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14th February 2016
The apostle Paul’s personal story was weaved into God’s big plan. Paul expressed a weakness and a confidence at the same time, which we see in Ephesians 3:1-13.
Paul was in prison – he couldn’t come to the Ephesians, as he would have preferred. He also calls himself “the least of all the saints” (v8). He doesn’t hide from his weakness.
He also doesn’t shy away from his confidence – he knows God has called him and revealed things to him, which we see throughout this passage as well.
Paul’s background didn’t disqualify him from serving God, and neither did his current circumstances. He had tried to destroy the Church and at the time of writing he was in prison, yet neither of these got in the way of him fulfilling God’s call on his life.
God will not disqualify you from His plans and purposes on account of your background or circumstances. The only person who can do that is you! God says that His power is made perfect in our weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9).
When God wants to show how wise He is, He points to the Church! It is His Church that reveals the manifold wisdom of God (Eph. 3:10). We are called to bring glory to God and to prove how wise He is.
Martin Lloyd Jones said: “There is nothing beyond the Church. She is the highest and most supreme manifestation of the wisdom of God.”
We don’t always get it right – we’re a group of fallible people – but there is nothing greater you can give yourself to than the Church of God, His people, His family, His temple of living stones joined together to become the dwelling place of God by His Spirit.
If we are to demonstrate the manifold wisdom of God, there needs to be a quality to our relationships that you don’t see outside the Church. We’re not just supposed to be ok with each other; we’re supposed to be built together with the kind of love described in 1 Corinthians 13.
If there are things in this passage about love that we need to put on – for example patience and kindness – and things we need to take off – such as envy and arrogance – then we need to do business with God, knowing that He has called us into a big plan to reflect the manifold wisdom of God.
Posted by Paul Mann