It began rather innocuously. After church I had changed my clothes and decided I wanted to scare my older sister Lori. We had recently moved into a duplex that my dad converted into a single family home. My parents occupied the lower unit and my sister and I lived in the upstairs single bedroom unit. Lori lived in the bedroom and I was given the kitchen.
It was kind of odd waking up in the morning with a sink next to my head, but at seven years of age, I didn’t know any better. My “bedroom” also contained one other reminder of its past: an old refrigerator. The kind with the handle that you unlatch to open. The kind that cannot be unlatched from the inside.
I didn’t realize that important piece of information at the time.
So after changing my clothes, I prepared to scare my sister when she passed by my room on the way downstairs for Sunday dinner.
This will really make Lori jump!, I thought to myself as I stepped into the refrigerator and closed the door. But once the door latched, I realized there was a problem. I pushed and pushed. Then I waited for Lori to open the door. Unfortunately, when she walked by my room, she didn’t see me and decided I had already gone downstairs.
As time passed, I realized I was in trouble. I pounded and pounded, yelled and yelled, but no one could hear me through the well-insulated death trap.
If I had been a little older, I would have been terrified. But at my age I didn’t realize that refrigerators held a limited amount of air. Within minutes I would suffocate.
Instead, I just waited.
Suddenly, the door opened. “What are you doing in there??” my sister asked. Obviously my plans had been foiled.
That afternoon the refrigerator door was removed and the next day the refrigerator found a new home.
Years later I realized my sister saved my life. She was my only way out of the refrigerator
All of us need to be saved at some point in our lives–some of us cooperate and some of us don’t.
Please join us as we discuss this in our daily Bible conversation.
INSIGHTS AND EXPLANATIONS
Ephesians 4:1-32. This chapter is loaded with gems. In verses 11-13, Paul lists the various offices in the church: apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor, and teacher. But which one is the most important person in this passage? You are. God’s people. The purpose of the apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor, and teacher is to “prepare God’s people for works of service” (Ephesians 4:12 italics added). The word “prepare” means to equip. One of my greatest challenges I face as a pastor is to convince people not to live vicariously through me. As one of God’s people, I’m called to works of service, but he never intended that it should be limited to me.
Proverbs 24:3-6. “For waging war you need guidance, and for victory many advisers” (verse 6). Good advice not only for battle but for life.
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THE WORD MADE FRESH
Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens. Our God is a God who saves;
from the Sovereign Lord comes escape from death. Psalm 68:19-20
God “daily bears our burdens,” David wrote. And what are those burdens? Us. The New Living Translation phrases the above verse this way, “Each day he carries us in his arms.”
God carries us in his arms because our God is a God who saves. The nature of God is to save, to rescue. When we fail or fall down, God delights in picking us up and setting us back on our feet. This isn’t a burden to him because his nature is to save.
Derivatives of the word “save” appear approximately 381 times in the Bible with the vast majority of those times referring to our salvation.
But being saved doesn’t come easily to many. We like to save, but we don’t like being saved. It’s kind of like giving. Jesus said it’s better to give than receive, but it seems to me that it’s much easier to give than receive.
Being saved requires that we acknowledge our weakness, our sin, our inability to save ourselves. It’s the acknowledgment that we can’t open the latch of the refrigerator from the inside. The only way out of the refrigerator is through someone on the outside.
Being saved requires humility on our part and the willingness to trust someone else to rescue us.
Jesus came to this world to save us. Being saved means we admit that we can do nothing to save ourselves.
Is he your savior—or would you rather help him save you? If so, then you aren’t ready to be saved. But if you’re broken, worn out, weary, and tired of yourself. Well then, it looks like you’re ready to be saved.
- What spoke to you in today’s reading?
- From Paul’s list of commands in Ephesians 4, which ones speak particularly to you?
- Is it easier for you to save or to be saved?
- What is required in order for you to be saved.
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Michael co-pastors The Neighborhood Church with Eugene Scott in Littleton, Colorado.