Devotional: March 3, 2021
8For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God— 9not the result of works, so that no one may boast.
Ephesians 2: 8-9
Our world is filled with many people who boast about themselves. They condemn and point fingers at others. They believe that they are the best, and deserve the best. In their minds, they have earned it. Self-promotion seems to be the name of the game for many “leaders” in our culture and society. Humility is a rare quality.
Unfortunately, boasting even invaded the church. Here, Paul was dismayed with some of the Jewish Christians in the church at Ephesus. They were boasting about being Jewish to some of the Gentile members of the church. By identifying themselves as Jewish, they were telling others that God would save them because of their heritage. They were buying into the notion that God saved them because of their circumcision, and other “good works”.
Paul makes a point of asserting that we are saved not by any of the things we have done, or will ever do. No! We are only saved by grace. Grace is the unearned love and mercy God bestows upon us. We cannot “earn” salvation. People may be good, and do good things, but that is not a guaranteed ticket to heaven. Of course, we should strive to attain those behaviors, and to make good choices. Thinking that God will grant us grace so that we can be awful people is not the direction grace should take anyone. It is a gift of God: totally undeserved, and absolutely unmerited.
Grace is a major theme here. In fact, Paul uses the word “grace” three times in the space of four verses! (Ephesians 2: 5-8). One theologian defined “grace” by creating a mnemonic device, using each of the letters in the word.
“GRACE” stands for
We need to trust the Lord: trust His love, and trust His promise. The Lord chooses us based not on what we do, but on who we are. The next time the world tells you that “you are not good enough”, remind yourself of the gospel truth: we are saved by grace. Salvation is God’s gift to us because He loves us, and desires to be with us. The road to heaven is not a toll road, where we have to “pay our own way.” Christ has already paid the price for us! It truly is a two-way street, so that He reaches us with His love, and we reach back towards Him with out of gratitude. May we treasure the gift of salvation, through the love of Jesus Christ-each and every day!
Thank You, Lord, for reminding me through Your word, that it is me whom You love! Protect me from falling into the mistaken belief that I have to earn my way to You. Help me to be pleasing to You, certain in the knowledge that You have already chosen me to be with You. I praise You for the Love You have for me. May I show You that same love.
With a grateful heart, I pray this prayer in name of the one who granted us Your grace, Your son and my Savior Jesus Christ, Amen