“At that time you were without the Messiah, excluded from the citizenship of Israel, and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world.” (Eph 2:12, HCSB)
“In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.” (Eph 2:22, ESV)
Without hope and without God… to God’s dwelling place?! What a metamorphisis!
Testimonies come in all varieties. Just when I think I see a pattern, I hear of a whole new way God has touched someone’s life and I’m amazed at what He can do. He’s an untamed, powerful God that does just as He sees fit and loves to surprise His creation with His creativity.
I never remember not loving Jesus. That’s my salvation testimony. I used to feel a little shortchanged by not having a radical, exciting transformation experience. I would hear stories in church of how God miraculously transformed so-and-so from a this to a that. Incredible stories! I saw people changed. But… I had no salvation “story”. Don’t misunderstand– I have lots of testimonies about other things God has done for me!
But over the years, I’ve come to be so deeply thankful for my salvation “non-story”, and I’ve realized that it’s actually a story of its own.
I am so thankful that God gave me parents who taught me about Jesus from the time I was too young to remember! I’m thankful that He opened my heart and allowed my tender, young soul to love Him. And, I’m thankful that God allowed my faith to transition seamlessly from my parents’ into my very own.
So, it’s for all of those reasons (and more) that the verses I studied from Ephesians this week jumped out at me. As Christians, whether we know the moment the transformation took place or not, it did. God has changed us from someone with no hope and without Him to a person full of hope that He inhabits! Wow!
Paul tells the Ephesians to remember what God has done for them. Remember the changes God has made. Never forget who they now are. And though this section of scripture is primarily about how Christ’s blood unites Jew and Gentile Believers into one with God, it’s also about knowing and remembering that I don’t have to live like one who has no hope. I don’t have to live a life of spiritual deprivation because I have a God who dwells within me (Eph 2:22). I don’t have to be hopeless, and I will never be forsaken. He shows me that again and again through His Word, His guiding hand, and filling me with joy rooted in His promises.
God pulls us from hopelessness into a hope-filled future and, in peace, unites all Christians through Christ’s blood to one another and to Him.
How does He confirm to you that you are now “with hope” and “God’s dwelling place?”
(This post is a part of a series entitled Glorious Grace Fridays: On Fridays (all or some) I’ll be sharing what God’s laying on my heart through the Bible study Glorious Grace that I’m doing with the Hello Mornings ministry. Read why I can say “Hello, Morning!”, here. I’m linking up this post here at the HelloMornings blog.)