This series is brought to you from Francis Chan’s “Letters to the Church” Bible Series. If you’ve never read Chan or heard him speak, be prepared. He has a way of laying it all on the line. He attacks hard truths that will really make you think and reflect. Here, he explores the mysteries of God’s love for us. Enjoy!
Mystery #3: You are a Small Part of an Eternal Plan
Have you ever stopped to think about the fact that you are part of an eternal plan? Seriously think about this. Your existence didn’t begin at conception. You began in the mind of God before the foundation of this earth. Meditate on this. Few things will make you feel smaller… or bigger.
Far from being an accident, you and I are part of a brilliant plan that started before planet Earth and continues beyond it. This is why self-deprecation is as wicked as slandering God’s Church. We are belittling the creation of something God has planned and crafted. He chose us before the foundation of the world, knew us before He made us (Jer. 1:5), and drew up works for us before we were even created (Eph. 2:10). He had plans for His sacred Church and included us in those plans. This thought should bring tremendous peace to our often-stressed souls. The more I think about it, the more honored I feel to be chosen as part of God’s eternal plan for the Church.
If you’re not fascinated by your inclusion in His Church yet, it may help you to know that there are beings in heaven that stare at the Church in wonder. (Eph 3:8-10)
Think about what this is saying. God wanted to show the heavenly beings His incomparable wisdom … so He created the Church! I believe we have a sacred responsibility to function as His Church in such a way that the rulers in heavenly places can marvel at God’s wisdom. They ought to see a oneness in us that displays God’s brilliant plan.
Two verses earlier, Paul explained that the great mystery God is now revealing is Gentiles becoming members of the same body as the Jews because of what Jesus did on the cross.
This is the divine mystery that was hidden in God for ages! The grand reveal that heavenly authorities were anticipating has arrived. The curtain is drawn back, and they gasp as they see … the Church. No way! This is unreal!
Through the cross, people of every nation and tongue become members of one body? Amazing!
God Himself is joining His creation and allowing them to be a part of His body? Unbelievable!
This was His plan all along. There was going to come a day when almighty God would dwell with people of all races. They would be brought to complete unity, forming one temple, which would be a dwelling place for God!
Do you see why all this matters so much?
Many today treat the Church as optional, as some outdated way to connect to God that has long outlived its usefulness. They’d rather connect with God on their own, in their own way, without all the weird people making things more difficult. We can empathize with many of their feelings about the Church. But when we see the Church from God’s perspective, when we appreciate it according to God’s design, we’re left in wonder. Who but God could come up with such a beautiful and ingenious plan?
I can’t help but see our own lameness in failing to see the beauty in God’s design for the Church. Heavenly beings are shocked by God’s Church, while many on earth yawn. The early church didn’t need the energetic music, great videos, attractive leaders, or elaborate lighting to be excited about being a part of God’s body. The pure gospel was enough to put them in a place of awe.
So, why aren’t we amazed by Jesus?
What does all of this mean for Native ministry?
If we were to recap the last four weeks, I think it could be summed up with these simple truths:
There is no greater honor on earth than being a part of God’s family. Through Jesus Christ, we are joined together with the Creator of all things. The same spirit that rose Jesus from the dead lives in you. Jesus died for all, and we should pause and think about the magnitude of this honor.
He died for all, every nation, every language. Our joy comes from joining together to stand among those Jesus has redeemed and bow before his throne. But this cannot be complete until we have our Native brothers and sisters standing alongside us.
Revelation 5:7 proclaims, “and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb.” This is God’s end game.
We are part of this amazing family and community, but only 5% of Native peoples are. Let’s invite them to this awesome and sacred thing we call God’s Church.
Ready to read the whole “Letters to the Church” Book? Find it here.