Verse for today – “to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved (Ephesians 1:6).”
When I was young, I was playing with matches and some dry leaves by one of the large out-buildings on my parents’ farm. I was fascinated with fire. Within 5 minutes the flames were 15 feet in the air going up the side of that dry, old, wooden structure. Terrified, I ran to the house and in my ignorance brought out a glass of water to try to quench a 15-foot fire. Fortunately, my mom, seeing me acting strange, followed me and soon the whole family was subduing the blaze. After it was quenched and no real damage done, the investigation began. I had 4 brothers and a sister, and my brothers found a small piece of glass near the pile of leaves. Mostly due to my silence they concluded that the sun and the glass started the fire. However, I am not so sure that was my dad’s conclusion. I think this may have been my first real experience with grace. Dad never brought that fire up to me again, ever!
I have made so many mistakes in life—some of them youthful ignorance and foolishness, like that fire, others my own selfishness, rebellion, and sin. Because of God’s love and Jesus’ work on the cross, taking my guilt on Himself, and paying my penalty, I am forgiven. This is grace! We already went over this truth in verse 2, and I encourage you to read that section again. Thinking about God’s grace on a regular basis can be very refreshing. God’s grace is amazing and deep!
One additional thought for today, as you consider grace again, think about the emphasis shown in this verse. Grace was freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. Who is this Beloved One? Why is He so closely associated with God’s grace? The answer is Jesus is the Beloved One and this may seem obvious; however, it is important to emphasize this truth. The reason God can extend grace is because of Jesus. He is God’s Son and He is greatly loved for many reasons. Think about these words spoken by the Father when Jesus was baptized: “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased (Matt. 3:17).” Then later, in Colossians 1:13, the Bible says: “For He [God] rescued us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son.”
Jesus is not only loved by God; He is also deeply loved by Christians. Peter said: “and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory (1 Peter 1:8).” Those who belong to Jesus deeply love Him because He gave His life to rescue them. When God sent Jesus, He sent GRACE.