September 6, 2012
“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. … 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.” Ephesians 2:1-5 The Message
It’s an old, old story. God tells a group of men and women that they will live an unbelievable life blessed by him in every possible area of their lives .. if .. they would trust him .. obey him .. and love him with their whole lives. They weren’t perfect by any measurement. They didn’t possess any unique characteristics that set them apart from any other nation. He even went so far as to describe in detail all the blessings they would experience if they trusted him. And to make the choice that much easier he told them what life would be like without him. So they chose to live like everyone around them. They chose a self-directed identity over a God-promised identity. Who would willingly chose such a path? You would. BUT GOD didn’t lose his temper with you either. Instead of turning his back on you .. he loved your self-promoting .. sin-centered .. self-protecting life so much that he made you “alive in Christ”. It really is that incredible! You didn’t even know you were already dead with no hope of recovering .. no hope of starting over .. and no hope of living out of such love. He became the Way Out by loving you all the way inside yourself. It isn’t a simple look-the-other-way kind of love either. It’s a God-in-Christ all in kind of love. He didn’t hold anything back or wait for you to make the first move. And what He offers you today …. only takes a moment.
“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.” Ephesians 2:7-8 The Message
Ken Chester: Grace-Gripped is sent M-F to Trust-Him-Enough followers of Jesus and friends of Priority One (Ken@priorityone.org)