Scripture

Ephesians 2:1-3

As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, 2 in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. 3 All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath.

Reflection

The other day while browsing through my photo library, I came across some old videos of our kids on Christmas morning. One of those is of my son when he was two years old playing with the tiny basketball goal that Santa brought him that year. He is 10 now and spent his first week of the summer at Mansfield High School for basketball camp.

With children, we look back at their younger days with great appreciation for how much their lives have changed. It is heartwarming to remember how far they have come from the infant they once were. It deepens our appreciation for who they are today.

This is part of what Paul has in mind in these opening verses of chapter 2. He is inviting us to remember where we used to be - dead in sin, lost, lacking in hope, and still searching for meaning and direction. As much as anyone, Paul understood how important it was to remember how dramatically living “in Christ” changes our lives.

And with that, notice with me the word “all” at the beginning of verse 3. This is another critical reminder. The place that I once was is the place you once were. It is another key theme throughout Paul’s writing. We have all fallen short. We are all sinners in need of grace. We are all seeking to become each day more deeply devoted followers of Jesus.

Grace is God’s gift for all because it is the gift needed by all.

Take a moment today to reflect on this question.

What is different about my life today because of Christ?

Prayer

Jesus, it is easy for me to forget how significantly you have altered the direction of my life. My awareness of how far I have to go often blinds me from fully appreciating that progress. Thank you for working in my life, Jesus. Thank you for bringing me to where I am today. Enable me to see the need of each person I encounter today as no different than my need. Enable me today to be an instrument of the grace that meets our every need. AMEN.