Volume 6 Issue 3 | March 2023

God's Whoever Policy

from Jesus by Max Lucado

Sometimes I detect my favorite fragrance wafting from the kitchen: strawberry cake. I follow the smell like a bird dog follows a trail until I’m standing over the just-baked, just-iced pan of pure pleasure.


Yet I’ve learned to still my fork until my wife gives clearance. "Who is it for?" I ask. She might break my heart. "It’s for a birthday party, Max. Don’t touch it!" Or, "For a friend. Stay away." Or she might throw open the door of delight. "Whoever." And since I qualify as a "whoever," I dig in.

Thankfully for us, God’s gospel includes a "whoever" policy that’s always open for business.


For God so loved the world that He gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.—John 3:16 NIV


Jesus could have so easily narrowed the scope, changing whoever into whatever. "whatever Jew believes" or "whatever woman follows me." But He used no qualifier. The pronoun is wonderfully indefinite. After all, who isn’t a whoever?


The word sledgehammers racial fences and dynamites social classes. It bypasses gender borders and surpasses ancient traditions. Whoever makes it clear: God exports His grace worldwide.


For those who attempt to restrict it, Jesus has a word: whoever. You can find it in the following texts: Matthew 10:32, 39, Mark 3:35, 16:16, John 3:36, 4:14, 6:37, 11:26, Revelation 22:17.


The downturns of life can create such a sad state of affairs that we wonder if God still wants us. But God’s "whoever" policy has a "however" benefit. Just ask Lazarus, the street sleeper with dogs licking his sores. There’s no need to clean up or climb up. Just look up. God takes you however He finds you.


This policy also features a "whenever" clause. Whenever you hear God’s voice, He welcomes your response. Sometimes we think the invitation has expired. We’ve waited too long. But just ask the last-minute vineyard workers in Jesus’ parable who were paid the same wages as the all-day workers: God offers eleventh-hour grace.


We may struggle with such a thought. A last-minute confessor receives the same grace as a lifetime servant? Doesn’t seem fair. But request grace with your dying breath, and God hears your prayer. Whoever means "whenever." And there’s one more clause: whoever means "wherever."


Wherever you are, you’re not too far to come home. Just ask the prodigal son.


We may lose sobriety, solvency, and sanity. We may lose jobs and chances, youth and vigor, idealism, and dreams. But we never lose our place on God’s "whoever" list.

History of Columbus Adventist Academy

As we prepare to cut the ribbon on the CAA expansion on March 26, let's pause to remember some of the history of CAA. (Click on the graphic to expand it.)

6 Spring Bible Verses to Renew Your Spirit

by RamseySolutions.com

Snow is melting. Temperatures are rising. Bright colors are replacing browns and grays. There’s only one explanation: it must be spring!

For believers, spring is a reminder that God is all about making things new. In fact, Jesus promised to make everything new one day (Revelation 21:5). In the meantime, He gives us glimpses of the coming attractions through spring.

To help you celebrate the shift from one season to another, here are some verses that hit on the best themes of spring.


“That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither—whatever they do prospers.” Psalm 1:3 (NIV)

Spring is a time for growth. In nature, that comes from the right combination of sunlight and water. For our spiritual lives, it comes from the right combination of time with God in His word and time with other Christians in fellowship. The alternative is to be chaff that blows away and comes to nothing.


Starting Over

“As surely as the sun rises, he will appear; he will come to us like the winter rains, like the spring rains that water the earth.” Hosea 6:3 (NIV)

Everybody needs forgiveness. We need God to appear and let us know we’re back on track with Him. He’s ready to give us that kind of healing. We just have to turn back to Him.



“I will send rain on your land in its season, both autumn and spring rains, so that you may gather in your grain, new wine and olive oil.” Deuteronomy 11:14 (NIV)

The Christian life is a balancing act between working like everything depends on you and trusting like everything depends on God. He will send the rains you need, but you’ve also got to do your part by working the harvest.



“Let my teaching fall like rain and my words descend like dew, like showers on new grass, like abundant rain on tender plants.” Deuteronomy 32:2 (NIV)

You’re never too old to learn a little more about God and His goodness. Just like rain provides nourishment to the plants, His word reaches into our hearts and shows us things we never would have imagined.



“Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” Psalm 51:10 (NIV)

God is in the renovation business. He takes what’s old and broken down and transforms it into something incredible. If you’ve got an area of your life that needs some renewal, He’s more than ready to meet you where you are.



“Why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.” Matthew 6:28–29 (NIV)

Take a look at the flowers and plants blooming around you. They didn’t worry their way to awesomeness. And you can’t either. God cares about you, so let Him carry your worries and fears (1 Peter 5:7).


Whether it’s a long walk on a sunny day or splashing through puddles during an unexpected shower, soak up the blessings of spring. Let the sights, sounds and smells of a new season bring to life something new within you.


Learn to live in the freedom God created you for—freedom to grow, serve, and follow His call.

Dr. Charlotte (Lottie) Cornelia Isbell Blake

First African-American SDA Doctor and Member of Ephesus

Did you know that Ephesus has a place in history? As we leave Black History Month and enter Women's History Month, let's remember Dr. Lottie Blake, the first African-American Seventh-day Adventist to become a licensed physician.

"[In 1904,] Dr. Lottie Isbell had scored another triumph. She was now a licensed physician for the State of Alabama...

"[In 1912], the Blake family moved to Columbus, Ohio, where David organized a small group of believers into what grew into the current Columbus Ephesus Church, and both he and Lottie practiced medicine." (Click here to read the full article.)

You may find this video on the topic interesting as well.

1 Kristian Afana, Lydia Derri, Steve Desir, Charlotte Opoku, Luke Orelien, Shanae Smith, Dallas Terrell 2 Dalane Crawford Jr., Ashley Palmer 3 Esias Glaster, Celestine Mayfield, Tracee Prysock, Syreeta Robinson 6 Brenda Barnes, Codirian Corder, Kay Hill, Nidy Wagnac, Kalena Willoughby 7 Herone Shaw 8 Denise Binion, Nipress Ndengabanizi, Brian Wallace 9 Michael Foster, LaTeka Hawkins, Haven James, Lakeia Moore, Darralyn Smoot, Jeniah Williams 10 Nikita Dailey, Loretta Ransom 12 Lola Ajaiyeoba, Erica Hancock, Joseph Mitchell 13 DeQuan Warren 14 Precious Priggett 15 Christopher Haynes, Yvonne Morrow 16 Eddy Gilbert 18 Tani Ajaiyeoba, Tasheika Campbell, Charles Jordan, Anthony Whitlow 19 Tacoya Ellerbe, Annette Laster, Shaniece Ryan 20 Tina Benbow, Dino Herbert, Joann Odenwald 21 Linda Fischer, DeMar Hope 22 James Dowell 23 Charmaine Blair, Camille Luke 24 Ranelle Brown, Brenda Pearson 25 Theron Leigh, Tyron Leigh, Myracle Long, Brahaani Mamo, Shawn Monk 26 Marie Desir 27 Leon Cox, Fred Logan 28 Gregory Holloway, Louise Mason 29 Nia Patterson, Ashley Theodore 30 Marie Orelien, Sarah Palmer 31 Larry Benton

💖 Happy 30th Anniversary to Troy & Sharon Page! 💖

Did we miss your March birthday or anniversary? Let us know by emailing [email protected].

3/1 Impact Columbus Prayer Meeting, Beacon of Hope

3/4 Basketball: Maranatha vs. Ephesus, Cleveland

3/8 Impact Columbus Prayer Meeting, Ephesus

3/12 Daylight Savings Time begins

3/15 Impact Columbus Prayer Meeting, Ephesus

3/18 Basketball: Ephesus vs. Southeast, Fellowship Hall

3/22 Impact Columbus Prayer Meeting, All Nations

3/25 Basketball: Hilltop vs. Ephesus

3/26 CAA Expansion Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

3/29 Impact Columbus Prayer Meeting, All Nations

4/1 Next Communion

4/8 Resurrection Sabbath

4/15 Fresh Produce Giveaways resume

Ephesus Communications Department
Ephesus Seventh-day Adventist Church
3650 Sunbury Road Columbus, Ohio 43219
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