I was chosen to explain to everyone this mysterious plan that God,
the Creator of all things, had kept secret from the beginning.
I was often instructed to keep what I knew a secret.
Growing up as a pastor’s son, I was privy to information I wasn’t allowed to share with my friends. Church information. Some good, some not so good. Whether wise or unwise, my parents talked freely about church affairs in my presence. Perhaps they thought I didn’t understand. Maybe they assumed I would keep that information to myself even if they didn’t actually tell me to do so. I knew about tough decisions, troubling situations, and church members who secretly drank, smoked, chewed, and visited places they shouldn’t have. Knowing and keeping secrets was something I accepted as the norm.
While secrecy was required in a preacher’s house, it seems strange that God would keep secrets. But Paul says He does. The big secret was that at some point in history Jews and Gentiles would stand on equal footing before God. Although the Old Testament told of a future time when Gentiles would be saved, most Jews never imagined God would consider Gentiles equal to Jews.
I’m glad I live in the era when God’s secret has been revealed. I wouldn’t want to be forced to change nationalities to approach God. Since I’m not Jewish, that would have been my plight during the Old Testament period. God plainly revealed the secret after Jesus’ resurrection. Before He ascended into heaven, Jesus commissioned His followers to spread the story of His love and the offer of forgiveness to all people—Jew and Gentile. Those who accepted would stand on equal footing before God.
Prejudice has no room in God’s church. If God welcomes all equally, I can do no less. Every person has been created in the image of God—although that image may be marred. Just below loving God with all my being is His command for me to love my neighbor as myself.
I have shared and will continue to share God’s secret. Will you?
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How can you share God’s secret with others?
by Martin Wiles
Martin Wiles is a minister, author, English teacher, and freelance editor currently living in Greenwood, SC, and is the founder of Love Lines from God. He is the author of six books, including his two latest, Grits & Grace and God and Grits, Gumbo and Going to Church. He has been published in a number of periodicals, books, and newspapers. He serves as Managing Editor for Christian Devotions (www.christiandevotions.us) and Assistant Editor for Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas. He and his wife are parents of two and grandparents of three.