Monday, January 16, 2012

God’s Lost & Found - Ephesians 2

And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest. Ephesians 2:1-3

A look at the second chapter of Ephesians over the next few days will give us opportunity to celebrate who we are in Jesus. This is one of the most powerful chapters in the Bible and we can by no means draw out all of the depths from its mines of truth with some brief devotional thoughts. But we can at least review a few of the wondrous things God has done for us through His work in Christ.

To begin with, let me share a story about someone who was very near and dear to me.

She’s was very cute and lively. Though quite petite, she was always a bit pushy and stubborn about having things her way. From the time she came into our home she was spoiled rotten. She did not weigh over about seven pounds soaking wet and when she was soaking wet she smelled a little like a dog. I guess that’s because she was a dog. Her name was Fancy and she was our Yorkshire Terrier.

Fancy came to us by accident. We didn’t need or necessarily want a dog, (at least I didn’t) but things happen. Fancy’s adopted mom, Susie (yes, I was called ‘Daddy’) found Fancy in a precarious situation. She was incarcerated the humane society when she was brought in. She was dirty, smelly, mangy, matted, and she had flea-infested. All she could do was look at us with her dark eyes and shake and scratch. Susie grabbed her out of danger and placed her safely in the car and brought her to our home.

Fancy was in a serious predicament. She was lost, she was alone and she was condemned to if not recued. But Susie spared her and took her to our home. She bathed her, combed her, picked fleas off of her, bought food for her and showed her the door to the back yard for obvious reasons.

Well, years later, Fancy was feeling good about being a dog! She had beds all over the house. She slept cuddled on my wife’s side of our bed and barked when she felt the need to protect us from unseen intruders. She had a pretty good life after being given a home.

When I read the beginning of Ephesians 2 I am aware that I can relate to this little dog. These words are a harsh reality. Outside of Jesus we didn’t belong. We were not a part. We were on our own in a large and dangerous world. Forgive the comparison, but like Fancy, all alone in a big bad world of automobiles and no one caring about one worthless little mutt!

Pau reminds us of who we were when he says, remember that you were at that time separate from Christ, excluded from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. Ephesians 2:12 Wow! Separate, excluded, strangers, without hope and without God... That sounds like the definition of a worthless stray! How desperate our condition! And then comes verse 13! But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. Ephesians 2:13

Today, dear Christian, understand who you are by remembering WHOSE you are! Paul proclaims our new identity...So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God's household, Ephesians 2:19

Fancy had no problem receiving her new identity. Can we do the same?

Scripture to Claim:

Because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, "Abba! Father!" Therefore you are no longer a slave, but a son; and if a son, then an heir through God. Galatians 4:6-7

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