I wasn’t raised in church.
I’ve shared that before in this community, but there’s one thing I’ll say over and over again.
I’m so glad someone told me about Jesus.
I didn’t know the beauty of the Word. It wasn’t shaking me up; in fact, it didn’t seem to have a lot to do with me. I didn’t know Jesus or what it meant to know Jesus.
Until someone told me.
I was a skinny teenager who was pretty angry and mixed up, and had all kinds of potential and didn’t have a clue.
I’m glad that someone — who had no idea she was being used by God — crossed the street and asked me to go to church with her. She wasn’t a pastor. She wasn’t eloquent. But I said yes and that changed the direction of my life.
I was a pretty big mess in the beginning. (Did I ever tell you the story of making out with one of the guys in youth group in the kitchen at church, oh word. And then there was the time I was kissing a boy at a youth event, though there was a perfectly good sermon taking place nearby.)
At some point I noticed that I had grown a little spiritually. That was due to people showing up in my life. Sunday School teachers. Volunteer youth leaders. The guy who drove the bus every Sunday so people could have a ride. My new friends’ parents who opened their home.
They didn’t know how hard things were for me in other areas, but they could clearly see how hard it was to love this broken girl sometimes. How I could be annoying. How I said the wrong thing at the wrong time — more than once.
They stuck in there.
I started to understand the Word.
I loved Jesus, oh how I loved him, and yet sometimes I still didn’t know how to live it well, but these people kept pouring in. They kept telling me that I had a part in this thing called faith.
It didn’t take long for me to began to tell people about Jesus. I felt ill equipped at times. I had no idea what God would do with those fumbling efforts. Honestly, I cringe a little if I think about those early efforts.
Forty years later I’m a different person, though I’m still am not always sure of how God will use my words.
But at this point I can’t help but speak them, because miraculously He will use them.
This is my life work: helping people understand and respond to this Message. It came as a sheer gift to me, a real surprise, God handling all the details. When it came to presenting the Message to people who had no background in God’s way, I was the least qualified of any of the available Christians. God saw to it that I was equipped, but you can be sure that it had nothing to do with my natural abilities. Ephesians 3:7-8 (Msg)
In Chapter 3 of Ephesians, Paul is almost giddy about the task he’s been given. He’s pretty honest about his qualifications, but that’s not his focus.
Instead, he focuses on the truth that God’s word is for anyone who will receive it.
Lord, open our eyes to the beauty of your Word
Certainly, we want to grasp the beauty of God’s Word for ourselves, but what about others?
Help us see how the Word is for all.
Help us to take the Word and share it as you lead.
Help us to bring living water to the thirsty and hope for those who are seeking it.
Help us to live it and love others through it.
- Today, read Ephesians 3:1-11.
- Read it in two or three different versions.
- Let’s take a deeper look at verses 10 and 11. What (or who) is shaken up as we begin to share this good news? What is your response to that?
- Share your thoughts and questions about today’s reading.
- In your journal, give thanks for the person who told you about Jesus. Thank him for those who invested in your spiritual growth.
Who told you about Jesus? I’d love to hear your story.