Ephesians, Day 1

Scripture: Ephesians 1:1-14

Observation: Paul begins by greeting the Ephesians and praising God. He reminds them that they didn’t earn their salvation; it was a free gift given to them by God, who decided in advance to bring all believers into his family through the life and death of Jesus. 

Application: Have you ever received something you didn’t earn? Recently, my dad ordered a power washer…and the company sent him ten. I guess they added a “0” to the end of the “1” in his checkout transaction because when he came home one day, he had ten full-sized power washers sitting at the front door. Pretty sweet deal, right?

(Important note: By default, he also received nine free Christmas gifts for everyone he knows. Guess what my husband came home with over Christmas? Yep -- a power washer. Considering we don’t own a house, I’m sure it’ll really come in handy anytime he wants to power wash the two square feet of sidewalk outside the front door of our townhouse. Anyways, I digress…)

My dad didn’t earn those ten power washers. They were free. He paid for one, yet somehow he got ten times more than that. It was vastly more than he deserved.

That’s how God’s grace works. In verse 7, Paul writes this:

“He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins.”

There was nothing we could do to earn our salvation. It was a free gift.

But, I’ve learned that when something is free, someone always has to pay. In my dad’s case, it was the company who had to pay for the nine extra power washers. When it comes to salvation, the price was much higher – and it was God who paid it through the blood of his Son, Jesus.  

Stop. Pause. Read that again. Jesus paid our price. Even though we’re wicked, broken, incomplete, flawed, and imperfect, Jesus – the one who was perfect and blameless and whole – suffered for us. He died for us. Through his blood, we are saved – even though we didn’t earn it.

Let’s come together today and worship God for his incredible graciousness and kindness. Praise him for sacrificing his only Son. Praise Jesus for saying “yes” to suffering so that we could be made new. Praise him for accepting you with all of your imperfections and washing away your sin.

What can wash away my sin?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus;
What can make me whole again?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

Oh! precious is the flow
That makes me white as snow;
No other fount I know,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

 - Robert Lowry, 1876

(There are so many versions of this hymn, but here are two of my favorites by Jesus Culture and All Sons & Daughters.)

What can wash away our sin, what can make us whole again? Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

Prayer: Thank you, God, for giving each of us far more than we deserve. I come to you in praise today, worshipping you for how incredibly kind and loving and gracious you are. Let me remember the preciousness of this gift today. I praise you, and I humble myself before you. Amen.