. We are in the middle of a series entitled “Reasons For My Heart To Beat.”
• In this series we are examining issues that can help revitalize of faith.
• The past reasons we have examined are To Praise His Glory, To Know His Power, the Show His Grace, TO Build His Church.
• If you want to listen to any in the series if you are having a hard time sleeping, check out our web site and click on the Audio Sermon tab.
• SLIDE #1
• Today we will examine another Reason for our Heart to Beat. “To Share His Mystery!”
• How many of us like a mystery? Many will read books and watch movies and television shows from the mystery genre.
• Mysteries draw is in as we strive to be the first ones to figure them out. My family used to watch CSI ALL THE ABOVE when Rachel still lived at home. We would guess how the person died. Of course we would put our own spin on it.
• Other shows keep you guessing until the very end. Shutter Island was one that kept you guessing.
• As you get deeper into the mystery and you start to think you figured it out you want to share it with others watching and then when the end comes you stand proud because you were the first to figure it out!
• In our text we will see that God had a mystery that was hidden for the ages. This mystery was not something HARD to know, it was simply not yet revealed in the Old Testament.
• The mystery was brought to light by God when the time was right.
• Today let’s look at some joyful thoughts concerning God’s mystery!
• Let’s turn to Ephesians 3, we will begin in verses 1-4
• SLIDE #2
• Ephesians 3:1–4 (HCSB) 1 For this reason, I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus on behalf of you Gentiles— 2 you have heard, haven’t you, about the administration of God’s grace that He gave to me for you? 3 The mystery was made known to me by revelation, as I have briefly written above. 4 By reading this you are able to understand my insight about the mystery of the Messiah.
• SLIDE #3
I. God shows He is willing to use anyone to share His mystery.
• One of the things that’s’ always intrigued me about God is the people He has used to carry out His mission.
• When you look throughout both the Old and New Testament, you see God has always been a bit unconventional as to the people He would use.
• Would you have picked the shepherd boy David to be the next king? Would Peter have been one of the 12 that you would depend on getting the message out to the whole world?
• I mean we would look at many if not all the people that God used and wonder why.
• Paul says FOR THIS REASON he calls himself a prisoner of Christ Jesus on behalf of the Gentiles.
• This REASON was the fact that Jesus opened the gates of heaven to all humans, He allowed ANYONE to be a part of His family in contrast to the Old Testament where the Jews were God’s chosen people.
• Last week I hope we understood how important and exciting the revelation should be to all of us who were not Jews.
• SO God locked him up and made him do what he was doing? NO!
• God won Paul through His love and forgiveness. Paul wore the chains of love, gratitude, duty and trust!
• Paul was SO grateful for what God had done for Him; Paul made himself a prisoner to God’s will!
• Paul wanted the message of the Gospel to reach everyone. Paul’s desire to carry out God’s will of taking the gospel to the non-Jews, or Gentiles got him into trouble at times.
• This but one of those times
• SLIDE #4
• Acts 21:28 (HCSB) shouting, “Men of Israel, help! This is the man who teaches everyone everywhere against our people, our law, and this place. What’s more, he also brought Greeks into the temple and has profaned this holy place.”
• Paul was in interesting choice to take the gospel to the Gentiles. After all, Paul was a Pharisee; would it not have been better for God to call him to a ministry to the Jews of whom he had great passion for?
• No, God used Paul and if He used Paul, he will use you also!
• We see in verse two that God was able to use Paul who used to persecute the church because of the grace God extended to Paul.