Friday, July 5, 2013

July 5 - Ephesians 2

Today's reading in our daily plan is Ephesians 2. Take a moment to pray, asking God to speak to you from this passage. Then read, using the following notes and questions to help you get everything out of the passage.

SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
  • Paul talks about who we were before following Jesus: dead, following the ways of the world, and God’s enemy, as we gratified the desires of the sinful nature. Because of all this we were objects of God‘s wrath. But now that we are following Jesus and God is working in our lives, we are: alive in Christ and saved by grace. Verses 8 and 9 tell us that our salvation is a gift freely given by God and that we could never earn it. Now that we have been saved (not through good works but by God's work) we are set free to do good works that God has prepared for us.
  • Paul goes on to write about how as followers of Jesus we are united. We used to be separated from God and his promises but now through Jesus we have become part of God’s family. And Jesus continues to knock down barriers that keep people separated from God and other people. Paul ends this section with an analogy of the church as a building with Jesus as the cornerstone. The cornerstone of a building is the piece of the foundation to which every part’s location is referenced. In the same way Christians need to interact with others in reference to Jesus, looking to him for guidance and love in every situation and relationship.

SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
  • We should be overwhelmed with gratitude and love for God, knowing that because of our sin all we deserved from Him was wrath but in His love He offered us grace - the opposite of what we deserve. If we just say yes by putting our faith in Jesus we are saved from our sin and ushered into a relationship with God.
  • Jesus should be the foundation and reference point of our lives. We build our lives on Him and know that He should be connected to everything we do.

NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
  • Have you made Jesus the foundation of your life? What would that look like? Do you see everything in your life as connected to Him, or are their parts of your life (your job? your money? your sex life? something else?) that you separate from your faith? Considering what God has done for you, He deserves your whole life. And your life will never be everything it should until you truly make Jesus everything.