Time Alone With God daily devotional

Time Alone With God daily devotional

Written by Pastor Phil Stout, JAXNAZ Church

Wednesday, November 2

Read: Ephesians 2:11-22

Ephesians 2:11-22New International Version (NIV)

Jew and Gentile Reconciled Through Christ
11 Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called “uncircumcised” by those who call themselves “the circumcision” (which is done in the body by human hands)— 12 remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ.

14 For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, 15 by setting aside in his flesh the law with its commands and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace, 16 and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. 17 He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. 18 For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.

19 Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. 21 In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. 22 And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.
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Consider: Sometimes Paul stacks images upon images to take us to a deeper level of meaning. In writing to the Ephesians about how God has “destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility” (2:14) between Jew and Gentile, he takes us beyond simple truce-making. He teaches us that we…

…are no longer separated from God’s people (2:13)

…are “one” with God’s people (2:15-16)

…are at peace with one another (2:15)

…“are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people” (2:19)

But he doesn’t stop there. There is one more image—one more vital relationship—he wants us to understand. He tells us that we are “also members of his household” (2:19). We are family!

It only makes sense. If God is our Father, if we have been adopted by him, if Jesus is our brother (see Romans 8:14-17), then you and I are siblings.

As is the case with the concepts of the “body of Christ” and the “bride of Christ,” the idea of the “family of God” brings understanding that calls us to live in a new way. Families must together take responsibility for the weakest members. Families must learn to forgive—to continually forgive—or the home will deteriorate into a battle field. Families must understand the worth of every individual regardless of that person’s ability to “contribute” in a manner that looks successful in our culture. Families must transcend differences in opinions and passions. And families should take pride in every member of the family.

Families eat at the same table. We—the household of faith—eat at the table of the Lord. We take the bread and the wine that reminds us of who we are in Christ and who we are in relationship to one another.

Pray: Ask the Lord how he wants you to adjust your attitudes and behaviors toward his family—the household of faith. Ask him to forgive you of the times you have forgotten to honor other family members above yourself. Ask him to give you a tender spirit toward members of his family, like the attitude you have toward small children in the household. For we are all children of the same Father.

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