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March 31 | Bible in a Year: Judges 11-12; Luke 6:1-26

Inheritance Isn’t Earned

He predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will.
Ephesians 1:5
READ EPHESIANS 1:3–14

“Thanks for dinner, Dad,” I said as I set my napkin on the restaurant table. I was home on a break from college and, after being gone for a while, it felt strange to have my parents pay for me. “You’re welcome, Julie,” my dad replied, “but you don’t have to thank me for everything all the time. I know you’ve been off on your own, but you’re still my daughter and a part of the family.” I smiled. “Thanks, Dad.”

In my family, I haven’t done anything to earn my parents’ love or what they do for me. But my dad’s comment reminds me that I haven’t done anything to deserve to be a part of God’s family either.

In the book of Ephesians, Paul tells his readers that God chose them “to be holy and blameless in his sight” (1:4), or to stand without blemish before Him (5:25-27). But this is only possible through Jesus, in whom “we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace” (1:7). We don’t have to earn God’s grace, forgiveness, or entrance into His family. We simply accept His free gift.

When we turn our lives over to Jesus, we become children of God, which means we receive eternal life and have an inheritance waiting for us in heaven. Praise God for offering such a wonderful gift!
By Julie Schwab

REFLECT & PRAY
Faithful God, thank You for freely giving Your Son so I can be a part of Your family. Help me to honor You in all You’ve done for me.
In what ways do you feel or act as if you have to earn God’s love? How can you practice living in the freedom of His love?

SCRIPTURE INSIGHT
Ephesians 1:3-14 praises God for His work of creation and redemption. Paul goes to great lengths to describe and celebrate the goodness of God for His grace and promise. Twice Paul mentions that our salvation is in accordance with His good pleasure or “according to the purpose of His will” (vv. 5, 9 ESV). God made the decision to lavish grace on those who would be saved in Jesus Christ, and He took delight in extending that grace. J.R. Hudberg
 
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