WEEK 33

July 12 – July 18

DAILY READINGS

Sunday

Ephesians 2:1-10

Monday

I John 5:6-12; Psalm 96:6-13; Proverbs 19:19-22

Tuesday

Romans 9:1-29; Psalm 97:1-12; Proverbs 19:23-25

Wednesday

Romans 9:30-33; Romans 10:1-21; Psalm 98:1-9; Proverbs 19:26-29

Thursday

Romans 11:1-10; Psalm 99:1-9; Proverbs 20:1-3

Friday

Romans 11:11-36; Psalm 100:1-5; Proverbs 20:4-6

Saturday

Romans 12:1-8; Psalm 101:1-8; Proverbs 20:7-9

DEVOTIONAL: READ EPHESIANS 2:1-10

There are many passages throughout the Bible that give a clear picture of the gospel: Jesus came to this earth and died for sinners so that we may have eternal life in Him. One great example is Paul’s writing in Ephesians 2. Paul tells us that at one time everyone was dead in their transgressions and sins. We were still wandering about–breathing, laughing, and playing–following “the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air” (Ephesians 2:2), but we were dead to God. While we were all once this way, those who have not yet called on the name of Jesus are still living this way, never looking up to acknowledge the reality of God. For those who live life in this manner, there is no hope beyond what this world has to offer and they live in the shadow of God’s wrath. The ruler of the kingdom of the air continues to be at work to distract them from the abundant life that God offers.

Paul then makes a destiny-altering transition in Ephesians 2:4-5: “But because of his great love for us, God who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ…” Those who believe in Christ have been made alive! God is not stingy with His mercy. Mercy overflows and is available for all who will receive it through His equally abundant grace. Mercy is when we don’t get what we truly deserve–punishment for our sin. Grace is when we get what we don’t deserve–eternal life with Him.

Twice in these ten verses Paul reiterates that it is “by grace you have been saved.” Grace excludes any contribution on our behalf. It is simply a gift of God that is made available for us to receive.

REFLECTION

Do you recall what it felt like to be spiritually dead, thinking you were alive? What has changed since that time? Or if you have not yet accepted Christ’s invitation of grace and mercy, what is hindering you from receiving this gift?

In light of God’s free gift of grace, how do you express gratitude to God?

In Ephesians 2:10 it says, “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” What do you think are those good works you are intended to do, and how are you living that out?

DISCUSSION

What is something you hope for in your future?

PRAYER

Thank You, Father, for being so rich in mercy that You gave Your only Son, Jesus, that I might have life. When I was lost in darkness, You brought eternal light. When I was trapped in dead-end ways of life, You provided an escape. Though my spirit was dead, You breathed life into me. Your love made a way.

Jesus, thank You for becoming the way, the truth, and the life. Moved with compassion and motivated by mercy, You sacrificed Your life to bring us into relationship with God. Your life, death, and resurrection have become my salvation.

Until You come to finish the good work You’ve begun in me, I ask that You continue saving me this day, Lord. Save me from my wanderings. Save me from my pride. Save me from jealousy, greed, lust, and every kind of evil. I need You today. Amen.

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