by David Browder
In Bible Study this morning (Wednesday, 3/3), we are going to be studying Ephesians 3:1-13. In it, the Apostle Paul is writing to the church in Ephesus (a very wealthy city on the western coast of present-day Turkey) about the extension of the Gospel to the Gentiles. It is a glorious announcement — glorious partly because that extension includes you and me!
The Apostle continues in verses 11-13 of Ephesians 3:
This was according to the eternal purpose that he has realized in Christ Jesus our Lord, in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through our faith in him. So I ask you not to lose heart over what I am suffering for you, which is your glory. (ESV)
A couple of weeks ago, we had a monumental freeze here in Houston and all around Texas. In any given year, this would be quite an event. For us, though, it was just the latest in a long string of events: hurricanes, floods, pandemics, ice storms… for goodness’ sake! It is enough to begin wondering: am I stuck in a vacuum filled with chaos and disruption? With all that you have experienced, I know it feels lonely out there.
In Paul’s case, he identifies with our suffering in his own. He is imprisoned and his fellow believers are grieved. The highest authority in the land has taken away his liberty and his ability to oversee his churches. Look what he tells them:
“Do not lose heart.”
“Why not? The highest authority in the land has spoken and acted!”
“Because, my brothers and sisters, they are not the highest authority in the land. They only govern because they have been given authority by One higher. That higher authority is your Heavenly Father and you can be bold with the access to Him you have through faith in Christ.”
There is an old example that one of my favorite preachers, Tim Keller, tells in his sermons. “The only person in the kingdom who can wake the king up at 3AM for a glass of water is his child.” In Christ, you are a child of God. You can wake him up at 3AM for a glass of water. He is not angry. Maybe more importantly for you right now … you are not alone in the dark at 3AM. God is with you in the bad and in the good. He is with you now. Your access to Him allows you to be as bold as the child of a king.
Because you are.