To me, though I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given, 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 to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places. 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. Ephesians 3:8–12, ESV.
In our passage this morning, Paul expresses his humble gratitude for a particular gift of God’s grace. He is thankful that God called him to proclaim the gospel to the Gentiles, to grow the church as a testimony in the heavens to the power of the gospel, and to play a part in the outworking of God’s eternal plan to gather a people for Himself through faith in Christ. Paul’s heart was filled with gratitude because his passion was a godly passion. I want to challenge you today to embrace Paul’s passion and, consequently, experience Paul’s gratitude.
To have a passion like Paul’s, we first need to commit ourselves to take the good news of Jesus to those who have not heard it, calling them to repentance and faith and offering them forgiveness in Christ. Paul was able to thank God for his calling because he was faithfully answering that call. The International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention has long encouraged us to pray, give, and go. While many of us have treated that ‘and’ as a multiple-choice ‘or’, a passion like Paul’s demands that our approach be all of the above!
To have a passion like Paul’s we need to start living in a biblical reality. We live in a world that is intimately connected with the heavenly world. Our obedience to the call to make disciples and start churches rings out as a testimony in the heavens and results in powerful heavenly beings giving glory to God. We must live in the knowledge that our commission is not earth-bound!
To have a passion like Paul’s we need to think a little more humbly about our role in this work. What a blessing it is that God would save undeserving sinners and then engage them in bringing the good news about the finished work of Christ to a lost and dying world. We should find it thrilling to be one of many tools in the hands of our evangelistic God!
My prayer for you today is that you will become passionately engaged in the exciting work of gathering the lost to Christ and that this passion will drive you to thankful worship of our gracious God.