Journal Entry // August 28, 2022
so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. (ESV)Ephesians 2:7
It is a far too easy process to forget the reason and motivation for God extending his rich mercy and kindness upon the “children of wrath” that once lived only in the passions of the flesh and carried out the desires of the body and mind. We are quick to lose sight of this basic understanding of who we were before the love of God took hold of us and lavished upon us the richness of God’s mercy and grace through Christ. That in his rich mercy, God made us alive together with Christ. He took what was dead and breathed the life of the Spirit into our bodies and made us alive. Awakening our hearts to the beauty and magnificence of Christ alone. Why did he do this? God extended his abundance of riches in mercy to us so that we should be a display of his immeasurable riches of grace and kindness in Christ. For all eternity, those who have received this rich and free gift of mercy will be a living testimony to the greatness, kindness, and love of Christ for us. His grace will be the ultimate picture displaying the character of God to a world filled with the “children of wrath,” which we were once considered.
With all this knowledge and understanding, why then do I continue to act at times as though I am a “child of wrath?” Why do I continue to want to live out the passions of the flesh by carrying out the desires of my body and mind? I think a large part of my error in this area is that I think far too little about the meaning of this passage. I take for granted the riches of God’s kindness and mercy toward me. I think so little about all that he has done for me in this life. Not just the material blessings, which have been tremendous, but the spiritual blessings that are always just there. How am I not always on my knees in thanksgiving as I reflect on the rich mercy of God in rescuing me from the wrath that I was heading toward? I seemingly let this wonderous and glorious truth just lie there without ever really thinking about it. I find myself treating the mercy of God and his transformational work in my life as a trinket to be put on the shelf and admired when I randomly notice it.
This passage is challenging me to not just have the knowledge about the rich abundant mercy and grace of God working in my life through Christ, but that I should have the same mindset and motivation for its display in my life. God has done this mighty transformational work in my life so that I can display his immeasurable riches of grace to everyone for eternity. I am a picture of Christ in this world to anyone and everyone. My life has meaning and importance. My life is unique and valuable. Not because of anything I have done or will do, but only because the grace of God is working in and through me to display the love of Christ. I am a simple vessel of the glory of God in Christ Jesus.
This is what should be informing my every decision, my every word, my every thought, my every action. Remembering that I am not to do this in my own strength and understanding. That is the trap of my deceptive enemy. No, I am to live and breathe fully engaged with the Spirit of Christ that is alive in me. I am partnering and engaging with the Spirit of God. There is no room for self-righteousness. The vessel doesn’t draw attention to itself, the vessel exists to simply pour out that which it contains. That is the picture I need before me each and every day. I am filled with the Spirit of God and Christ wants to pour out his love through the Spirit in my life to others. The vessel is important in that it is the delivery mechanism. The object of importance is the life-giving Spirit that lives within this vessel. For all eternity I want to be this vessel that displays the immeasurable riches of God’s mercy, grace, kindness, and love toward his children. I want to have the singular motivation of displaying the beauty of Christ to everyone I meet as I love God with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength which will enable and encourage me to love people as Christ loves all people.