The Mysteries of God; September 25, 2018

1 Corinthians 4:1-2 So then, men ought to regard us as servants of Christ and as those entrusted with the secret things of God. Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful.

We often see and hear verse two quoted, and I’ve done it myself, but not often in tandem with verse one. We tend to apply this in blanket terms of stewardship, when here Paul is specifically addressing “the secret things of God.” We don’t often think in terms of “secret things” or “mysteries” in terms of God, but the Bible makes such references fairly frequently. So what are the mysteries of God? I would define them quite simply as those things that the human intellect can’t figure out for itself. Frankly, today we don’t like to admit there are things humans can’t figure out. Science has made great strides, especially in the last century or so, and things that were once science fiction are now commonplace – smartphones, for example. However, God is beyond all of that, and the very idea scares us. That’s why God has given us the Bible, as a reliable source of information about Him. Some of the things in the Bible seem only logical, but some are totally mind-blowing, when they are understood with all their implications. John 3:16 is a good example. It is perhaps the most popular verse in the whole Bible, but when you really grasp what it says, it trips all the circuit breakers in your mind. Why would the Creator love His creation so much that He would divide Himself to send His Son to take the penalty for His creatures’ sin and enable them to live eternally with Him? That is a mystery indeed! Actually, the Bible is full of such mysteries, but we often overlook them or else take them for granted. Neither of those responses is being a faithful steward. All Christians have been given some degree of understanding of the mysteries of God, or else they would not have made Jesus their Lord. That calls us all to be faithful with that knowledge, to share it with others so that they too may receive the eternal grace of our Creator. The more spiritual maturity we have, the more accountable we are to God for what we do with what He has poured out on us. The average person we encounter does not know things about God that we do, and we are responsible for sharing those things with them so that they too may repent and believe.

Wow! This just opened up a whole new perspective, not just on evangelism but on how to live as a disciple of Jesus Christ. I was raised in a thoroughly Christian home, steeped in prayer and the Bible from before my birth. I am a prime example of someone who tends to take the mysteries of God for granted. That’s not faithful stewardship! I do minister as a pastor in Japan, but I must keep seeking God for how He wants me to share what He has given me. I am all too guilty of what might be called “drive-by truth dumps.” I tend to state truth and then never follow up with helping people really grasp what I’ve just told them. God will call me to account for that. I’ve got to let Him show me the “teachable moments” He engineers, when people are ready to receive. In the conference that just ended, I was rather surprised to have several opportunities to share a Biblical perspective on marriage. That was entirely unexpected by me, but was planned by God. I need to be increasingly sensitive to such “divine appointments” so that I may be a good steward indeed, to the glory of God.

Father, thank You indeed for the many blessings of the past few days, and for the awareness that they are just part of the flow of what You are doing for and through us. Thank You for everything today will hold. May I be a good steward indeed, so that others too may receive Your mysteries with joy, for their salvation and Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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