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When we're stuck, God's grace gets us unstuck

July 7, 2022

Daily Scripture

Ephesians 2:1-10

1 At one time you were like a dead person because of the things you did wrong and your offenses against God. 2 You used to live like people of this world. You followed the rule of a destructive spiritual power. This is the spirit of disobedience to God’s will that is now at work in persons whose lives are characterized by disobedience. 3 At one time you were like those persons. All of you used to do whatever felt good and whatever you thought you wanted so that you were children headed for punishment just like everyone else.
4-5 However, God is rich in mercy. He brought us to life with Christ while we were dead as a result of those things that we did wrong. He did this because of the great love that he has for us. You are saved by God’s grace! 6 And God raised us up and seated us in the heavens with Christ Jesus. 7 God did this to show future generations the greatness of his grace by the goodness that God has shown us in Christ Jesus.
8 You are saved by God’s grace because of your faith [or through his faithfulness]. This salvation is God’s gift. It’s not something you possessed. 9 It’s not something you did that you can be proud of. 10 Instead, we are God’s accomplishment, created in Christ Jesus to do good things. God planned for these good things to be the way that we live our lives.

Daily Reflection & Prayer

This letter reflected the reality that all of us sometimes find our life stuck (like a tractor in a deep mud hole). It communicated to Christians in Ephesus that the significant positive changes in their lives (cf. Acts 19:18-20) were not something they had accomplished on their own initiative or strength (verse 9). They were God’s accomplishment, God’s “work of art” (Greek poema), living out the kind of beautifully transformed life God desired them to live.

  • Today’s reading said salvation “is God’s gift. It’s not something you possessed.” In what ways does Ephesians’ language fit your life experience? Do you ever pause to reflect on the reality that the good changes in your life are not solely your “accomplishment,” but (even when you have invested hard work in changing habits or patterns) originated in God’s power at work in your life?
  • To what extent have God’s priorities become, not just an occasional exercise that you do when there’s a special church activity, but woven into the way that you live your life? How open are you to letting God continue to reshape the way you live even the “secular” parts of your life—driving, shopping, business activities, paying bills, playing and watching sports, and the like?

Lord Jesus, I want to be your accomplishment, to be an example of what your spiritual craftsmanship can do in a human being. Please keep shaping and guiding me in all I do today. Amen.

GPS Insights

Picture of Janelle Gregory

Janelle Gregory

Janelle Gregory serves on the Resurrection staff as Human Resources Lead Director. Janelle finds that her heart is constantly wrestling with the truth that she needs a Savior, and the times when she's at her very best are when she's just too tired to put up a fight.

Just outside the city limits of my hometown was a hilly plot of land. It was fenced off with a sign that read “No Trespassing.” As any high schoolers without common sense would do, my friend and I ignored the sign. You can imagine our delight when what we found on the other side of the fence was an ATV course. Did we have an ATV? No. Did that stop us from driving on it? See previous reference regarding lack of common sense. In my 1976 Nissan Datsun 710 we attacked the course. It. Was. AMAZING! Over the hills we went, around the twists and turns. It was like we had our own amusement park!

On one of our visits to our secret rollercoaster, we were driving on the steepest of the hills. It’s one that wasn’t just up one side and down the other. This particular hill went up, there was a steep left turn, and then it came down. Imagine a giant upside down U on the side of a hill. I made that turn pretty quickly. All of a sudden, I lost control of the car. Next thing I know, my Datsun was completely on its side. It’s amazing we weren’t hurt and that my car wasn’t damaged (thankfully they built cars like tanks back then). But the situation was bad. What were we to do? There were no cell phones. Even if we had a phone, the list of helpful people we could call without getting into serious trouble for trespassing was limited. We were stuck… literally we were stuck. We walked into town to borrow the phone from a store. We knew the phone number of a guy who knew a guy with a truck. Those guys came to our rescue and got my car unstuck. I honestly don’t know what we would have done without them.

Sometimes we live our lives in such ways that get us stuck. We make decisions that aren’t necessarily the wisest without giving much thought to the consequences. We may not even experience any consequences for a while, which is why we keep making those same poor decisions. Then one day, we find that our trespassing has finally caught up with us. Perhaps it’s a broken trust, a lost opportunity, a loss of ourselves. Whatever it may be, we’re stuck. And there really isn’t much we can do on our own to get unstuck. Thankfully, we don’t need to rely on ourselves to get unstuck. We have a Savior who not only saves us in the eternal sense, but who constantly comes to save us over and over each time we’re stuck. My hope is that you aren’t stuck right now, but if you are, know that we’ve all been stuck at some point. That’s okay. What’s important right now is that you get unstuck. Don’t try to unstick yourself. You’ll only be spinning your wheels and get more stuck. Turn to the one who is always there to get you unstuck. He truly desires to come to your rescue.

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Scripture quotations are taken from The Common English Bible ©2011. Used by permission. All rights reserved.