Ephesians 2, part 2. This is where we came from:
“And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2 in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— 3 among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.“
This is a cold, hard look at the reality of sin. It would send anyone into a nose-dive of depression if it weren’t for the next two words…
“4 But[c] God,”
Slicing through the darkness, God, infinite Creator unlimited by time, gravity, or humanity, chose to become limited. For us. Wow! Contribution: Us = nothing, God = everything.
“being rich in mercy,”
Some people can make it rain money. Billions. Trillions. They have so much it would be hard to give away. God does that with His mercy. Wow.
“because of the great love with which he loved us,”
Love is hard for me to grasp. It is the bonding unit that defies logic and yet connects people tighter than anything else. God’s love is God-sized…and it is even crazier than human love. I would do some crazy things for the people I love. God defied human logic by loving us when we rejected Him completely. He loves the people of this little world that much. You are that loved. I am that loved.Wow.
“5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—”
The story of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead is powerful. I imagine it is rather like what happened with us.
“Um, God, You know how long they’ve been that way. They reek.”
“Yes.” And He calls us forth by name, and laughingly says to unwrap the miles of sin-trappings for some better clothes because we need some garments for life!
Christ died for us. And now God makes us equally alive. Wow!
“by grace you have been saved— ”
In case we had not noticed, Paul makes it very clear that no works we do, no sacrifices we make, no millisecond of our existence can counteract the judgement of sin. It was only by God’s grace in moving the sentence for our sin to Christ. Wow.
“6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,”
Christ loves us so much, went through so much for us, and then shares the spoils of His triumph. This is in the past tense. Our situation is so assured that we are as good as in heaven. That puts the daily grind in a new perspective!
“7 so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.”
Did you have to look hard for the person? The size difference is impressive. But no matter how far through time we go, no matter how big our stick or bucket or bulldozer is, we will never be able to measure the grace God has given us. He will continue to show us this grace through the ages. And it comes through kindness, an action taken through Jesus Christ. Challenging love.
God, thank You for the beauty of what You have done to show us love. Please help me to accept it and let it work through my life and actions to the people around me. Amen.