Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God… Ephesians 1:1 (NASB)
Paul began his letter to the church in Ephesus by recognizing who he is in relation to God. He could have begun by saying by simply addressing the church, but he knew that everything in his life goes back to God. He introduced himself as an apostle and gave credit to God by saying it is by His will.
I do not know about you but when I am greeting someone new or introducing myself, I do not usually say: “I am Rachel, an apostle of Jesus Christ.” I usually tell them my name and then when asked what I do for a living, my response is church work.
I know you are probably thinking this is not really a big deal or you are asking yourself why I am focusing on this verse. This verse has more importance in our lives than we recognize. His introduction shows that God is Paul’s number one. His introduction tells the church he is writing that he is writing because God is in his life. Think about how much that means to those he is speaking to. They know that Paul cares about them because of Christ is in his life.
I love to read Paul’s letters because I can feel his passion as I am reading and I know that Christ is his number one. If I am being honest with myself, I would not be able to say this. I would not want to introduce myself as “Rachel, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God,” because my life does not always show this. I know that Paul made mistakes after he gave his life over to the Lord but overall his life and his ministry pointed to God.
I want people to look at me and read my writings and say the same things I say about Paul. I want my life to show that I am an apostle of Jesus not just someone that works at the church during the week. I want everything I do to show others who I am following and that I am following God.
I wonder how different my walk would be if I recognized that I am an apostle of Christ and that it is only by the will of God. I wonder how different it would be if I knew in my heart that my purpose is God and church work is just what I am doing right now. Everything in our lives, everything we do should be second to following Jesus Christ.