God’s Saving Word: Faith
Ephesians 3:1-21: The apostle Paul explains that Gentiles are now included in God’s plan of salvation and share in the promise that God made through Christ Jesus. Today’s reading concludes with Paul’s prayer, attesting to the breadth and depth of Christ’s love.
Paul’s Work for the Gentiles
3 For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles, pray to God. 2 Surely you have heard that God in his grace has given me this work to do for your good. 3 God revealed his secret plan and made it known to me. (I have written briefly about this, 4 and if you will read what I have written, you can learn about my understanding of the secret of Christ.) 5 In past times human beings were not told this secret, but God has revealed it now by the Spirit to his holy apostles and prophets. 6 The secret is that by means of the gospel the Gentiles have a part with the Jews in God’s blessings; they are members of the same body and share in the promise that God made through Christ Jesus.
7 I was made a servant of the gospel by God’s special gift, which he gave me through the working of his power. 8 I am less than the least of all God’s people; yet God gave me this privilege of taking to the Gentiles the Good News about the infinite riches of Christ, 9 and of making all people see how God’s secret plan is to be put into effect. God, who is the Creator of all things, kept his secret hidden through all the past ages, 10 in order that at the present time, by means of the church, the angelic rulers and powers in the heavenly world might learn of his wisdom in all its different forms. 11 God did this according to his eternal purpose, which he achieved through Christ Jesus our Lord. 12 In union with Christ and through our faith in him we have the boldness to go into God’s presence with all confidence. 13 I beg you, then, not to be discouraged because I am suffering for you; it is all for your benefit.
The Love of Christ
14 For this reason I fall on my knees before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth receives its true name. 16 I ask God from the wealth of his glory to give you power through his Spirit to be strong in your inner selves, 17 and I pray that Christ will make his home in your hearts through faith. I pray that you may have your roots and foundation in love, 18 so that you, together with all God’s people, may have the power to understand how broad and long, how high and deep, is Christ’s love. 19 Yes, may you come to know his love—although it can never be fully known—and so be completely filled with the very nature of God.
20 To him who by means of his power working in us is able to do so much more than we can ever ask for, or even think of: 21 to God be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus for all time, forever and ever! Amen.
Today’s Key Verse: Ephesians 3:21
To God be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus for all time, forever and ever! Amen.
In verse 7, Paul claims to be “a servant of the gospel by God’s special gift.” How would you describe his gift? What message does he bring to the Gentiles? Reread verses 14-21. What are your thoughts when reading this prayer? Consider copying this prayer on an index card (or on a mobile or electronic device) that you can keep with you as a reminder of Christ’s abundant love for you.
Lord Jesus, your love for me is broad and long, high and deep. Make your home in my heart so that I grow in faith day by day and stay rooted in your wondrous love. Amen.
And now, join us in thanking God that children in Serbia are learning to read about Jesus. Gracious God, poverty and discrimination have created overwhelming barriers for children in Roma, Serbia, causing many to grow up with poor health, poor education, and even illiteracy.
But through the compassionate support of Bible-A-Month Partners, children’s Bibles are being placed into the hands and hearts of Serbian boys and girls. Written in their heart language, these children’s Bibles are helping them learn to read as they discover the joy of knowing Jesus. Praise to you, Lord God, that children’s Bibles in the Romani language are helping these children to become better students and that they are sharing the good news of Jesus’s love with their friends. Amen.
Ephesians 4:1-16: The apostle Paul describes the unity that is shared by believers in the body of Christ.