A Word from Pastor Stephen – April 2, 2020
“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God—not the result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are what he has made us, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand to be our way of life.” (Ephesians 2:8-10 NRSV)
This is one of the most amazing passages of scripture in the entire Bible. If you try and memorize scripture, these words of Paul should be at the top of your list. We are given value and worth as human beings, not because of anything we do, not by what we have accomplished, not by what we have achieved, and not by how hard we work.
We are saved, we are valued, and we are given worth by the sheer, reckless, absolute grace of God. Let that sink in and it will transform your life. Richard Rohr, a great contemporary spiritual writer said, “Jesus did not come to change the mind of God about humanity; Jesus came to change the mind of humanity about God.”
This whole idea is so hard to fully embrace. We always think that if something is valuable and precious it has to cost of something. In our society we are judged, appraised and valued by many things. We are judged by what we do for a living. We are valued by how much money we make and accumulate. We are assessed by who we know and how much influence we carry.
We earn our way in this world. We fight for a place at the table. We work hard to get where we are at in life. But when we encounter Jesus and his gift of salvation through the cross, we also think this is something we have to earn, or pay for, or do something to merit it. We don’t trust it. But it really is true. We are saved and given worth simply because we are loved by God. That is Good News!
Repeat these beautiful words of Paul every day. “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God.”