Friday, April 28, 2023
Don't forget that you Gentiles used to be outsiders. You were called "uncircumcised heathens" by the Jews, who were proud of their circumcision, even though it affected only their bodies and not their hearts. In those days you were living apart from Christ. You were excluded from citizenship among the people of Israel, and you did not know the covenant promises God had made to them. You lived in this world without God and without hope. But now you have been united with Christ Jesus. Once you were far away from God, but now you have been brought near to him through the blood of Christ.
I've been blessed to grow up in a family of faith, have that faith tested through several tough and painful times of trial, and emerge with my faith stronger. That means that this verse is for me. I need to hear it because I wouldn't belong to His family without God's grace. My relationship with the great stories of faith — Joseph saving the people of faith in Egypt without getting even with those who betrayed him, Moses leading God's people to deliverance through God's mighty works in the plagues and their protection in the wilderness, the triumph of David over Goliath — is as an outsider. They have become part of my story because I have been adopted into God's people,  Israel, and grafted into the people of God by grace,  not by race!
Like me, maybe you need to remember where you would be without grace. Not only would we be lost in sin,  but as our verses on relationships today remind us, we would also be outsiders to the people of God and the remarkable stories of the Scriptures. We would be without hope. Even worse, we would be without God!
Praise God! Jesus' gift on the cross and victory in the empty tomb opened the door for all of us who are outsiders by race and because of sin. God brought us near and adopted us into His family by grace. How precious is this grace we have now received because of Jesus! It is so much more than salvation from hell; it is the gift of a story, a family, a people, and a Father! We now have the foundational relationship on which to build all our relationships!
We praise you, God, for Your glorious grace, which you have freely given us in Jesus, the One You love. In Jesus, we have redemption through His blood and the forgiveness of sins. You have adopted us into Your family through the riches of Your glorious grace lavished on us because of Your love. Thank You! Praise You! Forever and ever. Amen. *
Together in Christ is a daily devotional that focuses on what Scripture teaches about godly living in relationships.
'Together in Christ' is written by Phil Ware.
Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
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