Journal Eph 3 (all references are from the ESV unless noted otherwise; changes in punctuation are mine)
Scripture: (Paul speaking) “Of this gospel I was made a minister, according to the gift of God’s Grace, which was given me by the working of his power.
To me (though I am the very least of all the saints) this grace was given—to preach to the Gentiles
- the unsearchable riches of Christ, and
- to bring to light for everyone what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God [who created all things], so that
- through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places.
This was according to the eternal purpose that he has realized in Christ Jesus our Lord…” Eph 3:7-11
Observation: What was Paul commissioned to do? Am I supposed to do the same? Do I even know how to accomplish the mission if my mission anywhere resembles Paul’s?
Analysis: Cutting up the Scriptures into bullet points helps the reading for me—keeps the paragraphs and verses from all running into each other and blurring. Studying the Scriptures is definitely antithetical to the KISS methodology. The calling of being a disciple is not to stop at Cliff Notes or Discipleship for Dummies.
Just paying attention to Ephesians Chapter 3, these are the things I wonder about for myself:
- Can I articulate the “unsearchable riches of Christ?” If I think I have at least part of it, am I searching for any deeper understanding? If not, why not? Do I think it is too much? Too deep? Too divisive?
- What would be the “plan of the mystery hidden in God?” What mystery would that be? Is it the mystery of Grace in redemption and reconciliation in Christ? If so, why? If I can imagine I understand Jesus saving my spouse, do I wonder (because I am attempting to be fiercely transparent with the face in the mirror) why He would save me?
- “Through the church the manifold wisdom of God is shown…” Huh. This is different. Not exactly what most folks think or act in conviction about.
All these points are wrapped up in the statement: “This was according to the eternal purpose that he has realized in Christ Jesus our Lord…”
Prayer: Lord, make these thoughts the fruit of my lips, the song in my heart, my daily and moment by moment worship of you.
Help me talk about this in my Lazy Boy, at the table of fellowship, Journal group, text messages—all of that. Help me murmur this in the language of prayer, vacuuming, washing the car, folding clothes, cooking…
All to grow in You and your ways.
Ricky Two Shoes