Time Alone With God daily devotional

Thursday, December 15

Time Alone With God daily devotional

Written by Pastor Phil Stout of JAXNAZ Church

Read: Ephesians 2:11-18

Ephesians 2:11-18

New 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.

Start

Consider: In the Old Testament the people who heard the messianic prophecies considered them to be promises given to the nation of Israel. They were. But there was more to those promises. When we look at the promise—the covenant—in its original form as it was given to Abraham, we read that God told Abraham, “Through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed” (Genesis 22:18). The “offspring” refers to the nation out of which Jesus would come and “all nations” includes you and me.

In today’s scripture reading Paul describes the fulfillment of that promise as the peace that Messiah brings. Jesus brings peace to us individually by his death and resurrection—by the forgiveness of our sins and restoring us to a right relationship with God. But there is another peace that Jesus brings…

“His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace, and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.” (Ephesians 2:15-18)
No wonder Paul says…

“There is neither Jew nor Greek (gentile), slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” (Galatians 3:28)

The peace proclaimed by the angels in Bethlehem means that the peace of Christ can rule in our hearts (Colossians 3:15). But it also means that Christ came to break down the walls of hostility among the nations. He came to do what the angels promised—bring peace on earth.

Pray: Mediate on what Paul meant in Ephesians 2:14 when he said, “He himself is our peace.” Praise Jesus for that reality.

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