TODAY’S READING: Ephesians 2:18-19
“So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God” EPH 2:19
When I was eighteen years old, I made a decision which would totally change my life for the better. In my naivety, I could not imagine how that one decision would transform my life. I had decided to move from Southern England to the gem of God’s earth, the Isle of Man. The move was supposed to be for one year. I now find myself sat here eight years on and in awe of how significantly God has moved in my life and the journey He has taken me on. I couldn’t have imagined it as I took my first steps onto the shores of the place I now call home.
Moving town, job, country, leaving family behind; these are all challenges and changes faced by taking journeys like mine and ones which many of us have had to adapt to after making major, life-changing decisions. One of the best parts of moving to the Isle of Man was discovering Living Hope Church and being warmly accepted into the family. Through the church, I have been so fortunate to make life-long friends; find amazing spiritual mentors; to have been shown love in an incredible way and, to top it all off, find a beautiful wife! What a joy it is to be a member of the household of God here on the Isle of Man.
For me, this is a great picture of how our relationship with God is transformed through the blood of Jesus, “For through him we both have access in one spirit to the father” (v18). I arrived on the island as a stranger to everyone - an alien. I didn’t belong in this location. I was far and distant from anyone I knew and certainly didn’t belong to any church family at that point.
Ephesians 2:19 says, “So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God”. In the NLT version, the second half of the verse is written as, “ you are members of God’s family” and I think this captures what happened to me in moving to the Isle of Man but also what happens to us all through salvation and being brought into a new family; being called sons and daughters of the living God. God is our Heavenly Father and He loves being with his children. He loves His family and He longs to put the lonely [those far off from Him and yet to find this wonderful family we belong to] in family. (Psalm 68.8)
When I consider how we were strangers to God, far off and destined to forever be separated from Him and how we are now able to come near to Him; to cry on His shoulder; to share our deepest thoughts and burdens with Him, it is an amazing privilege and brings me to a place of great thankfulness! What an honour to have such an incredible Heavenly Father who loves us so dearly and isn’t it amazing that we are now members of the household of God and part of His family!
The church family is a powerful picture of this as it reflects the fact that we are now sons and daughters, specially placed in the family of God. Be sure to celebrate and be close to your church family today.
Thank you, Lord, that I am no longer a stranger far from you, but that I am close to you and part of your family as a son/daughter of the living God. Thank you for the church and the incredible picture it is of being part of the family of God!
• Read Ephesians 2:18-19
• Pray for your church family today and thank God for the privilege of being part of it.
• Everyone in the family goes through different seasons of life. Find someone who is thriving in their faith today and encourage them. Find someone who is struggling at the moment and lift them up. Help them carry and conquer the challenges they are facing.