Wednesday Word 3.14.2018

Ephesians 2:1-10 New International Version

 As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, 2 in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. 3 All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. 4 But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. 6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7 in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. 8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

Most of us think of ourselves as good people. We try to do our best and follow what we have been taught and what we have learned through our own experiences. We interpret the world around us as best we can. Regardless of how our behavior may be evaluated by others, we tend to think we are in the right. Sometimes that will involve a considerable amount of rationalization, especially if someone else can prove that we are wrong!  The simple fact is, we all live in this material world where we are more wrong than right.

It is not easy to accept the fact that we are wrong. We want to do our best. We want to have the very best life that we can. The reality is that we will make a bad choice today. We will say an unkind word or make a terse reply. Or, just as deadly, we will think entirely too much of ourselves. We might out and out violate one of the Big Ten (Commandments, that is). Praise God for his mercy! We are willful and rebellious and foolish much of the time, and our lives are more difficult because of it. Not a single, solitary one of us will make it out of this world with an unblemished record. One spotless day would be an accomplishment! All we can do is thank him for the “incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us through Jesus Christ.”

When I think about the magnitude of that kindness, I am overwhelmed. God didn’t have to give us a Savior. I don’t believe that Jesus had to follow the will of the Father. I believe he chose to obey. We must do the same. We are “God’s handiwork,” made in his image, to be his children. We have the choice to be re-created over and over every day for as many years as we are granted to be more like Jesus Christ in order to do the “good works” God intended for us to do. First we must recognize our own weakness, then never stop thanking him for loving us anyway…something to pray about.

Your sister in Christ, Vicki