When it came to presenting the Message to people who had no background in God's way, I was the least qualified of any of the available Christians. God saw to it that I was equipped, but you can be sure that it had nothing to do with my natural abilities.
My task is to bring out in the open and make plain what God, who created all this in the first place, has been doing in secret and behind the scenes all along.
Through Christians like yourselves gathered in churches, this extraordinary plan of God is becoming known and talked about even among the angels!
All this is proceeding along lines planned all along by God and then executed in Christ Jesus.
When we trust in him, we're free to say whatever needs to be said, bold to go wherever we need to go.
So don't let my present trouble on your behalf get you down. Be proud!
My response is to get down on my knees before the Father,
this magnificent Father who parcels out all heaven and earth.
I ask him to strengthen you by his Spirit - not a brute strength but a glorious inner strength -
that Christ will live in you as you open the door and invite him in. And I ask him that with both feet planted firmly on love,
you'll be able to take in with all Christians the extravagant dimensions of Christ's love. Reach out and experience the breadth! Test its length! Plumb the depths! Rise to the heights!
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved. (The Message Bible Online)