From memory…

16 06 2010

Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God. To God’s holy people in Ephesus, the faithful in Christ Jesus:

Grace and Peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ who has blessed us in the Heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.

For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight.

In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ in accordance with his please and will –

to the praise of his glorious grace which he has freely given us in the one he loves.

In Him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us.

With all wisdom and understanding he made known to us the mystery of God’s according to His good pleasure which he purposed in Christ –

To be put into effect when times reach their fulfillment, to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.

In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out all things in conformity with the purpose of his will, so that we who were the first to put our hope in Christ Jesus might be for the praise of His Glory….

That’s where I’m up to – Ephesians 1:1-12 – all done from memory 🙂



2 06 2010

I hate boredom. I’m sure we all do. For me its not so much the boredom of not having anything to do, its the boredom that comes from being alone at times. Sometimes you can be with people and still feel alone. But, there is hope. I found out, well admitted more than found out, that I am far too good at beating myself up about stuff. I don’t stand up for myself and find it easier to let people boss me around to their own end. Somehow I can justify it in my mind like “I’m behaving like Jesus….like a lamb to the slaughter….this is what being a Christian is all about….”

This past week has been something of a wake up call. After listening to Wright @ the wheaton conference I’ve taken up his challenge to memorise Ephesians. So far I’m up 3 days in and 3 verses down. It’s not as hard as I thought. But one thing I’ve found working in me as I do this is that my day doesn’t get easier, sometimes it gets harder, but this internal monologue i’ve been having with myself has changed at times.

I used to tell myself all the time that I was useless, and not good enough. That I could never do a good job, and it was just a matter of time before everyone found out and I got fired. Sound familiar? It sounds kinda stupid to write it now. How trivial….”at least you have a job” says someone from the peanut gallery. But I digress….When that monlogue started the other day, something in me said “No thats not true….God gives grace to the worst of sinners….the CHIEF of sinners….*ahem* even to PAUL!!”

There it was in verse 1….I had been stewing over it for a whole day – that one verse “Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus, by the will of God, to God’s holy people in Ephesus, the faithful in Christ:….” (i wrote that from memory btw). Paul was the worst of sinners, he persecuted the church, he went out of his way to stamp out the community of God, the visible manifestation of the kingdom of God on earth….When he came to realise this I’m sure his past haunted him…he must have felt like the worst person on Earth. God had to confront him in the person of Jesus to say “Sorry buddy but you’re in the wrong and I’m in the right…” Yet he become a minister of the Gospel extraodinaire. All by the will and grace of God!!

I can’t tell you how good it has been for me to spend time mulling over ephesians. I believe God directed me to do that through Wright’s sermon….it has not changed my life and made me a millionaire. It hasn’t gotten me a promotion or a bigger house. I’m not super spiritual and certainly don’t float 3 inches above the ground with a dinner plate behind my head. But I am a broken Christian who is too good at beating himself up over stupid things, but slowly becoming captivated by God’s Grace through Jesus by the power of the Spirit.

This is what reading scripture does – when we mull over it, meditate on it, chew over it…..take it with us and see what it does when we’re faced with the possibility of failure….it does not always remove us from our situation, but somehow God gives us the strength via his spirit to face the situation….the Spirit is as Fee suggests “God’s empowering presence”…..the Spirit does not rob us of humanity but rather redeems it and makes us fully human.