Making God’s Wisdom Known Through Being Fully AliveDaily Reflection / Produced by The High Calling
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 that he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Today's reflection will offer my final thoughts on how the church—including you—can reveal the manifold wisdom of God to the world (and beyond). So far, I've suggested that we can fulfill this calling by sharing the good news with our neighbors and by demonstrating the unifying purpose of God through church unity.
What else might we do to make God's wisdom known to the world? Remember what we saw in the first half of Ephesians 2. There, we began as people who were already dead in our transgressions. We were in bondage to our sinful cravings and to the ruler of the kingdom of the air. But God, because of his abounding mercy and grace, made us alive with Christ. God saved us from living as zombies, as long as we accept his grace by putting our trust in him. When this happens, we are recreated in Christ for a life of good works.
If what we have learned from Ephesians 2:1-10 is true, then we who are in Christ should live in a very different way from those who are still dead in their transgressions. We should be people who live life to the fullest, enjoying and making use of our freedom from sin, living each day in the flow of God's grace, receiving it freely and giving it away. As Christians, we should live in such a way that the world sees something distinctive in us, something magnetic, something that cannot be explained apart from what God has done and is doing in Jesus Christ.
I expect you've probably heard something like this before. Preachers are fond of exhorting their flock to live in such a way that people see Christ in them. Yet, such exhortations often fail, largely because they leave us feeling guilty about our failures. Or, perhaps, we resolve to do better, to put on a happy face, to talk as if we're living the heavenly life today even when heaven seems far, far away. But, before long, we're back to our old, lifelessly, ordinary ways. Our pretense of abundant living accentuates the hollowness of our reality.
If you want to live as a person fully alive, I would not suggest that you focus on your failings as a Christian. Nor would I urge you to put on a happy face, denying what's true in your heart. Guilt and inauthenticity won't cut it when it comes to showing the world the wisdom of God. Rather, I would suggest that you and I need to lean in to God's grace, to let his grace transform us and inspire us. The more we are captivated by what God has done for us in Christ, the more we will be motivated to live transformed lives. The more we offer ourselves to the Lord as people called to live for the praise of his glory (see Eph. 1:11-14), the more we will discover the life of God within us, empowering us to be fully alive in all that we do.
QUESTIONS FOR FURTHER REFLECTION: When have you been fully alive? What helps you to live in the flow of God's grace? What drags you back into the "death-life" of your pre-Christian existence? What about your life points to the manifold wisdom of God?
PRAYER: Gracious God, you have indeed raised me from death to life through Christ. You have delivered me from bondage and invited me to live in the freedom of your grace. You have recreated me in Christ so that I might do the good works you have prepared for me. All of this is wonderful, and I thank you for it.
But, Lord, I want to experience the reality of your grace more consistently, not only for my enjoyment, but also so that I might be a signpost of your wisdom to the world. Help me to live each day—beginning right now—as someone who has been raised from death to life by your grace. Help me to walk in the good works you have for me today, so that you might be glorified. Amen.
P.S. from Mark - I'm excited to let you know about a new video just published by The High Calling, the host of my Daily Reflections. It's called "A Day with Greg Buell," and is both deeply moving and thought-provoking. I know you'll be glad you watched this video. Plus, you can help us get out the word by letting others know about it (through email, Facebook, Twitter, etc.). Thanks to my colleague, Dan Roloff, the executive producer of this video, and to his video team, Nathan Clarke and John Harrison, for their fine work. You can view "A Day with Greg Buell" at this link. You can see all of The High Calling's videos at our YouTube channel.
Image courtesy of Laity Lodge Youth Camp, one of our sister programs in the Foundations for Laity Renewal.