Strangers and Foreigners

(Begin with 1-2 minutes of silence)

If you study out the Scriptures in depth and discover that you’re not very challenged by it, you’re probably not digging deep enough into the text. Just as the process of removing impurities from precious metals has significant challenges, so ought God’s Word challenge us as we are transformed more and more into the image of Christ-likeness. 

Many of the principles in Paul’s letter to the Ephesians were, without a doubt, difficult for the people of Ephesus to read and apply. And right after declaring that Christ had broken down the wall of hostility between Jews and Gentiles (2:14), he continues by writing, So now you Gentiles are no longer strangers and foreigners. You are citizens along with all of God’s holy people. You are members of God’s family (2:19).

On the one hand, the people of Ephesus would have been thrilled to read that they are direct members of God’s family. Having full rights as God’s heirs would’ve been very welcome news! On the other hand, their nationality, status, power, and influence was no longer something that could define their lives. They had to give up how others in their culture identified them and rest in how God defined them. 

READING & PRAYERS:

     EPHESIANS 2:19-22, HEBREWS 13:14

What do you think it would’ve been like for the Christians in Ephesus to not focus on their nationality, status, power, and influence to be the defining factor in their lives? 

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, just like the people of Ephesus, my nationality, status, power, education, or influence cannot lead to a life of true belonging. Today I simply rejoice in the truth that I am part of Your family. With You and Your family, I belong. What a wonderful truth! In Jesus’ name. Amen. 

(End with 1-2 minutes of silence)

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