Encounter: Find a quiet space to sit and read the scripture or take a walk listening to the Bible App - allowing yourself to be open to God revealing something to you in these passages: Gal 1:11-24 & 2 Cor 3:14, 1 Cor 3:11, Matt 16:15-18 ESV & NIV
The Big Reveal is a combination of HGTV makeover shows cut down to give you all your favorite parts, the amazing before-and-afters with all the great design ideas and tips. Some of the details of how things are transformed to the “after” are left out because you don’t necessarily need to know what all the measurements are or the tools used to get there. The builders show you the “ugly” not staying there for long, only to show you what it’s going to take to get to the good part. Then from the ugly there comes the BIG REVEAL! The beauty causes you to go Wow! And you want to know how I can have that. Only then does the builder give you some of the details you can replicate in your own home.
The Apostle Paul, the most important theologian disciple in the history of Christianity does the same for us in his writings to the church. He calls the big reveal of God’s reconstruction REVELATION. He doesn’t give us all the details and much remains a mystery of what God is doing behind the scenes to take creation from ugly to beautiful. Paul’s focus is for us to trust the Builder to do what only the Builder knows what he’s doing. Without the Builder, the work just could not be done. Paul writes,
Kindly teach people that Christ’s gospel is supernatural in origin, wisdom and truth. Paul wrote, "I want you to know brothers, that the gospel I preached is not something that man made up. I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it; rather, I received it by revelation from Jesus Christ. (Gal. 1 :11-24, NIV)
Brain Zahnd explains in his book, When Everything’s on Fire,
“Everything the apostle Paul believed, preached, wrote, and did was built on the foundation of the revelation of Jesus Christ given to him by God. Paul did not come to the knowledge that Jesus is the Lord God of Israel by a series of deductions or through a careful process of logic. Paul’s gospel is built entirely on revelation–a divine disclosure independent of human reason.
Paul didn’t read the Bible and finally figure out that Jesus is the Messiah as if he were a theological Sherlock Holmes sleuthing out the evidence. No! God revealed this to Paul. And as a result of this revelation, he now had to read the Bible in a completely new way. Once we have the revelation that Jesus is the Christ, then we can see it in the Old Testament. But we can’t start with the Old Testament and reason our way to a logical conclusion that Jesus is the Christ. The light of revelation emanating from Jesus Christ himself illuminates all of Scripture.
The foundation of our faith is God our Builder revealing what He believes is necessary for us to come to the knowledge of His purposes in this world and He does this by showing us our need (ugly) and the Beauty - in Jesus Christ..
This in itself should change how we pray for ourselves and others remembering it will not be by our own strength or arguments that we understand God’s work within us and through us to others. We need to pray for a fresh revelation given by Holy Spirit to us while we are on this EPIC journey and pray for God to do His Big Reveal in the lives of those we care for and love.
This Sunday we will talk about how God has given us the only foundation which is Himself and look at what we may be putting our confidence in that leaves us behind a curtain…”only in Christ is it taken away. (2 Cor 3:14 NIV)
Praying for Revelation with You,
Reflect: Think about those things in your life that you have put a great deal of trust in. How do they “reveal” truth to you and do they reflect the grace, truth and love of your Creator. Does it look like Jesus? Watch these two videos to begin to understand how God has revealed Himself one way through the Bible.
Encourage: Make a list of those you will commit to pray for for 30 days. Pray for them just as Paul prays for every believer in Ephesians 1:15-23.
Gather: Share your understanding of these passages and pray for your “list” asking God to reveal himself to you, to those around you and over every nation and people. Share what God reveals to you in the 30 days you are praying.