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Called by the faithful love of God to live…

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daily writing

Ephesians 2:1-10

1 Formerly you were as dead because of your evil deeds and your trespasses against God. 2 You lived like the people of this world. You followed the rule of destructive spiritual power. It is the spirit of disobedience to God’s will that is now at work in people whose lives are characterized by disobedience. 3 At one time, you were like these people. You were all used to doing what you felt good and whatever you thought you wanted, so you were children headed for punishment, like everyone else.

4-5 However, God is rich in mercy. He brought us back to life with Christ when we were dead as a result of those things that we did wrong. He did it because of the great love he has for us. You are saved by the grace of God! 6 And God raised us up and made us sit in heaven with Jesus Christ. 7 God did this to show future generations the greatness of his grace through the goodness that God has shown us in Jesus Christ.

8 You are saved by the grace of God because of your faith [or through his faithfulness]. This salvation is a gift from God. It’s not something you owned. 9 It’s not something you’ve done to be proud of. 10 Instead, we are God’s fulfillment, created in Christ Jesus to do good things. God intended these good things to be the way we live our lives.

Reflection questions

The free grace of God, offered to all, is a gift that we do not deserve and that we could never deserve. But truly accepting this gift of grace changes us. The Apostle Paul, a passionate preacher of God’s saving grace like never before, wrote that when we accept this grace, we live as “God’s fulfillment [Greek poema, meaning “artistry” or “handiwork”], created in Jesus Christ to do good things. He believed it was important for Christians (in Ephesus and everywhere) to understand that significant changes in their lives (cf. Acts 19:18-20) were not something they accomplished simply by tapping into their own inherent goodness. They were God’s fulfillment, living the kind of life God wanted them to live.

  • John Wesley used the idea that we are “created in Christ Jesus to do good things” in the second general rule of the Methodist Church: “Doing good; by being merciful in every way according to their power; as they have the opportunity, doing good of all kinds and, as much as possible, to all men. Does the phrase “do good of all possible kinds” Stimulate your imagination? What are one or two “kinds” of kindness that you did not practice before, but do now as a follower of Christ? How willing are you to let God continue to shape the way you live, even the “secular” parts of your life: driving, shopping, doing business, gambling and watching sports, etc. ? What is your purpose in life? (You have one, even if you think you don’t. You make daily choices based on an inner vision of who you are and why you are here.) God has a purpose for your life. . Spend some quiet time today comparing your current lifestyle with what Ephesians 2:10 says about God’s intention.

Pray

Lord Jesus, thank you for the gift of your saving and transforming grace. Guide me as I seek to live in the reality of the good things You created (and re-created) me to do. Amen.