BY PASTOR JOHN CHA
Take a seed. It’s small. Plain-looking. It’s single. And yet, within its membranes and nucleus, its DNA activates its functions to drink, take in sunlight, and to grow. The small seed thrives and grows into a gigantic hundred-foot oak tree. To say that it “thrives” is an understatement. But it doesn’t stop there! It thrives even more! The tree’s seeds fall to the ground, and these seeds grow. They become trees, dropping more seeds. You now have a vast forest of oak trees. A single seed contains a forest. Thrives!
In our Sunday sermon series, we are preaching through the book of Ephesians, a book about thriving in Christ. Our series is inspiring, calling us to become forests of God’s grace and work in our world. But it’s also a challenging series and perplexing. For so many, our picture of thriving is too small. We often seize on Ephesians 2:8. We’re saved by grace. That’s it. But Ephesians 2:8 is only a single verse. It’s a seed. We cherish it. We talk about it on Sunday mornings. We even memorize it. But it remains a single seed of belief, isolated from the rest of our lives.
God wants us to thrive! God ordains us to be a forest. And so, Ephesians 1 reveals the glorious God behind this good news called the Gospel. Ephesians 2 invites us to be now a part of God’s unstoppable work through the Gospel. Ephesians 3–4 calls us now to grow into the church, transforming broken lives and relationships into the very household of God. Finally, Ephesians 5–6 unleashes the Gospel to transform our relationships, our workplaces, and our engagement in the world so that we can impact everything around us. Seeds fall, creating a forest. Thrive!
As I’m reflecting on Ephesians, I realize that my view of God and His work is still at seed-stage. But slowly, as I’m planting, watering, tending, I see the Gospel sprouting in my conversations, at the dinner table, at a neighborhood meeting. And I’m not alone. We all know there’s more. He calls each of us to thrive!
Take an Open Door member. He is small. Plain-looking. She is single. And yet …
Pastor John Cha is the head pastor of ODPC’s English-speaking congregation. See more of the “Thrive!” series here on our main website.