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Part of the FBCS 2010 Read Through the Bible Project: Enter the Story. Join the Song.

Praise the Lord!

Ephesians 1    Ezekiel 4-5    Psalm 150

“Praise the Lord!” (Psalm 150:1). The apostle Paul gives thanks for God’s plan and power “put to work in Christ” (Ephesians 1) . . .  The prophet Ezekiel uses every means possible to communicate the Lord’s word to a rebellious people and their neighbors (Ezekiel  4,5) . . . And the book of psalms concludes with a call for “everything that breathes” to praise God exuberantly  “according to his surpassing greatness” (Psalm 150) . . . So it is that today’s readings call us to “live for the praise of his glory” (Ephesians 1:12) by placing before us the full spectrum of God’s great power, rich grace, and mysterious plan.

“A plan for the fullness of time, to gather up all things in him” (Ephesians 1:10). All things. All things in heaven and earth.  Everything that breathes will praise the Lord. And it was planned “before the foundation of the world” (v.4) that Paul – and his Gentile readers — would be included. Indeed, the plan involves the adoption of all who believe as God’s own redeemed people (v.14).  What a blessing! And what a mystery! God, who exists before, above, and beyond time, enters time and fills it full of redemption, forgiveness, grace, and blessing. And it was all planned before Ezekiel was called, or the psalmist ever sang, or Christ was raised, or Paul was converted, or the church was formed. Praise the Lord!

“As you come to know him” (Ephesians 1:17). There is no way to “unpack” in 300 words the mystery of God’s plan as it weaves through the unfolding story. And there is no creature alive who fully comprehends the “working of God’s great power” (v.19). Yet, as we, by faith working in love, come to know him who fills all in all more and more, our hearts will be enlightened (note well the “heart” language). And we will know hope, belonging, and power. And we will be, more and more, his body in the world today, to the praise of his glory. Amen.

“Praise him for his mighty deeds;
praise him according to his
surpassing greatness! . . .
Let everything that breathes
praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord!”
— Psalm 150:2,6


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