August 31, 2020 • Life for Leaders
Scripture – Ephesians 2:17-18 (NIV)
He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.
According to Ephesians 2, we have amazing access to God the Father. Through Christ, we are free to approach God just as we are, without pretense or pretending, without feigning or fear. As it says in Hebrews 4, “Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” What an invitation!
We’ve all seen hundreds of photos of John F. Kennedy, the former president of the United States. One of my favorites dates from October 1962. President Kennedy is sitting in the Oval Office, clapping, while his two young children, Caroline and John Jr., dance around joyfully. I expect it didn’t occur to the children at that time how amazing their access to the President was. They were simply enjoying some time with their dad in his office.
You and I will probably never have this kind of access to the Oval Office. But, according to Ephesians 2:18, we have access that is even more amazing. This verse says we have “access to the Father” through Christ and by the Spirit. The Greek word translated here as “access” (prosagoge) could refer to the invitation to approach a king or to the priestly privilege of bringing an offering to the altar in a temple. In either case, such access was a great honor reserved only for special people. How much more amazing would it be to be free to approach God the Father, to draw near as a beloved child. This is an aspect of the peace we have with God, the peace that Christ “preached” to both Jews and Gentiles.
I must confess that I can easily take for granted this privileged access to God. I find it so familiar to draw near to my Heavenly Father that I can forget to be amazed that he welcomes me into his presence. Perhaps you share my nonchalance sometimes. Yet, whether you do or not, I would invite you to reflect on the fact that, because of Christ’s death on the cross, your sin has been washed away. You are now free and welcome to approach the Father. Yes, you can even dance around in God’s presence as he delights in you.
Have you ever been granted special access to someone of importance? If so, how did it feel?
Do you take for granted your access to your Heavenly Father? If so, why? If not, why not?
Do you regularly make use of this access by approaching God in prayer?
Take some time to reflect on the photo of Caroline and John Jr. with their dad. Have you ever felt this kind of freedom with God?
Gracious Heavenly Father, thank you for allowing me to come into your presence. Even more, thank you for inviting me to have intimate fellowship with you, and for making this all possible through Christ.
Forgive me, Lord, when I take for granted the miracle of access to you. Forgive me when I fail to make use of this access. Help me to approach you regularly, humbly, gratefully, eagerly, reverently, and with childlike freedom. Amen.
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Find all Life for Leaders devotions here. Explore what the Bible has to say about work at the unique website of our partners, the High Calling archive, hosted by the Theology of Work Project. Reflection on today’s Life for Leaders theme can be found here: Living According to the Spirit Leads to a New Quality of Life (Romans 8:1–14)
Dr. Mark D. Roberts is a Senior Strategist for Fuller’s Max De Pree Center for Leadership, where he focuses on the spiritual development and thriving of leaders. He is the principal writer of the daily devotional, Life for Leaders, and the founder of the De Pree Center’s Flourishing in the Third Third of Life Initiative. Previously, Mark was the Executive Director of the De Pree Center, the lead pastor of a church in Southern California, and the Senior Director of Laity Lodge in Texas. He has written eight books, dozens of articles, and over 2,500 devotions that help people discover the difference God makes in their daily life and leadership. With a Ph.D. in New Testament from Harvard, Mark teaches at Fuller Seminary, most recently in his D.Min. cohort on “Faith, Work, Economics, and Vocation.” Mark is married to Linda, a marriage and family counselor, spiritual director, and executive coach. Their two grown children are educators on the high school and college level.