February 26, 2017
Read: Ephesians 3:7–13
Bible in a Year: Numbers 15–16; Mark 6:1–29
Through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence.—Ephesians 3:12
A few years ago, a friend invited me to join him as a spectator at a pro golf tournament. Being a first-timer, I had no idea what to expect. When we arrived, I was surprised to receive gifts, information, and maps of the golf course. But what topped it all was that we gained access to a VIP tent behind the 18th green, where we had free food and a place to sit. I couldn’t have gained entry to the hospitality tent on my own though. The key was my friend; it was only through him that I had complete access.
Left to ourselves, we would all be hopelessly separated from God. But Jesus, who took our penalty, offers us His life and access to God. The apostle Paul wrote, “[God’s] intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known” (Eph. 3:10). This wisdom has brought Jew and Gentile together in Christ, who has made a way for us to come to God the Father. “Through faith in [Christ] we may approach God with freedom and confidence” (v. 12).
When we put our trust in Jesus, we receive the greatest access of all—access to the God who loves us and desires relationship with us. —Bill Crowder
Father! Just being able to call You Father is an incredible gift. Thank You for Your Son, Jesus, who has made it possible for me to come into Your presence, to know You personally, and, yes, to call You my Father.
Because of the cross of Christ, we can become friends of God.
INSIGHT: Paul was humbled by memories that left him feeling unworthy to be writing on behalf of Christ and the community he once hated (Eph. 3:8). How could he ever forget the harm he had done to the people of Christ? (Gal. 1:13-14, 23). With his conversion, the Spirit of God gave Paul a heart for the Gentiles he once regarded as outsiders to Israel’s covenant of faith (Eph. 2:11-12). Paul and his readers could now celebrate together the honor of being accepted by God in the name of Christ. Do you wrestle with what it means to not measure up? To feel like an outsider, not welcome in the love of God? If so, then Paul’s letter has great significance. Together we can recall what it means to be welcomed into the presence of God in the full sponsorship of the Son—who lived and died to bring outsiders like us into His Father’s family. Mart DeHaan
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