4But God–so rich
is He in His mercy! Because of and in order to satisfy the great and
wonderful and intense love with which He loved us,
when we were dead (slain) by [our own] shortcomings and trespasses, He
made us alive together in fellowship and in union with Christ; [He gave
us the very life of Christ Himself, the same new life with which He
quickened Him, for] it is by grace (His favor and mercy which you did
not deserve) that you are saved ([a]delivered from judgment and made partakers of Christ's salvation).
6And He raised us up together with Him and made us sit down together [giving us b]joint seating with Him] in the heavenly sphere [by virtue of our being] in Christ Jesus (the Messiah, the Anointed One).
did this that He might clearly demonstrate through the ages to come the
immeasurable (limitless, surpassing) riches of His free grace (His
unmerited favor) in [His] kindness and goodness of heart toward us in
8For it is by free grace (God's unmerited favor) that you are saved ([c]delivered
from judgment and made partakers of Christ's salvation) through [your]
faith. And this [salvation] is not of yourselves [of your own doing, it
came not through your own striving], but it is the gift of God;
because of works [not the fulfillment of the Law's demands], lest any
man should boast. [It is not the result of what anyone can possibly do,
so no one can pride himself in it or take glory to himself.]
10For we are God's [own] handiwork (His workmanship), [d]recreated
in Christ Jesus, [born anew] that we may do those good works which God
predestined (planned beforehand) for us [taking paths which He prepared
ahead of time], that we should walk in them [living the good life which
He prearranged and made ready for us to live]. Ephesians 2:4-10 Amplified Version
If you can, print this passage
out and highlight every mention of God's love, mercy, kindness, grace,
favor, and goodness.
It is His intense love for us that motivated
Him to give His life for us. It is His intense love for us that
motivates his desire for fellowship and union with us. It is His
intense love for us that offers us salvation. It is His intense love
for us that motivated Him to prearrange "the good life" for us.
is beyond good news to this little, curly-headed workaholic. Let me
tell you a little about me. I come from a long blood line of "what will
people think?" philosophy. I have spent way too many years trying to
keep all the rules…not just God's rules, but people's rules, and
people's interpretation of God's rules. So many rules.
How many times I have kept the rules and completely missed the heart of God. How about you?
you haven't heard my heart by now, please hear it today. God wants you!
He loves you intensely. He isn't interested in what you think you can
do or how well you think you can keep all the rules. He wants to be in
fellowship with you.
Without being in relationship with Jesus, how can we:
We can't! We can either spend our whole lives trying to decorate ourselves on the outside, so we look good; OR we
can truly join with Jesus, have a relationship with Him, abide in Him
and enjoy the life He planned for us – bear the fruit that He will
produce in us.
If you haven't ever had that kind of relationship with Jesus, it can start today. I beg you to begin!
I'm praying for you today. I'd love to hear from you if Jesus wins your heart today. You can comment here or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.