Made With Purpose
God took the divine risk of creating beings who could say "no" to Him. And then He made plans to redeem them and make them once again part of His heavenly family.
Alright, thank you very much. And hello again, radio friends. How in the world are you? Well, this is your good friend, Bob Cook, and I do wonder how you are. I know so many of you through having met you here and there, and of course there’s thousands of others that I won’t meet until we get over on the glory land and have our first radio rally. We’re gonna hold an open air meeting on the corner of Hallelujah Avenue and Glory Street. A radio rally, how would that be? [chuckle] Well, I expect to meet you there if you know the Lord Jesus, and that’ll be great. I wanna look up my father and thank Him for praying for me and seeing me through those motherless days of growing up, thank my sister and my mother, others who prayed for me. And then I’m gonna look up a lot of you, because I know you from your letters and I know some of you from having met you, and that’ll be great. You ever think about Heaven and realize that we’re on the way there and it’s gonna be great? “Oh, that will be glory for me,” the old song says, “When by his grace I shall look on His face. Oh yes that will be glory”. Well, hallelujah. I’m glad I’m saved. How about you?
We’re looking at Ephesians chapter three, and Paul said, “Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles.” Now, I see other people took the gospel to the Jewish nation, but Paul was the apostle to the Gentiles. And he said, “God gave me this special grace.” Small thought here: God gives you special grace for special jobs. Now, some of you are facing very difficult situations of one certain another Life is that way and not every day comes up roses, does it? And some of you are facing very difficult situations. And I’d just like to remind you that whatever your circumstances may be right at this moment, God gives special grace for special jobs.
“This grace given,” to preach the gospel, “The unsearchable riches of Christ,” among the Gentiles. That was what God gave him special grace for. God gave him grace to endure, that what he called his “thorn in the flesh”, a physical affliction of some sort, undoubtedly. God gave him grace for that. “For this thing I besought the Lord thrice. But He said unto me, ‘My grace is sufficient for thee: For my strength is made perfect in weakness”. So Paul said, “Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmity, for that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For when I am weak, then by God’s grace, I am strong.” Would you think in terms of divinely given grace in the context of the job you have to do? What are you doing? Are you working for a big corporation? Are you in production? Are you in finance? Are you in quality control? Are you in personnel? Are you in promotion and development? What are you?
Or are you a teacher, or a lawyer, or a doctor, or a nurse? A homemaker? What are you doing? Well, whatever it is, God is giving you this minute, if you’ll just receive it, special grace for the special job that He’s given you. And I think that has to be true for some of the dear ones, whom I know, that are constantly in pain. Oh, I have my aches and pains now and again, I’ve got them right now. My arthritis is kicking up something terrible. That’s because of the weather, I guess, or old age, I don’t know which. But I know some people who are never without pain, sometimes excruciating pain. And your assignment really would seem to be that all God is asking you to do is to endure what you’re enduring and keep shining at the same time. And you get awfully tired.
Someone said the other day, “Oh, I just wish I could have one day where I didn’t hurt all over.” Bless your heart. It’s rough, isn’t it? No amount of preaching takes away that hurt and that pain and those aches and the sharp stabbing pain that sometimes you feel. Yeah, I know. But I want you to know this: God gives grace for those things. And maybe the job he’s given you, beloved, is just to be you, just to be yourself, full of the Spirit of God, trusting your Savior and receiving grace enough to live this very day, in spite of the aches and pains, in spite of the disability, in spite of real suffering, whatever it may be. God’s grace is given to you, a special gift of His grace just for you. Can you take that in? Oh, I wish you would. Take it by faith.
You don’t have to take it as a result of something that Cook has said. Take it by faith. “He giveth more grace,” James says. “Therefore he said, ‘God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace… ‘” Giveth is the verb there, he gives it to you, “Grace unto the humble.” “Unto me is this grace given,” Paul said in Ephesians 3:7. And so, whatever your job is, whatever you’re doing, whether it be in business or in industry or in the professions or at home or in the community or whatever it may be, whatever your job is. Or maybe it may just be to be yourself and go right on through an impossible situation that’s fraught with pain and suffering but shining for your Savior every minute of the time. Well, whatever it is, God gives special grace for special jobs. Will you take that in? Please do.
He said, “That I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ.” We talked about the riches of His grace and the riches of His inheritance in the saints, and His riches in glory, which is the supply of all your need. And part then of this grace, this special assignment that God gave to the Apostle Paul, is that He wants, verse 9, “To make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ: To the intent that now under principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God.” Of the mystery, fellowship is assuring, Koinonia, assuring of things that are dynamic and that affect our lives. And this was God’s plan right from the beginning. From the beginning, it was hidden God. Now, what does he want?
“To the intent… ” Now this is His purpose, this is the heart of what Paul is talking about as “the mystery”. “To the intent that now unto principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church, the manifold wisdom of God, according to the eternal purpose which He purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord, because in Him, we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him”. What’s he talking about? When you go back to the Garden of Eden now, let’s think about that. What was it that Satan had to say to Eve and to Adam there in the Garden of Eden? He said, “I can’t believe my ears. Are you telling me that God is keeping you from enjoying everything in this garden?” Well, they said, “Of every tree of the garden we may freely eat, but of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, ‘Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall you touch it, lest ye die'”.
Now the devil tells his first lie, “Ye shall not surely die. For God doth know… ” Here’s his second lie. “God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, you should be as gods, knowing good and evil”. The second lie is God is trying to keep you from something in which you could better yourself and get to be like Him. Two lies that never have changed down through the centuries, God is still being accused by Satan, who is the accuser, and the lies are still being told. The first is, what God has told you straight out isn’t quite true. And second, can you see how important it is that you and I live for our Lord and that we be part of what God is doing in this age? He is using believers. Lump them together in one body, and it’s called The Body of Christ, the church. He is using believers to prove, once again, to old Satan, that Satan is a liar and that God is true.
You’ll find this theme recurring at many, many places in Scripture. I think of one, for example, in Romans 12, “Present your body as a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed… ” Don’t be jammed into the world’s matrix, that means. “Be not conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is good and acceptable and perfect, namely the will of God.” What are you proving? Proving that God’s will is good and that it’s acceptable and that it’s perfect. That it’s good, rather than something mixed with with not so good. Acceptable, it means it is easy to take. Perfect, that means you can’t get a better deal anywhere. Proving to Satan and to angels and to demons, Paul says, “We are made a spectacle unto angels and demons, and human beings,” he calls the men. We’re made a spectacle unto angels and demons and people.
You are being watched on these three levels and your life yielded to the Lord Jesus will be living proof that God is right, the Gospel is true, the purpose of God is not only beneficent but it’s the best possible purpose in all the universe. Ad He’s gonna show you off throughout all eternity as proof of His eternal purpose. Isn’t that tremendous truth? “To the intent that now,” not sometime, but now, “The principalities and powers in the heavenlies might be known by the church, the manifold wisdom of God’. And this, He says, is right down along the line of the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord. Salvation was planned before the foundation of the world, our Savior said. And again, you have it here, it’s the eternal purpose which He purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord.
God took the divine risk of creating beings who could say no to Him, and then He made plans to redeem them, and make them once again part of His heavenly family so that in all of the ages to come, you and I could be a God’s Exhibit A as to what the grace of God can do. I will resume our study the next time we get together with Ephesians 3:12, Boldness and access with confidence. There’s wonderful truth there.
Precious Father, thank You for Your purpose in Christ. Thank you for making us part of it. Help us to shine for Jesus today. I pray in his name, Amen.
Till I meet you once again, by way radio walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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