Tuesday, October 20, 2015

EXPLORE IT - Ephesians 3:1-13, Mark 1:35

Ephesians 3:1-13
Mark 1:35 “Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.”
Have you ever been listening to someone share a story and then all of a sudden change the topic completely to make sure they tell you something else?  For example, someone is telling you about what happened at work the other day and then quickly changes topic to remind you to bring a dessert to the get together next week…and then quickly return to their work story.  Our passage this week is kind of like the reminder to bring the dessert.
As we continue our journey through the letter to the Ephesians written by the Apostle Paul, we see how easily Paul can be distracted.  In Ephesians 3:1, Paul begins his passage with, “For this reason…” and then he interrupts himself with verses 2-13.  Next week when we come to verse 14 we see Paul begin his thought again with, “For this reason…”  What was so important that Paul interrupted himself, changing his train of thought?
Paul reminds the Gentiles of God’s grace and that through the revelation of the Holy Spirit everyone, including Gentiles, may become part of the family of Jesus.  Paul also encourages the Ephesians to remember that they are now able to “approach God with freedom and confidence” (3:12b).  Prior to Jesus’ coming, the Israelites were not able to approach God, priests were needed to be an intermediary between people and God.  When Jesus came, he modeled for us our ability to “approach God with freedom and confidence.”
In Mark 1:35, Scripture tells us that Jesus, “Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, (Jesus) got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.”  Jesus demonstrated for us the ease with which we are to approach God.  Oftentimes we think, “I don’t know how to pray” or “I sound stupid when I pray,” but we only need to approach God as if talking with a friend.
Sharing this, that we are not only able to approach God, but that we should approach God “with freedom and confidence” was important enough for Paul to interrupt his train of thought and is an important lesson for us to apply to our own lives.  We too are able to approach God in prayer and we should approach Him freely and with confidence!
Pastor Amy

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