“It Is A Mystery”  

Pastor David Moore  

Old Testament reading: Isaiah 56:1-8 

This is what the Lord says:  

“Maintain justice and do what is right, for my salvation is close at hand and my righteousness will soon be revealed. Blessed is the one who does this—the person who holds it fast, who keeps the Sabbath without desecrating it, and keeps their hands from doing any evil.”  

Let no foreigner who is bound to the Lord say, “The Lord will surely exclude me from his people.”  And let no eunuch complain, “I am only a dry tree.”  

For this is what the Lord says:  

“To the eunuchs who keep my Sabbaths, who choose what pleases me and hold fast to my covenant—to them I will give within my temple and its walls a memorial and a name better than sons and daughters; I will give them an everlasting name that will endure forever. And foreigners who bind themselves to the Lord to minister to him, to love the name of the Lord, and to be his servants, all who keep the Sabbath without desecrating it and who hold fast to my covenant—these I will bring to my holy mountain and give them joy in my house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and sacrifices will be accepted on my altar; for my house will be called a house of prayer for all nations.” The Sovereign Lord declares—he who gathers the exiles of Israel: “I will gather still others to them besides those already gathered.”  

Today’s theme: while Paul is in prison, he talks about the mystery of God’s saving grace and through the challenging times as a human, Christ is alongside us as we go through the difficult times in our life.  

New Testament: Ephesians 3:1-13 

For this reason, I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles
—surely you have heard about the administration of God’s grace that was given to me for you, that is, the mystery made known to me by revelation, as I have already written briefly. In reading this, then, you will be able to understand my insight into the mystery of Christ, which was not made known to men in other generations as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to God’s holy apostles and prophets. This mystery is that, through the gospel, the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Jesus Christ.  

I became a servant of this gospel by the gift of God’s grace given me through the working of his power. Although I am less than the least of all God’s people, this grace was given to me: to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, and to make plain to everyone the administration of this mystery, which for ages past was kept hidden in God, who created all things. His intent 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 which he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord. In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence. I ask you, therefore, not to be discouraged because of my sufferings for you, which are your glory.  

Do not pray for an easy life; pray for the strength to endure a difficult one. ~Bruce Lee

Whose vision? Which Hope? The struggle of life and the mystery of suffering.  

Ephesians 6:19-20 And also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.  

God reveals a mystery of Christianity and it is the Gospel of Grace, which is similar in contrast to the Laws of God.  

Regardless of what you go through in life, you can count on God’s sustaining grace.  God will reveal through the Christ the meaningful wisdom of God. ~D. Moore  

Ephesians 3:10 So that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places.  

Hebrews 12:1 “We are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses…”  

Ephesians 3:12 In Christ and through faith in Christ we may approach God with freedom and confidence!  

“I believe like a child that sufferings will be healed and made up for, that all the humiliating absurdity of human contradictions will vanish like a painful mirage…that in the world’s finale, at the moment of eternal harmony, something so precious will come to pass that it will suffice for all hearts, for the comforting of all resentments, for the atonement of all the crimes of humanity, of all the blood they’ve shed, that it will make it not only possible to forgive but to justify all that has happened…”  ~Dostoevsky

This week when you are discouraged about challenges in your life, review Ephesians 6 and 7 and then dwell on the mystery revealed to Paul and US in the Gospel of Grace. Pray that Christ will give you what is needed to go through your difficult times. Take heart, Christ is always with us.  

God bless you!