According to his good pleasure, God is making known his will through Christ Jesus.
The sayings of our mouth and the meditation of our heart.
Ps 19:14 – Let the sayings of my mouth, And the meditation of my heart, Be for a pleasing thing before Thee, O Jehovah, my rock, and my redeemer! (YLT)
What do the sayings of your mouth and the meditation of your heart reveal about who you think you are? Are they in agreement with the sayings of the Lord God’s mouth and the meditation of his heart?
Read the words of Scripture slowly and reflectively. Let them settle deep in your soul.
The Mystery of God’s will.
A plan to unite all things.
Eph 1:9-10 – making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth. (ESV)
Mystery: that which is known to “the initiated.” That which, being outside the range of unassisted natural apprehension, can be made known only by divine revelation, and is made known in a manner and at a time appointed by God, and to those only who are illumined by his Spirit. It is truth revealed.1
What is the Lord God’s purpose?
How does the Lord God accomplish his purpose?
How does the Lord God make known to you and me the mystery of his will?
What words or thoughts have caught your attention in this text? Why?
Unite all things in Christ.
Isa 64:8 – But now, O Lord, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand. (ESV)
The mystery hidden but now revealed.
Col 1:24-29 – Now I [apostle Paul] rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church, of which I became a minister according to the stewardship from God that was given to me for you, to make the word of God fully known, the mystery hidden for ages and generations but now revealed to his saints2. To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ. For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me. (ESV)
Christ in you.
What is the mystery, the truth, that is being revealed?
How is the truth being revealed?
To whom is the mystery being revealed?
Read the texts again. Chew upon the words. Turn them over and over in your mind. Ask the Lord God what he wants you to receive from them and how he wants you to respond to them.
Stewardship from God given to me for you.
Make the word of God fully known.
I became a minister [servant] according to the stewardship from God that was given to me for you
Is the Lord God calling each of us to serve just as he called apostle Paul?
To serve, not ourselves, but others.
I became (am becoming) a servant according to the stewardship from God that was given to me for you.
Are we each being called to make the word of God fully known? Are we each receiving revelation of the mystery hidden for ages and generations to be shared now? Christ in you! Christ in me! Christ in us!
For the word of God to be made fully known, must we each speak the word that we have received from him to others in the particular language that he’s gifted each of us with? Are we trying to speak the word that God has given us through our natural abilities, or are we learning to toil, struggling with all the energy of the one who is in us, that he powerfully works within us?
1 Cor 12:4-6 – Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone. (ESV)
1 Cor 12:11 – All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills. (ESV)
How great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery
This mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
We proclaim Christ, warning and teaching everyone with all wisdom
That we may present everyone mature in Christ,
As having reached the goal, united with the Messiah.
For this I toil
Struggling with all his energy
That he powerfully works within me.
For the sake of Christ’s body
I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake
Proclaiming, warning, teaching
Christ is in you!
Do you know?
Wake up! Become aware. Conscious.
Become intimately familiar with him.
Enter his presence. In silence, wait patiently for him.
Assisted by divine revelation.
Illumined by God’s Spirit.
Truth made known in a manner and at a time appointed by God.
United with him,
We can look forward to sharing in God’s glory (MSG)
Does a word satisfy? Encourage? Convict? Prod? Instruct? Empower? Give hope?
Read the texts again, setting aside your own thoughts, perceptions, judgments, your own agenda to allow response to the words of the Lord God to rise from your inner depths. What do you discover?
But it is the spirit in man, the breath of the Almighty, that makes him understand. (Job 32:8 ESV)
Become aware of your breath. The breath of the Almighty in you.
Breath by breath. Become conscious of the presence of the Almighty in you. Surrender to the influence of the breath of the Almighty.
You must rely on the breath of the Almighty, the Spirit of God who lives inside you, to make you understand his words.
With your inhalation draw the words of the Lord God deep within you.
With your exhalation empty yourself of all your own ideas, plans, thoughts, imaginations and words to make room for the words of God to take possession. Open yourself completely to what the Lord God wants to reveal to you about yourself and about him.
Eph 3:20-21 – Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen. (ESV)
Inhale: (draw the words of the Lord God deep within you)
According to the power at work within me
Exhale. (empty yourself of self to allow the words of God to take possession)
To God be glory in Christ Jesus
Wait, watch, listen, be still, be willing for the Lord God to transform you from within, revealing who you really are. Strive, reach for the goal, alive to the energy that he powerfully works in you as you rest, completely dependent upon him to reach the goal, united with the Messiah.
Breathe the Lord God’s words all day every day.
2 Peter 3:18 – But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen. (ESV)
Resources/For deeper study:
1MYSTERY musterion (<START GREEK>musth/rion<END GREEK>, NT:3466), primarily that which is known to the mustes, “the initiated” (from mueo (<START GREEK>mue/w<END GREEK>), “to initiate into the mysteries”; cf. Phil 4:12, mueomai, “I have learned the secret,” RV). In the NT it denotes, not the mysterious (as with the Eng. word), but that which, being outside the range of unassisted natural apprehension, can be made known only by divine revelation, and is made known in a manner and at a time appointed by God, and to those only who are illumined by His Spirit. In the ordinary sense a “mystery” implies knowledge withheld; its Scriptural significance is truth revealed. Hence the terms especially associated with the subject are “made known,” “manifested,” “revealed,” “preached,” “understand,” “dispensation.” The definition given above may be best illustrated by the following passage: “the mystery which hath been hid from all ages and generations: but now hath it been manifested to His saints” Col 1:26, RV. “It is used of:
“(a) spiritual truth generally, as revealed in the gospel, 1 Cor 13:2; 14:2 [cf. 1 Tim 3:9]. Among the ancient Greeks ‘the mysteries’ were religious rites and ceremonies practiced by secret societies into which any one who so desired might be received. Those who were initiated into these ‘mysteries’ became possessors of certain knowledge, which was not imparted to the uninitiated, and were called ‘the perfected,’ cf. 1 Cor 2:6-16 where the Apostle has these ‘mysteries’ in mind and presents the gospel in contrast thereto; here ‘the perfected’ are, of course the believers, who alone can perceive the things revealed; (b) Christ, who is God Himself revealed under the conditions of human life, Col 2:2; 4:3, and submitting even to death, 1 Cor 2:1 [in some mss., for marturion, testimony], 7, but raised from among the dead, 1 Tim 3:16, that the will of God to coordinate the universe in Him, and subject it to Him, might in due time be accomplished, Eph 1:9 (cf. Rev 10:7), as is declared in the gospel Rom 16:25; Eph 6:19; (c) the Church, which is Christ’s Body, i. e., the union of redeemed men with God in Christ, Eph 5:32 [cf. Col 1:27]; (d) the rapture into the presence of Christ of those members of the Church which is His Body who shall be alive on the earth at His Parousia, 1 Cor 15:51; (e) the operation of those hidden forces that either retard or accelerate the Kingdom of Heaven (i. e., of God), Matt 13:11; Mark 4:11; (f) the cause of the present condition of Israel, Rom 11:25; (g) the spirit of disobedience to God, 2 Thess 2:7; Rev 17:5,7, cf. Eph 2:2.”
From Notes on Thessalonians, by Hogg and Vine pp. 256. 257.
To these may be added (h) the seven local churches, and their angels, seen in symbolism, Rev 1:20; (i) the ways of God in grace, Eph 3:9. The word is used in a comprehensive way in 1 Cor 4:1.
(from Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words, Copyright © 1985, Thomas Nelson Publishers.)
2SAINT (S) hagios (<START GREEK>a%gio$<END GREEK>, NT:40), for the meaning and use of which see HOLY, B, No. 1, is used as a noun in the singular in Phil 4:21, where pas, “every,” is used with it. In the plural, as used of believers, it designates all such and is not applied merely to persons of exceptional holiness, or to those who, having died, were characterized by exceptional acts of “saintliness.” See especially 2 Thess 1:10, where “His saints” are also described as “them that believed,” i. e., the whole number of the redeemed. They are called “holy ones” in Jude 14, RV. For the term as applied to the Holy Spirit see HOLY SPIRIT. See also SANCTIFY.
Notes: (1) In Rev 15:3 the RV follows those texts which have aionon, “ages,” and assigns the reading ethnon, “nations,” to the margin; the KJV translates those which have the inferior reading hagion, “saints,” and puts “nations” and “ages” in the margin. (2) In Rev 18:20, the best texts have hagioi and apostoloi, each with the article, each being preceeded by kai, “and,” RV, “and ye saints, and ye apostles”; the KJV, “and ye holy apostles” follows those mss. from which the 2 nd kai and the article are absent. (3) In Rev 22:21, the RV follows those mss. which have hagion, with the article,” (with) the saints”; the KJV those which simply have panton, “all,” but adds “you” (RV, marg., “with all”).
(from Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words, Copyright © 1985, Thomas Nelson Publishers.)