Study today designed to help us put Jesus in his proper place in our lives, to help us depend upon God, and to go forth as God's empowered presence in this world, connecting the world and the good news.
Must understand this connecting: gospel does not change, but the world--culture changes. The bridge between gospel and world is firmly anchored on the gospel side of the chasm, but the bridge flexes. Bridge changes. Not in its nature, but in its connections, in its methods. Coping with that change is misunderstood, is misinterpreted, is mishandled.
One of the most difficult things to endure is one of the most likely things to happen--CHANGE. The older we get, the more difficult it becomes. We do not like change any more than did Abraham, Mary, of Saul. We find comfort: "I the Lord do not change. So you...are not destroyed."
Key to coping with change is to see the unchanging God. First, let us see God for who he really is. Also key to depending on God, recognizing Jesus and Lord, and living life consistent with that claim.
Much help in Ephesians--very oriented toward church. Ecclesiological.
I. Have you closely considered....
his abundant provision, 3-4
II. Have you carefully studied....
his preparation, 5-6
III. Have you gratefully received....
his promise, 7-8,13
IV. Have you lovingly appreciated....
his purpose, 9-12
V. When we see and appreciate this, we pray as Paul prays. We respond by...
I like a story from two Columbian missionaries. "Driving thru traffic, fighting drizzling rain, we chanced on a 4-yr-old girl. She was wet, cold, shaking. Her clothes ragged, hair matted, nose running. She walked between the cars at the stoplight, washing headlights because she was too short to wash windshields. We few gave her coins, others honked at her to get out of the way. As we drove away 50c poorer, I raged at God for the injustice in the world that allowed the situation. 'God, how could You just stand by. Why don't you do something?' Later that evening, God came softly and responded calmly, not in kind with my rage, but with tenderness, "I have done something, I created you."