Can You Believe It?
This morning my Bible reading took me to Ephesians 2:4-8, which says: “But God is so rich in mercy, and He loved us so much, that even though we were dead because of our sins, He gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. For He raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with Him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus. God did this so that He can point to us in all future ages as examples of the incredible wealth of His grace and kindness toward us, as shown in all He has done for us who are united with Christ Jesus.”
This passage is actually one of my favorites because of the simple description the Apostle Paul gives us of not only what God did for Jesus, but of what He does for us as well. Here’s what I mean by that - God raised Jesus from the dead and restored Him to His rightful place in heaven. As a result, Jesus was given all the power and authority that belongs to the Son of God. But God doesn’t stop there, as Paul goes on to tell us that what God has done for Jesus, He has also done for us. So because Jesus was raised up from the dead, we’ve been “raised up” out of our sin, and brought into God's family, and made citizens of heaven.
If we stop to think through the reality of what that means, it’s some really amazing stuff that God has done for anyone who has accepted the work Christ did on the cross. And to be completely honest, when I think about all of this applying to me, the first question that comes to mind is, “Why?” Why would God do such a thing for someone like me - for someone who was “dead in his sin”? Fortunately, Paul gives us the answer to that question in verse 7, where he explains that God did this “so that He can always point to us as examples of the incredible wealth of His favor and kindness toward us, as shown in all He has done for us through Christ Jesus.” So God does all of this in the lives of those who believe so that He can show the world His mercy, grace, power, and authority. In other words, God saved us SO THAT the world would know what He’s like.
Which brings me to a very important question we need to ask ourselves: When people look at us, do they see what God wants them to see? Do they see the “incredible wealth of His favor and kindness”? Do they see lives focused on God or do they see lives focused on our own plans and desires? Bottom line, when other folks look at us, do they see God – or do they see us? Because when we say that we’re God’s children, then people need to see God in us. They need to see His goodness and grace and mercy and patience and kindness and forgiveness and purity and holiness. They need to see things that will cause them to want to be a part of God’s family as well.
So today, let's thank God for all He's done for us. Then let's ask Him to help us live as a good reflection of what He's done, and who He is. Let’s remember God's grace and mercy to us, and then let's allow that grace and mercy to flow through us to others - so that the world will truly know the One who is the source of all grace and power and love.