I LOVE words! I love nouns and pronouns, verbs and adverbs, prepositional phrases and the like; oh, I am especially fond of adjectives. Adjectives add to any text such a rich description of the subject at hand. Makes my heart beat a little faster just thinking about...words! Sweet mercy...I love me some words!!!
I recently started reading through the book of Ephesians in my morning times with the Lord and the beautiful words penned by the apostle Paul to the church of Ephesus are enough to make my heart not only beat a little faster, but near 'bout leap out of my chest. Listen to a few of the words one will read on the pages of this great book...
"by the will of God..."
"Grace to you..."
"peace from God..."
"He chose us..."
"hope of His calling..."
"riches of the glory of His inheritance..."
"the fullness of Him who fills all in all..."
Be still my heart! Beautiful! How absolutely beautiful are these words!?! And, these phrases are just a few from chapter 1. Geesh! I can only imagine what other magnificent words will be unearthed as I continue on through the entire book? Glory!!!
As I began reading through chapter 1 of Ephesians, I couldn't get past the first half of the very first verse.
"Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God,"Ephesians 1:1a, NASB
Oh, the hope contained within these few words that fills my sin-sickened heart! Now, think through this thing with me; I want you to grab a hold of that hope too.
Paul. Who was Paul? He was once the man named Saul.
As Saul, he was...
a killer of God's chosen people.
a hater of all believers.
a destroyer of the church.
an opposer of the proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Yes, he WAS all those things. But, now!?! Now, he is Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God.
Now, he is...
a lover of Christ and all things in Him.
a preacher to the lost.
a messenger of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
a defender of the Faith.
a builder of the Church.
Paul, whose life was once burdened with sin, is now covered by the magnificent, abundant grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and is chosen to be an apostle, a messenger, one who would lay the foundation of the church. Why? Because, it was God's will, God's choice, God's providential sovereignty to save this offender of the Gospel and make him into one of the greatest apologists of the faith that has ever lived.
Do you see the hope here? God knew WHAT Saul was; God knew WHO he was. Yet, He saw past all the junk and saw the heart of the man Paul and knew exactly what He could make Saul into. It was God's will that the grace and salvation freely given through the mighty work of Christ on the cross be granted to the man Saul. God had a plan. And, His plan was for Paul to be an apostle, a messenger of His saving grace.
Those few words fill my heart with much hope. Paul called himself the chiefest of sinners (1 Timothy 1:15), yet he recognized that he was a sinner who was saved by the grace of God. I would have to rank myself right up there with Paul when it comes to being the chiefest of sinners. However reading his story, knowing what he was and seeing what God made him, fills my heart with hope.
If God can use parasites to make pearls and if God can use a sinner such as Paul to be one of the founding leaders of His church, then God can use me and equip me to fulfill the calling He has placed on my life because that's His sovereign will. And, He can use you too!!
That, my friends, is a good word and I LOVE it!