Pastor Tim Birdwell from Phoenix Bible Church:
One of my favorite times of the year is Christmas with our kids. I remember one Christmas specifically where our first child was actually able to take everything in and get the concept of gifts for the first time… And we bought her an Elmo DVD.
Now none of our other kids are big fans of Elmo, but our first daughter was crazy about Elmo. See, She had pneumonia when she little and would have to take breathing treatments, which she WASN’T crazy about and the only thing that would distract her was Elmo.
So she’s never really experienced Christmas before, crazy about Elmo, and her first gift is this Elmo DVD. And let me just tell you she. went. nuts… Her body literally convulsed, she threw the DVD across the room, and just started running around screaming for a good 30 seconds. -It was like this explosion of happiness.
And I was thinking about it as we start the book of Ephesians, the Apostle Paul, starts with a similar explosion of happiness.
In fact, one of the first things he says is “Blessed be God”. That word “blessed” literally means happy. He goes on to talk about ALL THE WAYS we’ve been blessed by God. Paul is so excited about it, he doesn’t even have time for a PERIOD.
In the original language, VS 3-14 are all one sentence. I mean think about it, Paul was an articulate man, yet he was so excited he has trouble ending this run on sentence He’s like a kid at Christmas who explodes, running around the room, forgetting to even take a breath.
As he talks about all the ways we’ve been blessed, you might think there would be some stuff about what we do, or how we should live up to God’s blessing… But actually there’s none of that. In fact, we only get 1 command in the FIRST 3 CHAPTERS, and it’s to “Remember” in Ch 2.
You see I know some of you are distant from the church and part of the reason is you’re overwhelmed. Overwhelmed By all the things that YOU need to DO, or overwhelmed all things that you have FAILED to DO. But you need to know that Christianity at it’s core, before it ever gets to “what YOU do”, is about “what GOD has done for you” . . .in Christ.
Does Jesus stir an excitement similar to a kid on Christmas? Or does it make you angry? Scared? Bored? My prayer is by the end of this series through Ephesians you find that similar excitement for the gospel. It’s glorious grace. An explosion of happiness. And I’m excited to dive into it with you.