For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God. Ephesians 2:8
First-century Ephesus is a bustling Roman metropolis. About 10 years before the Apostle Paul’s letter, he visits the city to share the message of Jesus. A group of Jesus-followers begins to grow. It’s to this early Christian community that Paul writes, while imprisoned. Though this passage is often used in the context of evangelism, it’s written to Ephesians believers trying to understand what it means to follow Jesus and be in the family of God. In fact, Paul begins his letter by referring to them as faithful saints (Ephesians 1:1). Paul knows 1st Century Jesus-followers need to be reminded of how bad they were, how good they have it and how God created them for change.
21st Century Jesus-followers need this message too. These ten verses contain a rich description of the gospel—the good news of Jesus. While it may seem like Christianity 101, it’s often easy for us to get off track. We add or take away something from the gospel. That’s why we can’t allow ourselves to forget how bad it was, how good it is and how God created us for change.
IN YOUR CHAIR TIME TODAY
Open your journal and write the word “Remember” at the top of the page. On the left-hand side, write “how bad it was” then give yourself some space and write “how good it is” followed by a bit more space and then “created for change”. Go through Ephesians 2:1-10 and put the words that jump out to you from the passage below the phrases. Feel free to add other things that come to mind for each prompt as well. Ask God to open your heart to what he has for you through the passage this week.
2023 SPIRITUAL PRACTICES
Join us all of 2023 developing a different spiritual practice each month. SPIRITUAL PRACTICES are intentional regular activities to deepen our relationship with God and mold us to be more like Jesus.
February is SABBATH. Keep track of our spiritual practices at beyondtheweekend.org/spiritualpractices.
SPIRITUAL PRACTICE TIP One element of Sabbath is staying close to home. This helps us see the joy, peace and rest that’s right here for us. Look at a map and see what parks, restaurants, coffee shops or points of interest are within a few miles of your home. Consider visiting one on your next Sabbath.
Download a printable PDF of the BTW week here.