Thinking Big

Paul didn’t think small.  He certainly wasn’t concerned with the fact that he believed the Truth about Jesus Christ was for all people.  I think it is much easier to have a small faith, sorry not the kind that Jesus says moves mountains, I mean a faith that is about you and your relationship with God and your problems and worries.  It’s a faith that prays about my stuff, a faith that trusts God for everything concerning me.  That’s a small faith and it stays small because it factors in only one human and one God. 

Paul’s words don’t reflect that kind of faith, he says in Ephesians 3:5-6

the mystery of Christ, which was not made known to the sons of men in other generations as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit.  This mystery is that the Gentiles are fellow heirs, members of the same body, and partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel. 

First of all the message Paul has to share is not just for himself, his family or his friends, it’s for the whole world.  The Jewish people had two big categories for humankind – Jews and Gentiles.  Paul  is saying that now God’s promise pushes through any previous perceived boundaries into both those categories, all the world.  Paul probably didn’t even have a concept of how big that was but his faith, powered by the Holy Spirit, had no problem in doing math on that scale.

Secondly Paul’s faith seems to get small for a second in verses 7 and 8:

 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.

Paul focuses in on the gift of faith that was given to him.  A personal faith that Paul recognizes as a gift created through the working of God’s power.  Paul’s faith gets small only in the sense that he talks about his personal faith in God, Paul doesn’t go passed that recollection into the realm of personal needs, his faith has a purpose, to share that Gospel with those who have not heard it.  That’s big faith.

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3 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by trinityhawaii on January 3, 2008 at 2:24 am

    ESV Ephesians 3
    1For this reason I, Paul, a prisoner for Christ Jesus on behalf of you Gentiles—2assuming that you have heard of the stewardship of God’s grace that was given to me for you, 3how the mystery was made known to me by revelation, as I have written briefly. 4When you read this, you can perceive my insight into the mystery of Christ, 5which was not made known to the sons of men in other generations as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit. 6This mystery is that the Gentiles are fellow heirs, members of the same body, and partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel.
    7Of 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. 8To 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, 9and to bring to light for everyone what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God who created all things, 10so that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places. 11This was according to the eternal purpose that he has realized in Christ Jesus our Lord, 12in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through our faith in him.

    Reply

  2. Posted by mitty1 on January 3, 2008 at 3:51 am

    Wow I feel really convicted. I know a lot of the times I am living a small faith and not a big faith. You make an excellent point when you say if we are praying for others and are not as focused on ourselves then we are living a big faith! I think living a big faith helps in preventing Christians from getting discouraged. Perhaps God might not be answering my own personal prayer but He is answering the prayers that I am praying for my friends. Thank you for that excellent but convicting post!

    Reply

  3. Posted by trinityhawaii on January 3, 2008 at 10:03 pm

    It happens rarely that we are doing or participating in has global implications? Very few people in the world have that insight – world leaders, maybe people in cutting edge medical or technological sciences, but in faith we can see that the message of Jesus Christ can change one person’s eternal destiny and that one person can change a family, a group of people, a generation that changes another. That’s big faith!

    Reply

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