Insider Information - Eph. 1:8b-10

I have a confession to make. I used to illegally download music. Back in the days of dial-up internet, I would watch for the hours it took for Napster to download one or two songs at the snail’s pace of a 56k connection. What was it that I just had to have that I was willing to break the law to get it? Often it was the latest Christian pop songs…. Twisted, I know, but in my little Christian subculture of the early 2000s, I desperately wanted to be the first to have the latest release by my favorite bands.

Maybe you didn’t flaunt the law in order to download the latest Newsboys track, but a desire to be in on a secret or in the know on some issue is pretty common and it reveals our desire for significance and purpose. Knowing something that others don’t gives us a sense of power and importance.

Well according to Paul, our identity in Christ is the ultimate answer to our desire for significance and part of that identity is to be in the know of the greatest mystery of all time: God’s will.  

“With all wisdom and understanding, he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.” – Ephesians 1:8b-10

The mystery that Paul is speaking of here is one that is no longer hidden, but rather has been revealed to those who are in Christ; it’s the secret of what God is up to in this world. God’s purpose that he’s accomplishing through Christ and his church is “to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Jesus.”

So, what does that mean? The idea here of bringing unity is right in alignment with the biblical ideas of redemption and reconciliation. As we’ve talked about already in this series, God’s desire is to bring lost things back into the household of God. That’s what it means to be in “unity… under Jesus.” But what exactly is the scope of this mission? What is it that God desires to redeem and reconcile. According to this passage, it’s all things, and in case that wasn’t clear enough, Paul adds “in heaven and on earth.” That just about covers it all.

This means that the scope of Jesus’ reconciliation mission is both spiritual and physical. It’s about heavenly realities and earthly ones. God is intensely interested in both the physical and spiritual conditions of his lost children. In God’s economy, one doesn’t need to come at the expense of the other. This is the insider info, God has revealed to us, the secret mission he’s inviting us to be part of – to reconcile, restore, redeem all aspects of creation, to take what is broken and make it whole. Why? So that all things will reflect the glory of the God who made them good in the first place.

So, what good thing can you do today? What can you work to restore? A broken person? A broken relationship? A broken system? A broken culture? Ultimately, God is the one who pulls these threads together into a beautifully woven tapestry of his glory, but he’s inviting each of us to pick up a thread within our reach and put it in place.

Sean's Picks

This week, you get a little taste of what we've been studying in the Summer Life Group. This is the first lesson from our study. Through the teaching of Ray Vander Laan, shot on location in Israel, you'll discover some incredible depth to one of the oldest stories in scripture. 

Missions Spotlight:
Leadership for Development

LFD’s missionary parents face unique challenges when educating their children. A Christian international school tends to be the first choice for many of the frontline workers. However, these school present a significant financial burden. Please pray that God will guide the LFD missionary parents as they make educational choices for their children. In addition, several LFD field workers are preparing to get married. Pray that the Lord will guide their preparation process and their continued ministry as a couple. The COVID-19 pandemic continues to disrupt LFD programs, training, and fieldwork. Border restrictions in many countries are likely to remain tight for another year. We ask for the Lord’s guidance in effectively adjusting current ministries to better respond to the challenges in the mission field. Please pray that despite the increased tensions due to pandemic restrictions that LFD field workers will not only be able to maintain relationships in the field, but that they will be strengthened.

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