The Gospel is intertwined throughout the pages of the Bible, from the Book of Genesis to the last page of Revelation. The Bible is a story of God’s heart towards an imperfect humanity. It is ultimately His story, revealing His perfections. In comparison, humanity has proven itself totally far from the mark in every way. In light of that, God has proclaimed the good news of His love, pursuit, and salvation for a world in need. The Apostle Paul was excellent at reminding his readers of this good news. In one of his letters, in particular, Paul walks through the gospel in 10 concise verses. This passage is a go-to for myself. I also like to take youth groups through the reflection of Ephesians Chapter two. I would invite you to set aside some time, grab a cup of tea, remove distractions, and sit with this passage and these questions.
And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom 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.Ephesians 2:1-3
There is no doubt that without God…before God intervened in our lives…we were in a desperate situation. We were in BIG trouble! It’s powerful to remember who we are apart from God and the person He’s rescued us from. When we made the choice to follow Jesus, it came with a cost. We made the choice to lay things down, live for a different purpose, and make different choices. We chose to let Him in.
Reflection: Take some time to contemplate who you once were before God and who you may struggle to be now without keeping your focus on God. In what ways were you dead? What else do you need to be rescued from?
But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ JesusEphesians 2:4-7
The greatest invasion in world history was Christ’s invasion into the world of darkness. His victory over death has not only set the world free but has set you and me free. He breathed life into creation back in the early pages of Genesis, and He did it again when Christ rose from the dead. Death no longer has the final word. As if that wasn’t enough, God never stops at the cross with His children. He continues to love, nurture, guide, protect, prosper, and bless us. He does this so that we will know along with the world, that He has immeasurable kindness and goodness.
Reflection: Take time to thank God for His amazing grace in your life…for His unfailing love and mercy. It always helps to write them down. If you don’t already have one, maybe create a gratitude journal. Take some time to pray, sing praises, and maybe even take Communion.
…For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:8-10)Ephesians 2:8-10
God has a future for all of us. He has prepared one for you. The cross opens up a new door for us. Jesus, Himself said that He came to give us abundant life (John 10:10). God promised that He has plans for us that are good and hopeful (Jeremiah 29:11). There is a plan and a life ready for us to embrace.
Reflection: What is your future hope? What is your purpose? What makes you come alive and how can God use that? How can you be used by your Savior to make a difference? What are your talents and how can they be used to point others to Jesus?
Always remember, you are loved more than you could ever know. Peace in Christ brothers and sisters.