Re:Verse reading–Acts 20:17-38 (day six)

“You yourselves know how I lived…”-Paul, Acts 20:18

Paul spent more time in Ephesus than any other city on his missionary journeys, all together almost three years. He knew these elders better than most; he was their father in the faith and mentor. They had likely planted churches together throughout the region, even experienced hardship together. So when he says, “You yourselves know how I lived,” it makes complete sense. Of all people he had invested in on his missionary journeys, the Ephesians knew him best; they knew what his life was all about.

This got me thinking about my own life. How would my wife or my kids describe my life? How about those I work with? Or the guys I train jiujitsu with during the week? Do they know how I live, or what matters most in my life? And if they did would it have anything to do with Jesus? Do I even have the kind of relationships that allow others to see beyond the surface, or is everything always “fine?” (That word is full of nondescript superficiality.)

Do the people I spend time with know me? Maybe the better questions is, does what they know about me really matter? I mean, really matter? Paul’s life mattered, and the Ephesians knew it.

All Our Being

Re: Verse reading–Genesis 2:4-17 (day six)

“For in him we live and move and have our being…” Acts 17:28

Those are the words Paul used to introduce the creator of the universe to Athenian philosophers; they were an echo of Genesis 2:17. We are not wound up clocks, all spinning gears and steel springs. Our very essence, all our being, is sustained by the breath of God. This is not figurative, or poetic, but is our reality, and it is good. The clock once complete exists on its own accord, separate from the clock maker. The clock maker looks at it, uses it, but no more. We are far different; our humanity is bound to our creator, even our next breath we owe to Him. Perhaps this is what Paul meant when he wrote to the Romans, “For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be glory forever. Amen.” (Romans 11:36)

This is precisely why it is unfathomable that those whose “being” is dependent upon Him for every living moment would think so little of Him; choosing to “worship and serve the creature rather than the Creator.” (Romans 1:25) All our being bent against Him, but “while we were still weak, Christ died for the ungodly.” (Romans 5:6)

He died for all our being.

He Opened His Mouth

Re:Verse – Matthew 5:1-12 (day six)

“And he opened his mouth and taught them saying…” Matthew 5:2.

Although simple, there is great significance in these words. Jesus came to die; to live a life without sin and take our sin to the Cross, and yet “he opened his mouth and taught.” One would think His teaching unnecessary in light of bigger things. These words not only set the scene for the greatest sermon ever preached, but also reveal to us a whole view of Jesus’ ministry to us. Jesus had to teach. Later he would tell us he only speaks what the Father tells him to say, and he would tell his disciples the Holy Spirit would help them remember all he has said. Why? Why was it necessary for Jesus to “open his mouth?”

Jesus taught to help us make sense of the cross; that we might have a sense of desperation that draws us to the Gospel. He also taught us so that once free of our sin we might make sense of this life. If Jesus opened his mouth, than by all means, we must listen!