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Lenten Devotional for February 19, 2024 "God's Masterpiece"

[Read Ephesians 2:1–10]

For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” (Ephesians 2:10, NLT)

When I was a little boy soft drinks were sold in glass bottles. You paid 10¢ for the drink and 1¢ for the deposit. You took the bottle back and the deposit was returned to you. The bottle was redeemable. There were other redeemable things in that era such as United States Savings Stamps, cereal box coupons, and S&H Green Stamps. However, by the end of the 1970’s, disposable bottles became the norm.

  In fact, we have increasingly become a throw-away society. We have lower expectations for durability. We seldom repurpose things as we once did. Our landfills prove the casualness of our waste. Such casualness should give us pause. But far more troubling is that our culture embraces throw-away relationships. People are “canceled” because they think or speak differently. People are written-off if they disappoint. Studies show that we have far fewer close friends than our parents and grandparents. Family relationships are increasingly broken. And marriage first experienced high divorce rates and now is increasingly eschewed all together.

But God considers no one to be disposable. He knows our disobedience; He sees our sins. Every one of us were insurrectionists, readily obeying the devil and opposing God. And we were dead because of our sins” (v.5). But God, rich in mercy, when He raised Christ Jesus from the dead, gave new life to those who are united to Christ Jesus. By grace He saved us when we believed.  We are now sons and daughters of God by adoption. Look at that 10th verse, we are saved by grace and recreated in Christ Jesus as God’s masterpiece.

Now, we can do “the good things He planned for us long ago!” God does not view any person as disposable. We ―who have experienced the rich love of God through Jesus Christ ―are to love the broken, sin-addicted, and even the pride filled. We are to love our enemies and pray for our persecutors.  We love with the same love as Jesus loves us. We so act knowing every person is redeemable, every life precious. The Great Commission is not a plan for building an organization, but of the mission of love that changes the world. We have the testimony of grace.


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