Eph 3: 1-13             Spectator or Participant

I remember that first wave; stumbling to my feet, riding the white wash to shore. I was certain I had become the king of the world. I was no longer someone who wanted to surf, someone who thought about surfing; I had become a surfer. This one small insignificant event changed the course of my life. My holiday destinations, my work, my world view and my personality are all influenced by being a surfer.

‘Surfing is my religion, if I have one.’ Kelly Slater

In that one simple act on one wave over 40yrs ago; I had gone from being a spectator to a participant in something life changing….

This is what the early verses of Ephesians 3 is all about. Paul begins …. For this reason I, Paul

Because of the amazing gospel God’s reconciling work in Jesus and its outpouring to the world, this was the ‘reason’. Paul was going to pray for the church of gentiles in Ephesus; (he picks this back up in vs 14). Here in Eph 3, Paul as if interrupted in his train of though goes on the talk about the change the Gospel has made in his life and lifestyle.

Paul’s encounter with Jesus on a dusty road to damascus changed the entire course of his life. It affected the thoughts of his brain, the desires of his heart, the actions of his hands and the words of his mouth. Paul is captured by it, 3:1, I, Paul, a prisoner for Christ Jesus on behalf of you Gentiles… He is literally a prisoner of Rome, on trial for preaching. However moreover he is the Lords prisoner captured / held to Jesus message and his gospel; enslaved to preach and proclaim.

Of this gospel I was made a minister according to the gift of God’s grace, which was given me by the working of his power….. to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, and to bring to light for everyone what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God who created all things, so that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known.

Paul is not a spectator of the gospel or the work of God in the world, he is neck deep in the action.

‘Don’t be a spectator, don’t let life pass you by.’ Lou Holtz

I read the account of Paul knowing his zeal and his drive; his influence and tenacity to evangelise and I feel terribly inadequate.

When I began to surf in that small moment of sheer joy, I hadn’t signed on to be Kelly Slater. I had just embarked on a journey into the surfing life. I had stopped looking and begun surfing. I had replaced thoughts and intent with action.

Isn’t this what we are called to… isn’t it what Paul is called to? It just looks different for each person, but the call is the same… vs 7 Of this gospel I was made a minister according to the gift of God’s grace, which was given me by the working of his power.

We are all called to be ministers of the Gospel. To represent God and his change in our lives and our hearts. To embrace change in our lives, minds, hearts, desires, our actions and our words. Also to proclaim to others that this change is freely available IN Christ. How vs 7 promises His power given us by his grace… Participants not spectators…

* Hows your love of Jesus vs your love of the surf or family or work or things?

* We all naturally share about the thing we love most… What’s your topic?

“Everything in Scripture is either preparation for the Gospel, presentation of the Gospel, or participation in the Gospel.” Dave Harvey

“Everything in Scripture is either preparation for the Gospel, presentation of the Gospel, or participation in the Gospel.” Dave Harvey