December 21st – Only By Grace

Day 21: Only by Grace

Ephesians 2:1-10 (MSG)

 1-6 It wasn’t so long ago that you were mired in that old stagnant life of sin. You let the world, which doesn’t know the first thing about living, tell you how to live. You filled your lungs with polluted unbelief, and then exhaled disobedience. We all did it, all of us doing what we felt like doing, when we felt like doing it, all of us in the same boat. It’s a wonder God didn’t lose his temper and do away with the whole lot of us. Instead, immense in mercy and with an incredible love, he embraced us. He took our sin-dead lives and made us alive in Christ. He did all this on his own, with no help from us! Then he picked us up and set us down in highest heaven in company with Jesus, our Messiah.

7-10 Now God has us where he wants us, with all the time in this world and the next to shower grace and kindness upon us in Christ Jesus. Saving is all his idea, and all his work. All we do is trust him enough to let him do it. It’s God’s gift from start to finish! We don’t play the major role. If we did, we’d probably go around bragging that we’d done the whole thing! No, we neither make nor save ourselves. God does both the making and saving. He creates each of us by Christ Jesus to join him in the work he does, the good work he has gotten ready for us to do, work we had better be doing.

Oh how grateful I am for a Father who gave everything just to have me.

I feel like this passage is a reminder of our sinful nature. We are selfish and sinful beings. Even when we mean well, we do wrong, and we sin because we are human. However, the tone changes, the word ‘but’ is used. The dictionary defines ‘but’ as a word used to introduce a new clause contrasting that previously stated. The passage reminds us of our sin and selfishness and then Paul says ‘but’. We SHOULD be subject to wrath, anger and temper and we SHOULD be punished for our wrongdoing. BUT, God sent Jesus; humble, innocent, selfless Jesus, to be our ransom, because He loves us so much. His love outweighs His wrath. We can be sure that the birth of Christ was the mingling of God with humanity. God was so sick of our sinfulness that He came down to be with us. It is through grace that we are saved.

I’m reminded of Rend Collective’s lyrics, ‘By grace alone somehow I stand, where even angels fear to tread…’ Ponder this today; we have been taken from the lowest place, to the highest, to stand in the throne room, undeserved, only by grace.

Leah Langlois