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The church, guided by God’s Spirit, is God’s plan

March 4, 2024

Daily Scripture

Ephesians 3:10-21

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. 11 This was consistent with the plan he had from the beginning of time that he accomplished through Christ Jesus our Lord. 12 In Christ we have bold and confident access to God through faith in him [or through his faithfulness]. 13 So then, I ask you not to become discouraged by what I’m suffering for you, which is your glory.
14 This is why I kneel before the Father. 15 Every ethnic group in heaven or on earth is recognized by him. 16 I ask that he will strengthen you in your inner selves from the riches of his glory through the Spirit. 17 I ask that Christ will live in your hearts through faith. As a result of having strong roots in love, 18 I ask that you’ll have the power to grasp love’s width and length, height and depth, together with all believers. 19 I ask that you’ll know the love of Christ that is beyond knowledge so that you will be filled entirely with the fullness of God.
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

The apostle Paul knew God had a big plan—to restore our world to total wholeness (cf. Revelation 21:1-5). In his letter to the Ephesians, * Paul wrote that God, in divine wisdom, is trusting faithful humans as the best means to carry out that mission. “The church,” he wrote, is God’s main instrument to show his wisdom and glory. And “the church” is the gathering of God’s people, guided by the Holy Spirit (cf., Ephesians 2:18, 22). Which means you are part of God’s master plan!

  • In Greek, “the many different varieties” in verse 10 was one word— “polupoikilos.” It literally meant “many colored,” as though Paul was picturing God’s grace and wisdom as a kind of cosmic rainbow. In what ways have God’s grace and wisdom added color and beauty to your life? How can you help your church reflect that beauty to all who come in contact with you?
  • Reflect on verse 20: “Glory to God, who is able to do far beyond all that we could ask for or imagine by his power at work within us.” Do you believe God can really do far more than we can ask or imagine by working through us, through you? If not, what holds you back from that belief? What God-sized hopes, hurts, dreams and challenges can you identify, trusting that God’s mission can go to work through you to help to address them?

Great God, I know Paul said your big plans for the world are for your church to accomplish your purposes. I’m part of your church. Help me be faithful to you and join in your work in the world. Amen.

GPS Insights

David Andersen

David Andersen

David Andersen serves as the Leadership Development and Mentoring Ministry Program Director for all Resurrection locations. He is a life-long Kansas City native. He’s been married over 30 years and has two adult sons. He loves composing music, learning new things, writing, running, and creating spaces where people can encounter God.

Early in my time as a follower of Jesus, I would read this passage in Ephesians and be like, “I see that God’s love is expansive.” It was a fact. It was a biblical observation. It was a theological tidbit I could add to my database of “things about God” that I could reference when I wanted to impress friends at a party or was going to teach on “the attributes of God.”  

One of my friends might be feeling like no one loves them, and I’d be thinking, “Incorrect. God loves you. You would know that if you read your Bible.” 

“God’s love is big and inclusive.” I could say it with a straight, blank face, just like I might say, “An ant can lift up to 50 times its body weight” or “Some apples are red” or “My best friend has blue eyes.”

I could do this, because I knew all about God’s love, but I didn’t KNOW God’s love. I couldn’t tell you personal stories about God’s love at work in my life, because God’s love had touched my mind, but not my heart. 

This began to change as I started to relate to Jesus as a person. I thought about how I don’t just know about my wife Becca, I know her. I know what she likes, what she doesn’t like, her opinions, what irritates her, and that she always wants a blanket when we watch TV together. I know her voice, and if she were to call me on the phone, she wouldn’t have to tell me who she was. I know her because we’ve spent countless hours together laughing, crying, celebrating, and overcoming hardship together. Because of this, our roots have grown deep in love together. 

I began to imagine what it might look like to know Jesus personally. I rearranged by schedule to spend time with him in prayer. I studied scripture to understand his preferences and desires. I began to serve with the goal of doing something that would bring him joy. I began to be more generous as he has been so generous with me. Slowly, just like I would brag on my wife, I began to brag on Jesus for the things he was doing in my life. I began to be able to recognize his voice.  

I began to know him, and my roots began to grow deep down into God’s love.  

Paul tells us here that having deep roots in God’s love is the place where we begin to move beyond the knowledge of God to something almost unimaginable: being filled with all the fullness God. What does that even mean?  

I don’t know, but I hope I find out someday. 

What is the one thing you could do today to begin to know Jesus more personally?

© 2024 Resurrection: A United Methodist Church. All Rights Reserved.
Scripture quotations are taken from The Common English Bible ©2011. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

* “As with the Pastoral Epistles, some question the authorship of Ephesians and Colossians and to a lesser degree, Philemon. Most agree that Paul wrote Philippians. When I read these I assume Paul wrote them or that someone close to Paul took his ideas and edited these.” (Footnote in Adam Hamilton, The Call: The Life and Message of the Apostle Paul (p. 220). Abingdon Press. Kindle Edition.)