Do you like putting together jigsaw puzzles? What if you had to assemble one without knowing what the final picture looked like. Paul is excited because he gets to reveal the answer to the mystery–the final picture–for everyone to see and understand, so they will receive the invitation to join God’s family.
Picture by Hans Peter Gauste on Unsplash.
Do you like putting together jigsaw puzzles? What if you had to assemble one without knowing what the final picture looked like. Paul is excited because he gets to reveal the answer to the mystery–the final picture–for everyone, so they will see an invitation to join God’s family.
Read Ephesians 3:7-10 in The Message. If possible, read it out loud.
7-8 This is my life work: helping people understand and respond to this Message. It came as a sheer gift to me, a real surprise, God handling all the details. When it came to presenting the Message to people who had no background in God’s way, I was the least qualified of any of the available Christians. God saw to it that I was equipped, but you can be sure that it had nothing to do with my natural abilities. 8-10 And so here I am, preaching and writing about things that are way over my head, the inexhaustible riches and generosity of Christ. My task is to bring out in the open and make plain what God, who created all this in the first place, has been doing in secret and behind the scenes all along. Through followers of Jesus like yourselves gathered in churches, this extraordinary plan of God is becoming known and talked about even among the angels! (Ephesians 3:7-10, MSG)
Signs of the Times
- Credentials bring opportunities—this was as true in Paul’s day and age as it is today. When you apply for a job, perspective employers want to see that you have the knowledge and ability to do the job. But Paul was adamant that God didn’t choose him because of his credentials, but empowered him to do the mission He gave to Paul.
- Some pre-Christian Jewish texts reiterate similar statements to Ephesians 1:21 and Ephesians 3:10: God shows the angels His power and glory through His people, and this causes the angels to praise God. The angels investigate through our lives the treasures of grace, like the cherubim who gaze upon the mercy seat (1 Peter 1:12).
Read these verses a second time, this time in the New Living Translation.
7 By God’s grace and mighty power, I have been given the privilege of serving him by spreading this Good News. 8 Though I am the least deserving of all God’s people, he graciously gave me the privilege of telling the Gentiles about the endless treasures available to them in Christ. 9 I was chosen to explain to everyone this mysterious plan that God, the Creator of all things, had kept secret from the beginning. 10 God’s purpose in all this was to use the church to display his wisdom in its rich variety to all the unseen rulers and authorities in the heavenly places. (Ephesians 3:7-10, NLT)
Chart the information that is in Ephesians 3:7-10. Let’s have two columns, one for God and one for Paul.
Now is listening-to-God time. Read these verses for a third time, this time in The Passion Translation.
7–8 I have been made a messenger of this wonderful news by the gift of grace that works through me. Even though I am the least significant of all his holy believers, this grace-gift was imparted when the manifestation of his power came upon me. Grace alone empowers me so that I can boldly preach this wonderful message to non-Jewish people, sharing with them the unfading, inexhaustible riches of Christ, which are beyond comprehension. 9 My passion is to enlighten every person to this divine mystery. It was hidden for ages past until now, and kept a secret in the heart of God, the Creator of all. 10 The purpose of this was to unveil before every throne and rank of angelic orders in the heavenly realm God’s full and diverse wisdom revealed through the church. (Ephesians 3:7-10, TPT)
Each time you read the scripture, God has a special message that is just for you at that particular place and time. It is my prayer that by reading the same scripture three times, we will have time and opportunity to open our ears and hearts to hear what we need to hear today, right now.
What is God talking to you about today? Is He giving you a challenge? Is He gently whispering? What encouragement do you hear? Doodle it, write it, of explain it via a picture.
And as always, I am encouraged by your comments and pictures. My email is KSEvenhouseWWV@gmail.com.