Read Romans 5:6-11
This passage is pretty straightforward. It only has one thing to say, and if you’ve been going to church for awhile, you probably already know it: grace. We aren’t awarded based on our deeds, but based on who God is and what He has promised. As familiar as it seems, it’s wise to reflect on a passage like this one. The culture we live in, even our churches and often our hearts, are easily persuaded against the idea of free grace. We want to believe that what we have, we have earned. It goes beyond money; it can be status, relationships, a good family, a thrilling Instagram feed. And definitely our salvation. But what Romans (and the rest of the bible) reminds us over and over is: everything that is good is a free gift from God.
Question for Reflection: How has God blessed you beyond what you deserve?
Read Ephesians 2:1-10
This section begins with a recap of what we read in Romans. Salvation is a free gift from God, and so is everything else that is good in our lives. This passage goes on to explain why: for God’s glory. The life that God has planned for us is better than the life we would plan for ourselves, because God’s plan is perfect for God’s own glory. Anything good that comes from our lives is part of God’s workmanship, which He “prepared beforehand” (v.10). This specifically includes our good works! The passage also tells us that reflecting on this truth fosters humility: “so that no one may boast” (v.9). Instead of our lives being a portrait of what humans can do, our lives are portraits of what God can do.
Question for Reflection: Think about the fact that whatever life God has given you is for His glory. Praise Him for it.
Reflections by Wayne and Amy Giacalone