Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ; Ephesians 3:8
1 year ago
If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward:How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words,Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ)Ephesians 3:2-4
... do not let your 4-year old carry around a glass vase in Target, go with your instincts, which are screaming, "No, you may not carry that; it will ride in the cart."
... if you go out to eat, bring baby wipes with you and be sure all of the children are wearing patterned shirts and if you will be going somewhere AFTER dinner, bring a change of clothes for everyone just in case.
... the customer service desk at Target has BandAids.
... gum stops tears.
... a hand dryer can dry a section of clothing, which you've just rinsed out in the bathroom sink, relatively quickly.
And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: Ephesians 2:16
Yet to all who received him, to those who believed on his name, he gave the right to become children of God. John 1:12
Wherefore, remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; Ephesians 2:11
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:Not of works, lest any man should boast.Ephesians 2:8-9
That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. Ephesians 2:7
And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: Ephesians 2:6
But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Ephesians 2:4
Then, suddenly one morning at 4 a.m., after months of begging God to answer my prayers, I received a vision from the Lord while kneeling beside my bed.In the vision I was walking up a steep hill, trying to push a heavy cart in front of me. I was heading towards a village where I intended to beg for food for my family. I was struggling greatly, because in my vision I was hungry and weakened by constant fasting. The old cart was about to roll back and fall on me.I then saw three men walking down the hill in the opposite direction. A kind old man, who had a very long beard, was pulling a large cart full of fresh bread. Two other men were walking on each side of the cart. When the old man saw me he felt great pity and showed me compassion. He asked, "Are you hungry?" I replied, "Yes. I have nothing to eat. I'm on my way to get food for my family."I wept because my family was extremely poor. Because of my father's sickness we'd sold everything valuable to buy medicine. We had little to eat, and for years we'd been forced to beg for food from friends and neighbors. When the old man asked me if I was hungry I couldn't help but cry. I'd never felt such genuine love and compassion from anyone before.In the vision the old man took a red bag of bread from his trolley and asked his two servants to give it to me. He said, "You must eat it immediately."I opened the wrapping and saw there was a bun of fresh bread inside. When I put the bun in my mouth, it instantly turned into a Bible! Immediately, in my vision, I knelt down with my Bible and cried out to the Lord in thanksgiving, "Lord, your name is worthy to be praised! You didn't despise my prayer. You allowed me to receive this Bible. I want to serve you for the rest of my life."I woke up and started searching the house for the Bible. The rest of my family was asleep. The vision had been so real to me that when I realized it had only been a dream I was deeply anguished and I wept loudly. My parents rushed to my room to see what had happened. They thought I had gone crazy because of all my fasting and praying. I told them about my vision, but, the more I shared, the crazier they thought I was! Mother said, "The day hasn't dawned yet and no one has come to our house. The door is firmly locked."My father held me tightly. With tears in his eyes he cried to God, "Dear Lord, have mercy on my son. Please don't let him lose his mind. I'm willing to be sick again if it will prevent my son from losing his mind. Please give my son a Bible!"My mother, father and I knelt down and wept together, arm in arm.Suddenly I heard a faint knock at the door. A very gentle voice called my name. I rushed over and asked through the locked door, "Are you bringing the bread to me?" The gentle voice replied, "Yes, we have a bread feast to give you." I immediately recognized the voice as the same one I had heard in the vision.I quickly opened the door and there standing before me were the same two servants I had seen in the vision. One man held a red bag in his hand. My heart raced as I opened the bag and held in my hands my very own Bible!The two men quickly departed into the still darkness.I clutched my new Bible to my heart and fell down on my knees outside the door. I thanked God again and again! I promised Jesus that from that moment on I would devour his Word like a hungry child.Later I found out the names of those two men. One was Brother Wang and the other Brother Sung. They came from a village far away. They told me about an evangelist whom I'd never met. He had suffered terribly for the Lord during the Cultural Revolution, and had nearly died while being tortured.About three months before I received my Bible this evangelist had received a vision from the Lord. God showed him a young man to whom he was to give his hidden Bible. In the vision he saw our house and the location of our village.Like many Christians at the time, the old man had placed his Bible inside a can and buried it deep in the ground,hoping a day would come when he could dig it up and read it again. Despite this vision, it took the evangelist a few months before he decided to obey what the Lord had told him to do. He asked two other Christian men to deliver it to me. They then walked throughout the night to reach my home.From that moment on I prayed to Jesus with faith-filled prayer. I fully trusted that the words in the Bible were God's words to me. I always held the Bible. Even when I slept I laid it on my chest. I devoured its teachings like a hungry child.This was the first gift I ever received from God in prayer.
What is this?Where did it come from?Why did Mom buy it?Who is it for?
Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. Ephesians 2:3
...At first, I didn't really know who Jesus was, but I'd seen him heal my father and liberate our family. I confidently committed myself to the God who had healed my father and saved us. During that time I frequently asked my mother who Jesus truly was. She told me, "Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross for us, taking all our sins and sicknesses. He recorded all his teachings in the Bible."I asked if there were any words of Jesus left that I could read for myself. She replied, "No. All his words are gone. There is nothing left of his teaching." This was during the Cultural Revolution when Bibles could not be found.From that day on I earnestly wanted to have a copy of my own Bible. I asked my mother and fellow Christians what a Bible looked like, but no one knew. One person had seen some hand copied Scripture portions and song sheets, but never a whole Bible. Only a few old believers could recall seeing Bibles many years before. The Word of God was scarce in the land.I was so hungry for a Bible. Seeing my desperation, my mother remembered an old man who lived in another village. This man had been a pastor before the Cultural Revolution.Together we started out on the long walk to his home. When we found him we told him our desire, "We long to see a Bible. Do you have one?"He immediately looked fearful. This man had already spent nearly 20 years in prison for his faith. He looked at me and saw that I was so young and poor, with tattered clothes and bare feet. He felt compassion, but still didn't want to show me his Bible.I don't blame him because in those days there were very few Bibles in the whole of China. Nobody was allowed to read any book other than Mao's little Red Book. If caught with a Bible, it would be burned and the owner's whole family would be severely beaten in the middle of the village.The old pastor simply told me, "The Bible is a heavenly book. If you want one, you'll need to pray to the God of heaven. Only he can provide you a heavenly book. God is faithful. He always answers those who seek him with all of their heart."I fully trusted the pastor's words.When I returned home I brought a stone into my room and knelt down on it every evening for prayer. I had just one simple prayer: "Lord, please give me a Bible. Amen." At that time I didn't know how to pray, but I continued for more than one month.Nothing happened. A Bible didn't appear.I went back to that pastor's house again. This time I went alone. I told him, "I've prayed to God according to your instructions, but I still haven't received the Bible I want so much. Please, please show me your Bible. Just a glance and I will be satisfied! I don't need to touch it. You hold it and I will be content just to look at it. If I could copy down some of the words I will return home happy."The pastor saw the anxiety of my heart. He spoke to me again, "If you're serious, then you should not only kneel down and pray to the Lord, you should also fast and weep. The more you weep the sooner you'll get a Bible."I went home, and every morning and afternoon I ate and drank nothing. Every evening I ate just one small bowl of steamed rice. I cried like a hungry child to his heavenly Father, wanting to be filled with his Word. For the next one hundred days I prayed for a Bible, until I could bear it no more. My parents were sure I was losing my mind.Looking back years later, I would say this whole experience was the most difficult thing I've ever endured.
Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.