The Mystery – 8-16-22

that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height— to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” Ephesians 3:16-19 NKJV

RELATIONSHIP:

Do you already have a relationship with a powerful God who cares about your every need because He loves you? Did you know my God can communicate with you and protect you – He has a plan for you to prosper if you just submit to His will and let His plan play out in your life!!! God wants a relationship with you and has already made a plan for your life. He loves you so much He sent His son to this world, to die as a sacrifice for your sins and rise from death with victory over sin and the ability to have a personal relationship with you.

Do you want to know truth? Be able to discern lies? Know how to figure it all out in these confusing times and have peace? The Bible says Jesus is the truth. I have experienced it and it has changed my life. I was once a hot mess of sin, promiscuity, drug and alcohol use and so much more. But I was lost and when I could not find my way, or find a truth, I numbed it with bad choses. When I found Jesus, and truth – I found peace and deliverance from those things.

If you want a relationship with God without truth you will get the counterfeit, hypocritical Christianity that has kept some of you away for too long. You need truth and relationship. You need to be honest with yourself and God (including honest repentance) and God will reveal truth to you. It becomes the two way, interaction that your relationship with God is built on. This is why Jesus is called the truth, because he is our only way to the Father. 

“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10 NIV
Here is a prayer for you to pray:
Jesus, I believe you are the way, the truth, the life, and the only way to the Father. I believe you are the son of God, you came to Earth and lived. That you died on the cross as a sacrifice for my sins, and rose again so that I may be saved from my sins and be able to get to know you. I declare: Jesus, you are Lord!
Therefore, I confess that I am a sinner and I ask that you forgive me of my sins and come into my life. Help me to turn away from my sins and transform me into what you have lovingly created me to be. Help me through a real personal relationship grow and accept your will for my life – that I may live in your blessings. Please walk with me, and talk with me – I accept a relationship with you and with our Father God, through you. In the name of Jesus I pray ~ Amen

BIBLE READING:

Dear Heavenly Father – Please give us the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of who you are, who Jesus is, and who the Holy Spirit is. Open the eyes of our understanding, please, so we may know the hope of our calling and the vast sovereignty and power of the grace of the cross. Please do not let us miss out on what you want and need from us today. Lord, I pray that your word prepares us and not scares us! We forbid the works and influences of fear over your word and our sound mind. And please keep us and bless us and shine your face upon us and pour out grace over us and give us peace! And we pray for the peace of Jerusalem! Thank you! – In Jesus name we pray, Amen

Today’s reading is the Book of Ephesians chapter 3 (embedded below for your convenience in the NKJV). 

The Mystery Revealed

For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for you Gentiles— if indeed you have heard of the [a]dispensation of the grace of God which was given to me for you, how that by revelation He made known to me the mystery (as I have briefly written already, by which, when you read, you may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ), which in other ages was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to His holy apostles and prophets: that the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, of the same body, and partakers of His promise in Christ through the gospel, of which I became a minister according to the gift of the grace of God given to me by the effective working of His power.

Purpose of the Mystery

To me, who am less than the least of all the saints, this grace was given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, and to make all see what is the [b]fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the ages has been hidden in God who created all things [c]through Jesus Christ; 10 to the intent that now the [d]manifold wisdom of God might be made known by the church to the [e]principalities and powers in the heavenly places, 11 according to the eternal purpose which He accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord, 12 in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through faith in Him. 13 Therefore I ask that you do not lose heart at my tribulations for you, which is your glory.

Appreciation of the Mystery

14 For this reason I bow my knees to the Father [f]of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15 from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, 16 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, 17 that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height— 19 to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

20 Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, 21 to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

Footnotes
a. Ephesians 3:2 stewardship
b. Ephesians 3:9 NU, M stewardship (dispensation)
c. Ephesians 3:9 NU omits through Jesus Christ
d. Ephesians 3:10 variegated or many-sided
e. Ephesians 3:10 rulers
f. Ephesians 3:14 NU omits of our Lord Jesus Christ

MEMORY VERSE CHALLENGE:

Romans 8:1

“There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.”

STUDY/DEVOTIONAL:

Revelation and purpose of the mystery as well as appreciation are the sub-titles that the New King James Bible places on this chapter – the chapter of mysteries. I have heard many pastors ask the question of what is the mystery and then try to answer it. I have heard many answers and ideas of what the mystery is. And the truth of the matter is that in almost 2000 years there is NO definitive study that settles it so solidly that everyone came into agreement of it and therefore it is universally taught. Although, many do default to a similar vein of teaching. Usually, I would inform you of all of those and let you prayerfully figure out what God is teaching you. Not today. Especially NOT with this chapter. When Jesus spoke vaguely, it was because some needed to hear it and some did not need to. Paul speaks vaguely today and I think we can let God reveal what he has for each of us, much the same way.

As I said in the beginning of the study of this book – let us look at this book with the fresh eyes of the Holy Spirit. That Jesus is trying to teach us about the spirit world and the Holy Spirit and His indwelling in us and what that means to us and how that empowers us! Let’s continue in that perspective and assume the mystery must be something spiritual.

1 For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for you Gentiles— if indeed you have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which was given to me for you, how that by revelation He made known to me the mystery (as I have briefly written already, by which, when you read, you may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ), which in other ages was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to His holy apostles and prophets:”

I know I am breaking up Paul’s sentences and it will make it confusing if you have not already read the text through. (I hope you did.) But I wanted to drop this letter back into the original time period where the fact that gentiles could have a relationship with the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob was a huge revelation of a mystery – That mystery was the promise to Abraham that all nations could be his children and worship his God.
But if that was the ONLY thing Paul was speaking of, then he would have said that – but he said mystery and that leaves it open to mean so much more!

But it is critical in OUR time period that we understand that even though God was doing a new thing then AND He is obviously doing a new thing now – he is none the less the same yesterday, today and forever and none of it is really new – there is nothing new under the sun. (Anyone enjoying Ecclesiastes on weekends?) Which means, when someone comes to add to the canon or subtract to the canon and say it is God’s new thing – be warned. God’s new things including the mystery of the gentiles were all written in the book and were hidden from the eyes of man until the Holy Spirit came in Acts 2 and suddenly mankind can read the scriptures with enlightened eyes and opened understanding.

This past weekend I met a very controversial pastor.  He is under a hate attack by Christians and witches and occult members alike. (Christians should always question when they agree with the occult as well!) I will not say who he is, and I did not expect to meet him. I shook his hand and held on too long – I was praying for him and what he is under. But this chapter came to mind in that moment.
I know the word and he is not deviating from it – but his eyes have been enlightened and he is looking at scripture as if for the first time, having been recently filled with the Holy Spirit.  And my spirit bears witness – He has the right spirit. He is human and fallible – me too – you too. He is being accused of adding to the scriptures and going crazy and getting into Spiritism while abandoning the word. Anyone who says that does not know the word.
I have watched him grow and go through a road to Damascus experience and I know God looks at that flawed man with overwhelming loves and so proud of him for taking the steps and obeying and stepping into the fullness of God. Yet – with all that is new with this preacher – it is all written. Every word is written in the Bible. He has not added – he just finally understands it.

I pray this experience for all of us. Let us understand God’s word in the fullness. Where each time we read we get something more and new to us! Let us be humble in our lack of knowing and Bold and Courageous in walking in our new understanding. Knowing those who are blind will not sit by quiet – but will be convicted by their lack of knowing and will become modern day Pharisees attaching and slandering and accusing. Is it the Christ-like love of God that compels them to crucify him?

Let us be strong in humility.

that the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, of the same body, and partakers of His promise in Christ through the gospel, of which I became a minister according to the gift of the grace of God given to me by the effective working of His power.”

Love and grace equal effective working power of God. Occasionally Paul had righteous indignation and Jesus certainly did in the temple when he cast out, drove out and sent out the money changers and vendors! But even righteous anger is motivated by a deep unconditional love. That kind of love that is the power that causes grace to be actionable and transformative! The kind of love that is God – God is love. It IS the effective working of His power!

To me, who am less than the least of all the saints, this grace was given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ,”

Christ and all that He is and was and will be and stands for and ALL of his promises and all of his works and all of his plans are RICH. They are full of Riches! They are full of spiritual depths and blessing, physical depths and blessing and financial depths and blessings. AND ALL these riches are part of Jesus and IN HIM they are ours and they are so many they are unsearchable – Paul has only taught us a small measure!

and to make all see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the ages has been hidden in God who created all things through Jesus Christ;”

We can fellowship in this mystery – hang out in and bask in it to get revelation and and ponder it to get it in our hearts.
John wrote that Jesus was the creator of all things. Paul and John had limited interaction and Paul came to the same conclusion. The scriptures confirm themselves.
And when the Jews studied the Torah in Hebrew School they read ‘The Red Thread’ (the prophecies and symbols of Jesus) and studied them daily – but it was not revealed until Jesus.
I studied end time prophecy as a teen and thought ‘pharmakeia’ (translated into our Bible as witchcraft but also means drugs) was going to be some symbol and not literal and in plain sight!  Yet – we have a vax that they say does not work but we all must have it – it certainly sounds literal.  And other very literal things like organization with 666 in the logo and use of terms for a one world government. Hidden things are not just revealed to those who believe but are obvious to all – but some are still blind and even though it is obvious, they cannot see.

10 to the intent that now the manifold wisdom of God might be made known by the church to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places,”

“Manifold wisdom of God”. “Made known by the church”. And although the church as a whole failed there is a remnant rising up and standing in our place – seated in heavenly places. Strong and bold yet humble and loving. Being IN HIM – in all authority sealed on our being!!!
“by the church to the principalities and powers.” We are to stand against the enemy and having done all stand! We are to stand fast therefore! We are to stand firm and be unshakable. The battle around us is great – but it must be and we must learn to stand it in because if we are to go to heavenly places and declare this to the ‘principalities and powers’ we better be well verses in standing in the storm and even walking on water during the storm!

11 according to the eternal purpose which He accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord,”

Keeping our eyes on the eternal purpose – already accomplished and playing out in front of us – knowing we have the victory! It is accomplished!

12 in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through faith in Him.”

You can be bold and confident in him without puffing your chest and losing your humility and love. I have been hearing this in my spirit often lately. Because sometimes we get so hung up with remembering to NOT give place to pride – that meekness because a weakness. But humility and meekness are not the same thing. Besides you can be meek and strong as well! And by strong – I mean bold and confident!!

13 Therefore I ask that you do not lose heart at my tribulations for you, which is your glory.”

And do not lose heart at your own tribulations which is God’s glory in you! Like the battles that rage around you – are for the Glory of the Father as it sharpens you, strengthens you and teaches you how to fight the good fight.

14 For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15 from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named,”

I pray this prayer over all of you who read this. I speak it over myself as well. That we’ll be visited by revelation and knowledge with understanding.

16 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man,”

Our inner man be strengthened, yeah that is what seems to happen when we go through these battles. But we will be strengthened according to the abundance and endless supply of the riches of His glory – which includes spiritual, physical and financial riches – and since the prayer is for the inner man expect any finances to be for the service of God with our inner man. But careful not to rob God. Which leads to also not robbing Him when he is generous with spiritual and physical riches as well. Be a wise steward.

17 that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love,”

Yes – back to love – God is love. And all good things come from love.

18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height— 19 to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.”

That you and I can comprehend the width and length and depth and height… And I cannot help but think of Ezekiel’s visions. Of the angel measuring and measuring and still I am not able to completely comprehend it.

20 Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us,”

“WHO IS ABLE”! No matter what you are facing or going through – HE IS ABLE. No matter what you see with your eyes in the physical realm – HE IS ABLE. No matter what lies the enemy is telling you and which ones you have bought – HE IS STILL ABLE.

And when you receive – look for the exceedingly abundant. Because if it is not exceedingly abundantly done, then He is not finished!

According to the power that works in us. Well, now! If you say no to signs and wonders, then there is not a whole lot of power working in you and there will be no signs and wonders. And when there are signs and wonders you’ll miss them – because they are not for you.  So do not hinder yourself.
I went to a service this past weekend. I saw demons cast out, salvations, deliverances, healings and God anointing and touching and changing people. Others went and did not see a single thing. They had no idea those things were even happening! Just like there was a small security breech that was handled quickly and quietly – yet everyone I spoke to was amazed that there were no incidents.
If his power and love is working in you – you’ll have the revelation and then the exceedingly abundant because He is able!

21 to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.”

To Him we are thankful! Let us be one of the ALL generations to point to Him, to give Him all the Glory and Credit and teach others to as well!

***

Thank you for reading in 2022 – a Year of Wisdom and Salvation
May the God of peace keep you and bless you. May you stay focused on Christ and covered in grace.
Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!

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