TODAY’S READING: Ephesians 3:10-13
“[God’s intention] was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, according to his eternal purpose that he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord.” EPH 3:10-11 (NIV)
Throughout the course of human history, every generation has faced the threat of epidemics and bacterial diseases that have, at times, literally wiped out entire continents of people. The Bubonic plague, or ‘Black Death’, killed an estimated 200 million people in the 14th Century alone.
In the late 1920s a Scottish physician, Dr Alexander Fleming, who was trying to develop an antibacterial agent, noticed that the growth of a pathogen was halted by the presence of mould in a contaminated petri dish. Fleming published a scientific article in a journal in 1929 and one of his students, Dr. Cecil Paine, went on to develop the effectiveness of penicillin - a drug derived from the mould - against many bacterial diseases in human patients. We cannot accurately gauge the number of lives saved by that mysterious discovery but without doubt, the numbers of lives owed to Fleming reaches to the hundreds of millions.
There is a beautiful mystery in God that, for many centuries, remained concealed even from the angelic host. Century after century passed by. God’s covenant family was isolated and cut off from other peoples. It didn’t mix. It was consecrated, set apart to be holy, set apart to protect the life-saving message of the coming Messiah.
In the arrival of Jesus, the mystery was unshrouded; the concealed intentions of God revealed through the death and resurrection of His Son, Jesus. A new community was birthed. A community drawn together from every ethnicity, every creed, every language. The walls that had isolated the covenant family were torn down as law was superseded by the new covenant of grace and the church was born!
God’s multi-faceted wisdom is displayed to the whole earth, and even to the rulers and the authorities of the heavenly realms, through the church. What does the church display? The church is a demonstration of God’s saving love, given freely to undeserving people. The church is the vessel that God adds His children to. The church is the world’s ‘spiritual penicillin’. It is a vessel through which God has saved, not hundreds of millions of lives but billions! A vessel, not revealed by the accidental experimentation of man but through the intentional unfolding and revelation of God’s eternal plan at just the right time.
• Read Ephesians 3:10-13
• Spend time praying for the witness of the church. Ask God to work powerfully in your church family so that when He holds us up to the spiritual realm, every being will give Him praise and thanks for His eternal wisdom and His mercy that made a way for every person to be saved.
• Send a message to a person in your church family from a different nation. Encourage them by telling them how thankful you are that God’s salvation plan includes them!