But God…for good works (Devotional from Eph 2)

Yesterday, I was asked to give a short devotional to a group of teens. Speaking from Ephesians 2, I made these 4 points:

1. Eph 2:1 And you were dead in the trespasses and sins

It was easy to read a verse like this when I was a teen and think that Paul wasn’t talking about me. I was one of the good guys. In high school, I knew this because I didn’t get drunk on Friday night, I wasn’t having sex and I didn’t swear. Plus I went to church every Sunday. I thought Paul was talking about those real non-Christians like atheists, Muslims and drug addicts.

2. Eph 2:3 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

Paul here switches his terms to include all of us. We ALL once lived in the passions of our flesh. LIKE THE REST OF MANKIND – every human being is by nature a child of wrath.  Slowly in my early 20’s God opened my eyes to the fact that I was a prideful, lustful, selfish young man. None of us can stand before our holy Creator and say, “I’m pretty good!”

3. Eph 2:4 But God, being rich in mercy

BUT GOD – what a great phase! God has broken into our lives in more ways then we can imagine. Many of us were born into middle class Christian families who taught us the scriptures from the youngest age. It wasn’t our choice not to be born in a slum in India or to a mother on drugs in North Philadelphia. It wasn’t my choice to be born to a loving family were both my parents loved Jesus, each other, and me. But God had a plan. He not only ordained my family but He brought people into my life who taught me and challenged me.

4. Eph 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works

We are united to Christ by faith for a purpose – FOR GOOD WORKS. We do not come to follow Jesus so that we can live comfortable lives for 70 or 80 years and then die and go to heaven. No – God calls us into His mission when He gives us a new heart. The grace of God has been poured out for a purpose. May we live our lives now in light of the grace of Christ and follow him into the good works God has planned for us. We all, who have tasted the grace of God, are on mission with Christ Jesus.

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