Have You Heard…?
We can approach God with freedom and confidence (12). Pray and thank him for this great blessing!
Read Ephesians 3:1-13
 For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles-  Surely you have heard about the administration of God’s grace that was given to me for you,  that is, the mystery made known to me by revelation, as I have already written briefly.  In reading this, then, you will be able to understand my insight into the mystery of Christ,  which was not made known to people in other generations as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to God’s holy apostles and prophets.  This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus.  I became a servant of this gospel by the gift of God’s grace given me through the working of his power.  Although I am less than the least of all the Lord’s people, this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the boundless riches of Christ,  and to make plain to everyone the administration of this mystery, which for ages past was kept hidden in God, who created all things.  His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms,  according to his eternal purpose that he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord.  In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence.  I ask you, therefore, not to be discouraged because of my sufferings for you, which are your glory. Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectWhat is the "mystery" Paul proclaims to them?
How do you make God laugh? Tell him your plans. Of course we should not think of God making fun of us, but we often know they are not realistic. That’s why we can imagine God smiling at all our mad planning and rushing around; he knows that he has other, better plans for us. Paul thought he had his life mapped out, but God had other plans. That is how Paul came to be reaching out to Gentiles (8)–possibly the biggest surprise of his life. He describes the unity of Jews and Gentiles in the church as a mystery (6), but he does not mean something that cannot be known. It is an open secret, something God has revealed, which was not known beforehand. The reconciliation of Jews and Gentiles in Christ is a preview of how God will one day reconcile all things to himself (Col. 1:20). No wonder the evil powers know they are defeated (10)! We may not always understand what God is doing, especially when we are going through hard times or our plans come to nothing. But we need not be discouraged (13); God knows what he is doing!
Pray for anyone you know who is having to rethink their hopes and plans. If that’s you, pray for yourself, too!
Lord, help me always to trust that You have good plans for me and that You know what You’re doing.
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