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Called to God’s world-embracing purpose

February 25, 2022
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Daily Scripture

Ephesians 3:5-10; Ephesians 3:20-21

Ephesians 3:5-10

5 Earlier generations didn’t know this hidden plan that God has now revealed to his holy apostles and prophets through the Spirit. 6 This plan is that the Gentiles would be coheirs and parts of the same body, and that they would share with the Jews in the promises of God in Christ Jesus through the gospel. 7 I became a servant of the gospel because of the grace that God showed me through the exercise of his power.

8 God gave his grace to me, the least of all God’s people, to preach the good news about the immeasurable riches of Christ to the Gentiles. 9 God sent me to reveal the secret plan [or mystery] that had been hidden since the beginning of time by God, who created everything. 10 God’s purpose is now to show the rulers and powers in the heavens the many different varieties of his wisdom through the church.

Ephesians 3:20-21

20 Glory to God, who is able to do far beyond all that we could ask or imagine by his power at work within us; 21 glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus for all generations, forever and always. Amen.

Daily Reflection & Prayer

Verses 7 and 20 in this passage cited God’s power. They used the Greek word dunamis, the root of the word “dynamite”! That wasn’t a view of the “church” as static or boring, but as cosmic energy at work for eternal purposes. We find pardon, friendship and healing inside the church when it is what God intends, but those gifts can never stay locked inside. God’s purpose is to show “the many different varieties of his wisdom through the church.”

  • Ephesians used the Greek term ekklesia for “the church.” Ekklesia did not mean a building or organization. It was a word for an assembly, a group of people, led by and sharing God. How does it shift the ways you understand the buildings we build, the locations we create (physical and virtual), and the questions we ask, to think of them as tools gathering people to serve God’s powerful mission, rather than an end in themselves?
  • The word translated “the many different varieties of his wisdom” in verse 10 was “polupoikilos.” It literally meant “many colored”—as though the apostle was picturing God’s grace and wisdom as a kind of dazzling rainbow. In what ways has God’s grace and wisdom added color and beauty to your life? How can you help your church reflect that divine beauty to all we connect with?
Prayer

Lord God, I’m so grateful for your grace, which has called me to be a member of your ekklesia. Guide me today and every day to a life that reflects your wisdom and power. Amen.

GPS Insights

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Lauren Cook

Lauren Cook is the Entry Points Program Director at Resurrection, a self-proclaimed foodie, a bookworm, and is always planning her next trip. She has the sweetest (and sassiest) daughter, Carolina Rae, a rockstar husband, Austin, and a cutie pup named Thunder. She loves connecting with others so let her know the best place you've ever eaten, best book you've ever read, or best place you've ever been!

The questions of who I am and what I’m meant to do with my life have haunted me since I was a child. I have long understood that I was meant to be a productive member of both society and God’s work through His Church. But the world is really big, and I have often felt overwhelmed by the enormity of that task and the uncertainty of how I could do so.

Growing up, I lived with a teacher, and I had the opportunity to watch her change countless lives through her work. Therefore, I started thinking that being a teacher was the best way to change the world. Then, I got to college and I learned that there were a million other jobs I could also do and change the world! I switched my major to Business and Journalism, and then I panicked because what about the children I committed to at age six? I went back and graduated with a degree in Education and minors in Business and Journalism.

After graduation, I taught for four years and was able to find incredible meaning and life-changing relationships with my fifth and sixth graders. While I found a deep gladness, in the words of Ashley Morgan-Kirk from Monday’s insight, in teaching, I felt a pull to keep stretching. I then moved into my role as the Director of Children’s Ministries at our Resurrection Overland Park location. I found another three years of exceptional connection in the children and families of Overland Park. There was deep gladness, and yet, still a desire to stretch myself. I am now on our Resurrection Experience team, able to support ministries across our church and locations and find deep gladness. Are you tired just reading my craziness?

And yet, is there still a pull to keep seeking and challenging and stretching today? Yes.

Sometimes I wonder why I cannot seem to find my one, true purpose in life; if I’m not hearing God right when I pray for guidance on my ever-growing, ever-swerving path. Then I read His words from today and He reminds me that He has many works set for his people, many varieties of work. He desires for my life, and the world, to be a dazzling rainbow of deep gladness-es. There is much work to be done and He needs all of us, in different and changing capacities, to create divine beauty in His name. It is okay to change, to explore. I cannot wait to keep adventuring and stretching and seeking and helping and creating. We are called to growth, to transform both ourselves and the world. I’m so excited for us!

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Scripture quotations are taken from The Common English Bible ©2011. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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