Level 1 - Are you in survival mode?
Level 2 - Are you successful?
Level 3 - Are you living a life of significance?
To each of us these questions will have different interpretations. In the Bay area many of us have success or the appearance of success (the good job, home ownership, drive a nice car, vacations in Hawaii). Yet many feel like we’re fighting for survival as we pay the financial cost of living in this area, or paying the higher cost of keeping up with the Jones to appear successful or because we want the same things as Mr and Mrs Jones. In these past few weeks survival sums up our family life as we fight illness, homework, and deadlines. Even the grocery store has been a battle around fever and work commitments and in this instance Target won - I walked out of the store leaving a cart full of groceries taking my tantruming child with me. Does that take me to a Level not even listed above?
Yet many of us yearn for a life of Significance - countless blogs and books exist that aim to help us be significant. We each have our own vision of what that significance is. Ephesians has a lot to teach us about our citizenship here on Earth, our significance as God’s people and his true riches.
11 In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, 12 in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. Ephesians 1: 11 - 12 (NIV)
It’s in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for. Long before we first heard of Christ and got our hopes up, he had his eye on us, had designs on us for glorious living, part of the overall purpose he is working out in everything and everyone.
We’re digging deeper into Ephesians this coming month. Ephesus as a region has a number of similarities to our own Bay Area.
Ephesus: Strategic Commercial city in Asia Minor, modern day Turkey.
Bay Area: Strategic Technology Innovation.
Ephesus: Famous for the temple of Diana, considered one of the seven wonders of the ancient worl.
Bay Area: Famous for the Golden Gate Bridge and many other landmarks.
Ephesus: Celsus Library in Ephesus - 3rd largest library in the worl
Bay Area: Has the Number 2 and Number 3 world ranking Universities (California Institute of Technology and Stanford University respectively)
Ephesus: City was partially destroyed by an earthquake in 619AD
Bay Area: Resides along a number of Geographic Fault Lines
Here at Brave, our richness is in Christ. Some of us may feel that we are struggling with financial or health riches; yet most of us have a roof over our heads, food on our table, more than one pair of shoes, and access to medical care. According to Unicef nine out of ten of the world's poorest live on less than $1.90 a day. In sub-Saharan Africa approximately 69 million children will die from preventable diseases before the age of 5 by 2030. It is easy to forget this startling reality when we are striving to meet bills, needs and wants.
‘Those who have the least in this world should benefit from those who have the most’. Warren Buffet.
Our blessing and our riches are not in our provisions, our health, our families, our highs and our lows but in our Hope everyday. Our hope is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow.
This series is going to show us that our identity and our richness is indeed in Christ, that our worldly success is not in the salary that we bring home, or how we compare ourselves to each other, the size of our waist line. Yet that we are the focus of God’s love, that we are made in his Image and he delights completely in each of us.
‘Long before he laid down earth’s foundations, he had us in mind, had settled on us as the focus of his love. Ephesians 1:4 (MSG)
So what level of Living are you at today? What riches are you seeking as we go further into this series? What riches can you give to others? What is your life of significance?
Click Here to listen to part one of our Ephesians series.