Ephesians 2:1-10: The Gift

I'm writing this from our back porch of our new house. There are birds a-singin and a crisp cool breeze. The only thing that taints it even a little bit is the fact that Marley and Melvin had me up at about 5:30, and I haven't been able to get back to bed since.

I thought about not doing the bible study blog today. I left my good bible at the office, and I took the morning off to attempt to recoup the lost sleep from this whole week. But first of all, this thing is starting to get habitual for me, and that's good both for my writing and for my faith walk. And secondly, I have the entire internet as my accountability partner, so I figured I'd be hearing from you guys.

That all had me thinking about the teaching I did last night at Veritas. I don't know if it was just that I was having an off night, or if it was the subject matter was a bit weighty, but the kids seemed to be lost in what I was teaching. We were working through what it's like to live as a Christian both in church AND in our normal, every day coming and going lives. We talked about what kind of movies we watched, and what king of music we listened to, and what kind of words we were more comfortable saying outside of the church than we were inside the church. And as I was looking out over the crowd, I realized I was seeing a lot of blank faces.

I wonder if we too often put too much emphasis on the works of our faith. I mean yes it's important that we get ourselves into spiritual disciplines, and it's important that we live like Christ followers in the communities we've been called to live in (work, school, etc...). But as I was reading this morning's passage it occurred to me that maybe we don't focus enough on Christ's REMARKABLE gift of grace. In Ephesians 2:8-9 spells it out pretty excellently: For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing, it is the gift of God--not the result of works so that no one may boast.

This isn't to say that there isn't some response to the grace of God. There surely is. But as I keep replaying the tape in my mind from last night, I wonder if we established that the way we live our lives is meant to be a response to God's grace, not a means by which to earn it. I wonder how many times I remind our youth group kids that the grace of Christ is enough to overwhelm us with love, that he chose to redeem us and loves us enough to give himself up for us (more on this later I think...). And I think sometimes I get even a little caught up in my performance of my "works," to the point that I forget that I am a redeemed child of God.

So today, as you spend some time with or thinking about your students, pray that you could show them the gift of Grace in some remarkable way. Chances are the best way to do that is simply to be overwhelmed by the grace that God has offered you.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go check out a new coffee house in town. Let's do 2:11-22 for tomorrow!