February 18, 2020 • Life for Leaders
Grace to all who love our Lord Jesus Christ with an undying love.
In the final verse of Ephesians, Paul offers “grace to all who love our Lord Jesus Christ with an undying love” (6:24). It’s not surprising that we find grace in this emphatic place in the letter. After all, grace has been one of its major themes.
In Ephesians 1, we learn of God’s “glorious grace” and “the riches of God’s grace” (1:6-7). Chapter 2 highlights “the incomparable riches of his grace expressed in kindness to us in Christ Jesus” (2:7). In fact, it is “by grace” that we have been saved (2:8). As people saved by grace into new life, we are given even more grace so that we might participate in the ministry of Christ in the world (4:7).
Grace, as you may recall, is God’s unmerited kindness. It is undeserved favor. We don’t earn God’s grace by anything we do, say, or feel. What we do in this life in service to God and others is a response to grace, not the cause of grace. We who have been saved by God’s grace in Christ live each day by grace as we do the good works God has planned for us (2:10).
These good works include far more than what we do in church, at the local soup kitchen, or on mission trips—as valuable as these may be. We are to do the good works of God in every sector of life, in our places of work and our places of play, in our private lives and our public lives, as we spend our money and exercise our right to vote. God, as you may recall, is in the business of uniting “all things in heaven and on earth under Christ” (1:10). All things were created by God. All things matter to God. All things will be redeemed and restored by God. With this hope we live our lives, doing all things by grace for God’s purposes and glory.
Something to Think About:
When you think of God’s grace, what comes to mind?
In what ways have you experienced God’s grace?
Can you think of a time when your experience of God’s grace helped you to be gracious to someone else?
How does God’s grace help you in your daily work?
Something to Do:
Talk with your small group or a Christian friend about what it means to live by grace each day.
Gracious God, yes, gracious God! You are indeed rich in grace. Thank you for your grace at work in our lives, saving us from death to life, empowering us to serve you and others, forgiving us when we fail, encouraging us when we’re discouraged.
Help me, Lord, to receive your grace with gratitude and freedom. Keep me from thinking that I need to earn your grace, as if this were even possible. As you pour out your grace upon me, may I be a channel of your grace to others. Help me to be gracious with my co-workers, my neighbors, and my family members. May I show grace to the grocery clerk and the person behind the rental car counter. In every relationship of my life, may your grace be evident. To you be all the glory! Amen.
Explore more at The High Calling archive, hosted by the Theology of Work Project:
The Benefits of Extending Grace toward Employees
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.