March 10, 2017
Read: Ephesians 2:11–22
Bible in a Year: Deuteronomy 11–13; Mark 12:1–27
You are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people.—Ephesians 2:19
A young African refugee who goes by the name of Steven is a man without a country. He thinks he may have been born in Mozambique or Zimbabwe. But he never knew his father and lost his mother. She fled civil war, traveling country to country as a street vendor. Without ID and unable to prove his place of birth, Steven walked into a British police station, asking to be arrested. Jail seemed better to Steven than trying to exist on the streets without the rights and benefits of citizenship.
The plight of living without a country was on Paul’s mind as he wrote his letter to the Ephesians. His non-Jewish readers knew what it was like to live as aliens and outsiders (2:12). Only since finding life and hope in Christ (1:13) had they discovered what it meant to belong to the kingdom of heaven (Matt. 5:3). In Jesus, they learned what it means to be known and cared for by the Father He came to reveal (Matt. 6:31-33).
Paul realized, however, that as the past fades from view, a short memory can cause us to forget that, while hope is the new norm, despair was the old reality.
May our God help us to live in security—to know each day the belonging that we have as members of His family is by faith in Jesus Christ and to understand the rights and benefits of having our home in Him. —Mart DeHaan
Lord, as we remember how hopeless we were before You found us, please help us not to forget those who are still on the street.
Hope means the most to those who have lived without it.
INSIGHT: It’s easy to feel lost. The apostle Paul knew some of his readers felt that way. In his letter to the Ephesians, he wrote to them about being part of God’s family. They were no longer “foreigners” and “excluded” (2:12) but were “fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household” (v. 19). How does knowing you are part of God’s family help when you feel lost and alone? J.R. Hudberg
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