The First 15

Thursday June 30, 2022

by Jan Davis

Today is Thursday, June 30 and we are exploring chapter three of Paul’s letter to the Ephesians.

Opening Prayer

I am here to meet with God. I take a few moments to still my wandering thoughts, relinquish my nagging worries and rest in the comforting presence of my Lord.

Pause and Pray

Dear Lord, I treasure these precious moments with you at the beginning of my day. I know that you are with me amid all challenges and concerns. I place complete trust in you in all the circumstances of my life. Speak wisdom and guidance to me. Amen.

Scripture Reading

I rejoice in God’s goodness and praise him with the words of Psalm 37.

The righteous will inherit the land and dwell in it forever. The mouths of the righteous utter wisdom, and their tongues speak what is just. Psalm 37:29-30

Pause and Pray

In Ephesians chapter three, Paul is interpreting the manifold mystery of God to believers. In the next two verses, Paul unveils the purpose of his entire mission on earth. Paul’s ultimate assignment is to make the wisdom of God known to “the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places.” What does he mean by that? It is important for us to distinguish between Paul’s true meaning and a common contemporary understanding. Paul is actually referring to cosmic powers in the spiritual realm that are identified as malevolent forces, not only good ones. Heavenly places is an expression that occurs only in Ephesians. It is both a realm of heavenly transcendence where God’s Spirit moves and also a sphere that remains subject to the hostile influence of evil. We might call it an invisible spiritual realm.

His (God’s) 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 that he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord. Ephesians 3:10-11


The ultimate purpose of the Church in all times and all places is to reveal the manifold wisdom of God to benevolent and hostile spiritual authorities. Manifold means “many-sided,” “many-colored,” or “comprehensive.” God’s wisdom is substantially more intricate and complex than humans can comprehend. Yet it is a gift that God bestows on believers and the church. God established the church to be a dramatic demonstration of God’s marvelous wisdom and perfect plan of reconciliation. The church begins by uniting two hostile, diverse groups (Jews and Gentiles) into one body. Evil may remain in the world, in the church, and in believers – but it does not reign (John Wesley). God’s eternal purpose of redemption for the world is accomplished in Jesus.

Ask: How does my participation in the church make known God’s manifold wisdom and eternal purpose for humanity? How does my church point to Jesus as Lord?

Pause and Pray

God, you are holy, you are powerful, you are God. Thank you for your original and final intent for humanity and all creation – salvation and restoration through Jesus Christ. Your wisdom is far beyond my comprehension, yet you desire that I participate through my church to make your wisdom known. May your eternal purpose in Christ Jesus be lifted high and celebrated by all. I read the words from Ephesians again and listen for the message you have for me.

His (God’s) 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 that he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord. Ephesians 3:10-11

Ask: What image, word or phrase stands out to me when I slowly read this passage? What is God trying to say to me through these words of scripture?

Pause and Pray

Every believer has a role to play and a function to accomplish in God’s holy church. I consider my current involvement in my faith home. How am I fulfilling God’s purpose for the church? What might God want me to know about my church and my current participation? Maybe God wants me to understand his intent, wisdom and purpose for me and the people I love. Perhaps God wants me to see the important role my church needs to play in this time and place. Maybe God wants me to recognize the battles the church can win against evil by making the gospel known. Perhaps God wants to give me the gift of insight and wisdom – something only he can provide.

Pause and Pray

Blessed Lord, open my mind to receive your truth and wisdom. Open my heart to receive your love and grace. Open my spirit to receive your companionship and blessings. Come, Holy Spirit, fill the temple of my soul and the sanctuary of my church with your abiding presence. Amen.

My goal is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. Colossians 2:2-3

We declare God’s wisdom, a mystery that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began. 1 Corinthians 2:7

Closing Prayer

I leave this time of prayer entrusted with God’s message of salvation for the world through Jesus Christ, I go to make his love known to others.


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