August 3, 2020 • Life for Leaders
Scripture – Ephesians 2:8-10 (NIV)
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
Some of the most important, life-changing words you’ll ever encounter are found in Ephesians 2:8-10: “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
What are the most important words you’ve ever heard? When I think back over my life, I remember words such as “Now, by the authority granted to me as a minister of the Gospel, I pronounce you husband and wife” or “Congratulations, Mom. It’s a boy!” Perhaps you remember when your name was announced at graduation or the first time you heard someone special to you say: “I love you.”
I would suggest that you are about to hear—well, to read, at any rate—some of the most important words you will ever encounter in life. These words have changed the course of history through their impact on the Christian church. And they have changed the course of millions of individual lives as people heard these words and were transformed by them.
Tomorrow, we will begin our investigation of this crucial passage. For now, let me encourage you to read it several times, slowly and prayerfully. Let these words stir your thoughts and penetrate your heart. Hear them as if for the first time and be astounded by their transformational good news.
Now, once again, here is Ephesians 2:8-10 – “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
As you read Ephesians 2:8-10, what stands out to you?
What perplexes you?
What touches your heart?
I fear that Bible memorization is becoming a lost discipline. When I have the whole text of Scripture—in multiple translations—at my fingertips, why should I bother to memorize passages of the Bible? Well, one reason is that through memorization we are enabled to reflect more deeply on the text, to move it from our heads to our hearts. So, as we take time to examine closely Ephesians 2:8-10, let me encourage you to memorize this passage.
Gracious God, thank you for the life-changing words of Ephesians 2:8-10. As I begin studying these words, please teach me your truth. Open my mind to know you better and to know who I am in relationship with you. Transform my heart as your Spirit moves in me through your Word. And may I begin to live out your truth in new ways. To you be all the glory, 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 Theology of Work Project. Commentary on today’s Life for Leaders theme can be found here: God’s Grand Plan: A Theological Vision (Ephesians 1:1–3:21)
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.