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At This Time

Daily Reading: Ephesians 2

Scripture Focus: Remember that you were at that time... (Ephesians 2.12a)

Devotional Thought: There is an old hymn that I grew up singing. It goes like this:

“Once I was bound by sin’s galling fetters, Chained like a slave, I struggled in vain; But I received a glorious freedom, When Jesus broke my fetters in twain. Glorious freedom, wonderful freedom, No more in chains of sin I repine! Jesus the glorious Emancipator, Now and forever He shall be mine.” (Haldor Lillenas, Glorious Freedom.)

I like it because it says that what I was, I am no longer!

I think the Apostle Paul would have enjoyed that hymn. He reminded the Ephesians that they were at one time...

· Separated from Christ. The great gulf between the holiness of God and the sinfulness of humanity is deeper than the Grand Canyon and wider than the Pacific Ocean. How could they ever cross it?

· Alienated from God's people. Not only were they spiritually dead, but they were also far removed from people who could help them find their way to God.

· Strangers to the covenant. God has been reaching out to humanity from the beginning, desiring to bless them. The Ephesians didn't have a clue about any of that.

· Hopeless. No life. No friends. No blessings. No hope.

· Without God. This was the crux of the problem. They had lived their lives apart from God, not giving a thought to his requirements.

Yes, they were thoroughly lost, and so were we. The good news? God crossed the divide when Jesus came to earth 2000 years ago. "Now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ" (v. 13). Hallelujah! I am no longer bound by sin, but am now washed by the blood!

Prayer: Thanks be to you, O God, for giving me hope, for giving me new life in Christ. The old has passed away. Behold! All things have become new! Amen.

Psalm of the Day: Psalm 147.12-20

12 Praise the Lord, O Jerusalem!

Praise your God, O Zion!

13 For he strengthens the bars of your gates;

he blesses your children within you.

14 He makes peace in your borders;

he fills you with the finest of the wheat.

15 He sends out his command to the earth;

his word runs swiftly.

16 He gives snow like wool;

he scatters frost like ashes.

17 He hurls down his crystals of ice like crumbs;

who can stand before his cold?

18 He sends out his word, and melts them;

he makes his wind blow and the waters flow.

19 He declares his word to Jacob,

his statutes and rules to Israel.

20 He has not dealt thus with any other nation;

they do not know his rules.

Praise the Lord!

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