Ephesians 3:7-9 - 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 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.
Note the humility in which St. Paul begins this promise when he calls himself "the very least of all the saints." As we view his heroic, self-sacrificing career for the Savior, we are inclined to feel that he was the greatest of the apostles. Yet Paul remembered how, before he came to Christ, he had persecuted the church, ridiculed his Redeemer; and now conscious of his own sins, he insists that he is "the very least of all" of those who are in the fellowship of faith.
Oh that God would make us a similarly humble and penitent people! Though we are goaded on all sides by voices too numerous to mention, to think more highly of ourselves than we should, let us spurn the urge toward self-praise. Instead, let us remember the Lord Jesus Christ as He, the Almighty's Son, knelt to wash His disciples' feet. Consider Him who went willingly, unswervingly, to the cross of cruelty for you and me. Humiliated as an outcast, Jesus was "despised and rejected of men," (Isaiah 53:3a). Since He endured this for us, let us likewise apply ourselves to loving one another as He first loved us (see 1 John 4:19).
And as we live in Christ, so too should we speak on His behalf. Paul tell the Ephesians about the "grace" given him to preach "the unsearchable riches of Christ, and to bring to light for everyone what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God." Think about it: Christianity—a religion of riches? Yes, but not the kind the world has to offer. Here again the world is completely at odds with the Christian faith. What we have in Christ far surpasses the world's fleeting vanities.
God's treasure has been given to us in His Son. The unsurpassed worth of knowing Jesus as our Savior, the brilliant riches of His redemption and resurrection, the immeasurable value of His truth and triumph over sin, the priceless possessions of now having peace with the Almighty, peace with your fellow men, and peace with your own conscience—all these speak to God's unfathomable grace, the wealth of His wondrous care, and the costly crown of our salvation: earned for you and me at Golgotha and sealed with His resurrection victory over the tomb.
THE PRAYER: Heavenly Father, teach us to value the great salvation You have freely given to us. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
From "The Unsearchable Riches of Christ," a sermon excerpt from Rev. Dr. Walter A. Maier, the first Speaker of The Lutheran Hour
1. Does having a lot of money present a problem sometimes?
2. Why did Paul who was a Jew have the Gentiles (non-Jews) as his preaching focus?
3. How does the value of knowing Jesus as your Savior compare with worldly riches?
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