Wednesday, September 30

Wednesday Weekly Devotional

By Pastor Rick Fisk

Apologetics pertaining to the Christian faith have always been an interest to me. I love to see well-reasoned arguments used to promote the scriptures, our traditions and our beliefs. I remember as a college student how assuring it was to see that Jesus was the perfect fulfillment of so many of the Old Testament messianic prophesies. The same can be said for how many of the events in Jesus’ earthly life coincided with the Jewish calendar and festivals. When we can recognize stated (implied) expectations, and then see them clearly fulfilled hundreds of years later, it validates belief in Jesus versus so many of the other religions of the world.

When I can see ‘God clearly being God’ I am encouraged to share that with others. I recently found that encouragement in a devotional by Pastor Rick Warren, one he opened with Ephesians 1:4-5 (NLT). Here is the verse:

Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us is in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure.

Pastor Warren did not write his devotional from the perspective of an apologist, but I simply could not get passed the Ephesians scripture. For me it jumped off of the page as ‘God being God.’ In a world that asks questions such as, “How could God love and forgive a sinner such as me?” Or on the other side of the coin, accusing God by asking, “How could a loving God (fill in the blank)?” I think Ephesians 1:4-5 takes us beyond these questions. Hear verse 5 again: God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure.

If you take the time to think about Ephesians 1:4-5, you will realize that before God created the world, before Adam and Eve, before God called out the Israelite people, before Jesus was born, crucified, buried and raised from the dead (bringing the promised salvation). Before all of these things, God chose and loved you.

Going back to my phrase “God being God” here is how I see apologetics applying. If a person is going to take the step of faith, to believe in God, and salvation through his Son, then this better be a worthy God, one who demonstrates that he is God, and displays the wisdom you would expect of God. 

Now just look again at God’s plan as described in Ephesians 1:4-5. Before he created the world, he knew he would create “man”. He gave “man” free-will knowing he would sin. God knew “man’s” sin would cost him his Son, and that his Son would have to be sacrificed for “man’s’” redemption. He even prepared heaven for us. 

God planned it all out. Get this – he provided for “man’s” salvation before he created him!! Before God even created us, he knew we would be sinners and anticipating this, he provided a way for us to be holy and without fault in his eyes. That is the ultimate love, and don’t we all want to serve and worship a God who is love?

For me Ephesians 1:4-5 screams of a ‘God who is God’. He chose you, he loves you, and isn’t that news worth telling someone you know?