EMBRACED

Ephesians – Belief and Behavior
 
We sang a song yesterday at church that reminded us of how God never let’s go of us no matter what is happening to us, around us and in us. We are a sorry lot at times. As Paul writes to the Ephesians in our passage for today, “It’s no 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.
 
Embraced. Stop and think. Feel the Embrace of God right now. Take all the time you need. Do you feel more secure now?
 
We all need a healthy hug from time to time. A healthy embrace has benefits in all kinds of ways. God knew that and science proves it. Research shows that hugging (and also laughter) is extremely effective at healing sickness, disease, loneliness, depression, anxiety and stress. Research shows a proper deep hug, where the hearts are pressing together, can benefit you. The nurturing touch of a hug builds trust and a sense of safety. And that’s just from each other. Think more, now of the spiritual embrace of God who never lets go!
 
Because of Christ, Paul, inspired by God, writes, “Christ brought us together through his death on the Cross. The Cross got us to embrace, and that was the end of hostility.” Before Christ, Jews and non Jews would not embrace each other as humans. After Christ, who embraced us, paid for all sin, once and for all changed the game. Walls between humans must fall. We now must embrace each other with the same love God embraces us.
 
God embraced us. We now, through Christ, embrace each other in Christ. “Christ came and preached peace to you outsiders and peace to us insiders. He treated us as equals, and so made us equals. Through him we both share the same Spirit and have equal access to the Father.” None of us are wandering exiles. We all belong to Christ!
 
God embraced us. We embrace each other. Love God. Love Others. Intense mercy. Incredible Love.
 
Ephesians 2 belongEphesians 2, The Message
 
He Tore Down the Wall
1-6 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. You filled your lungs with polluted unbelief, and then exhaled disobedience. 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. He did all this on his own, with no help from us! Then he picked us up and set us down in highest heaven in company with Jesus, our Messiah.
 
7-10 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. It’s God’s gift from start to finish! We don’t play the major role. If we did, we’d probably go around bragging that we’d done the whole thing! No, we neither make nor save ourselves. God does both the making and saving. He creates each of us by Christ Jesus to join him in the work he does, the good work he has gotten ready for us to do, work we had better be doing.
 
11-13 But don’t take any of this for granted. It was only yesterday that you outsiders to God’s ways had no idea of any of this, didn’t know the first thing about the way God works, hadn’t the faintest idea of Christ. You knew nothing of that rich history of God’s covenants and promises in Israel, hadn’t a clue about what God was doing in the world at large. Now because of Christ—dying that death, shedding that blood—you who were once out of it altogether are in on everything.
 
14-15 The Messiah has made things up between us so that we’re now together on this, both non-Jewish outsiders and Jewish insiders. He tore down the wall we used to keep each other at a distance. He repealed the law code that had become so clogged with fine print and footnotes that it hindered more than it helped. Then he started over. Instead of continuing with two groups of people separated by centuries of animosity and suspicion, he created a new kind of human being, a fresh start for everybody.
 
16-18 Christ brought us together through his death on the cross. The Cross got us to embrace, and that was the end of the hostility. Christ came and preached peace to you outsiders and peace to us insiders. He treated us as equals, and so made us equals. Through him we both share the same Spirit and have equal access to the Father.
 
Ephesians 2 hands19-22 That’s plain enough, isn’t it? You’re no longer wandering exiles. This kingdom of faith is now your home country. You’re no longer strangers or outsiders. You belong here, with as much right to the name Christian as anyone. God is building a home. He’s using us all—irrespective of how we got here—in what he is building. He used the apostles and prophets for the foundation. Now he’s using you, fitting you in brick by brick, stone by stone, with Christ Jesus as the cornerstone that holds all the parts together. We see it taking shape day after day—a holy temple built by God, all of us built into it, a temple in which God is quite at home.
 
You Never Let Go (by Matt Redman)
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death
Your perfect love is casting out fear
And even when I’m caught in the middle of the storms of this life
I won’t turn back
I know You are near
 
And I will fear no evil
For my God is with me
And if my God is with me
Whom then shall I fear?
Whom then shall I fear?
 
Chorus:
Oh no, You never let go
Through the calm and through the storm
Oh no, You never let go
In every high and every low
Oh no, You never let go
Lord, You never let go of me
 
And I can see a light that is coming for the heart that holds on
A glorious light beyond all compare
And there will be an end to these troubles
But until that day comes
We’ll live to know You here on the earth
 
Ephesians 2 embrace of graceLet the embrace of God flood our souls today!
 
Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank you for Your embrace because of your mercy and love. Thank you for your embrace, allowing us to hear and feel the beat of your heart in our chest because of reading Your Word and listening to Your Spirit in us. Thank you for never letting go of us. We trust you now with all our heart, mind and soul. Continue to transform me. Transform your church. Transform the world.
In Jesus Name, Amen

About randscallawayffm

Randy and Susan co founded Finding Focus Ministries in 2006. Their goal as former full time pastors, is to serve and provide spiritual encouragement and focus to those on the "front lines" of ministry. Extensive experience being on both sides of ministry, paid and volunteer, on the mission fields of other countries as well as the United States, helps them bring a different perspective to those who need it most. Need a lift? Call us 260 229 2276.
This entry was posted in Blessings, Christian Living, Christian Perspective, Embrace, Encouragement, Ephesians, Faith, Forgiveness, Grace, harvest, heaven, Holy Spirit, Hope, hospitality, hugs, insight, investments, Jesus, joy, Leadership, Listen, lost but found, Love, Macedonian Call, marriage, Mercy, ministry, Praise, Prayer, Salvation, Searching, Teaching, Thanksgiving, Training, Transformation, trust in God, Truth, Uncategorized, Unconditional love, waiting on God, wisdom and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s