Ephesians 3:10 -13.
“God’s purpose was to show His wisdom in all it’s rich variety to all the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms. They will see this when Jews and Gentiles are joined together in His church. This was His plan from all eternity, and it has now been carried out through Christ Jesus our Lord. Because of Christ and our faith in Him, we can now come fearlessly into God’s presence, assured of His glad welcome. So please don’t despair because of what they are doing to me here. It is for you that I am suffering, so you should feel honoured and encouraged.”
Question: Have you ever been fearful of meeting someone, or confronting someone?
I remember as a child of around eight years old, when my teacher asked me to return a red pen to the teacher in the next class. I obediently set off to the class, except when I came to the door I felt so fearful. You see I was rather small, and the teacher, Mr . Parry, looked like a giant. He was the tallest man I had ever seen. He had shoulder length red hair, and beard. I completely lost my nerve, and instead of knocking the door, without thinking I placed the pen on the floor in front of his classroom door hoping he would find it. To this day, I have no idea if he ever got his pen. Except a year later I found myself in Mr Parry’s class, and discovered he was more of a gentle giant.
Our reading today tells us that because of our faith in Jesus we can come into the presence of God fearlessly. Therefore before we entered into a relationship with Jesus, we actually had reason to fear when coming into the presence of God. Jesus has opened a way to come to God the Father “with freedom and confidence, “(N.I.V).
Question: Were you aware that it is a privilege for you and I to have freedom, and to be confident to come, through prayer into the presence of Almighty God, Ruler of Heaven and earth? Do you think we would treasure this privilege of prayer, and actually value prayer more, and even pray more ,if we took more time to consider the extraordinary cost it took to unlock the door into this most Holy place?
This verse goes on and informers us that we also receive “a glad welcome”. Is there anything better than receiving a warm welcome, when someone is actually, genuinely glad to see you?
Think: Please, just mull this over for as long as you have time for, or return here later. Think about this, when we enter into the presence of God, through prayer, and through worship, God is there, with His arms out stretched ready to greet you and welcome you, longing for you to settle down with Him, and spend some time. These verses show us this.
Think: Have you phoned someone up, you really want to talk to but the one you have phoned is on their way out and they just don’t have the time to chat, or they just seem like they can’t be bothered, but what you wanted to say was so important?
I’m guessing we have all felt let-down, that feeling of desperately needing that person to talk to. Longing to share that important message, longing to re-establish that closeness in your friendship.
Have you ever thought that just maybe God the Father feels that way about us? We do a ritualistic prayer, with the same old words, same old requests. And then we have the nerve to call that a relationship with God!
Think: If some friend came to my home, I welcomed them in, and as they walked through the door they instantly poured out a load of moans and groans, asked me then for lots of things I needed to do for them. Then before I could close the door, and even get the words “oh, I’m so glad to see you, would you like a cuppa? Come and have a seat, let me take your coat”‘ out of my mouth, my so called friend is grabbing the door handle, shouting ‘bye’,as they walk off down my path. Off they go! How rude! I do think this is sometimes how we treat our Heavenly Father. He deserves better!
Suggestion: How about trying this out. A ‘prayer’ cup of tea date or ‘prayer’ coffee date with God the Father. Get to spend quality time with Him, as He can make all the difference to your life.
Kari Jobe – Revelation Song.
Jefferson Bethke – Why I hate religion but love Jesus.