TODAY’S READING: Ephesians 2:6-9
“for by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God” EPH 2:8
I love receiving gifts. I love watching others receive gifts. I love giving gifts. Gifts are often surrounded by great smiles, joy-filled eyes and loud shouts of appreciation and thankfulness. Many of us have poignant memories of significant gifts received whilst growing up. For me, my first set of golf clubs, a hiking rucksack and a pool table are all memorable gifts which I was massively thankful for, each adding to a happy birthday or Christmas.
Perhaps the greatest gift I have ever received was a BMW Sport Convertible - not a toy model but the actual car! What made this even better was that it was nowhere near my birthday or Christmas, it was just simply a gift given to my family from a generous owner. I received it with great thankfulness, joy and also surprise that someone would be so kind to give me such a generous gift.
Ephesians 2:6-9 shows us in great detail the incredibly generous gift we have received through Jesus Christ and also, no matter how hard we try, we simply cannot earn the gift of salvation. It is a gift, given by the grace of God. It is something we will never deserve and there has never been - or ever will be - such a great gift given!
We explored in previous verses how we were supernaturally raised from death to life. The great gift we receive through Christ has far more for us than the already miraculous gift of life. Our salvation means that we will be seated “with him in heavenly places” (v6). Scriptures point towards great banquet that we are invited to. There is beautiful imagery of us sitting in a place we never could dream of - the presence of the Living God.
Verse seven says, “so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus”. It gives us a sense, that for all eternity, we will continue to receive the gift of Christ’s grace (that is, forgiveness we didn’t earn or deserve) and His kindness (unpolluted and forever growing in revelation to us).
A stand-out part of this gift is that, “by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God”. This incomparable gift is not a work of merit. You don’t have to read the bible a thousand times, have prayed for six hours a day your whole life or even have lived a Godly life. You cannot earn it. It is simply, a gift of God.
The worst of sinners who has in their life committed the most terrible of atrocities, on their deathbed, can receive the greatest gift ever given. God’s grace, kindness and love stretches far beyond what our minds can compute and is received through repentance, the power of faith and, ultimately, God’s great grace. Acts 3:19 says, “Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord” (NIV).
Through the power of faith and repentance, we should believe today that we have entered into the hope, kindness, love and eternal power of the greatest gift; eternal life in Jesus Christ. What a privilege we have to know Him and an incredible future to look towards!
Thank you, Father for the greatest gift ever given; your son Jesus Christ and thank you that my salvation is not based upon the works of my life but is a gift I receive today through the power of faith.
• Read Ephesians 2:6-9
• Pray today a prayer of thanks for the gift of God’s grace.
• Say / write down three reasons why you are thankful that your salvation isn’t earned by works but is a gift through faith.