Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will—to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding, he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ. – Ephesians 1:3-10
We were born with sin and darkness in our hearts and in great need of healing. Overwhelmed by our mistakes and destined to repeat them, we have all experienced shame and guilt. The world around us offers quick-fixes and magic solutions that crumble quickly under any real pressure. We search desperately for answers and meaning, but the search leaves us more deeply broken.
God loves us so much that He sees and loves us even in our brokenness. Not only does He see us but He made a way for His strength to overcome our weakness… by giving His very Son, coming to earth as a man, and dying the death that we deserve. It is God’s grace that pardons all our sins and makes us new (Romans 5:8). He then cleanses and heals our brokenness. His grace replaces our shame and we are changed from masters of sin to sons and daughters in His Kingdom.
2 Corinthians 8:9 explains that it was by the grace of Jesus that all of this is possible… “that though He was rich, yet for our sake He became poor, so that we, through His poverty might become rich.” When we receive God’s love, we embrace the fact that we are weak and let His power be the strength of our lives. We live in the realization of our imperfection and welcome Him to fill our lives to overflowing.
Research: Who’s Helping?
Today, we want you to start researching how the needs you learned about yesterday are being met. Look at the list of needs you made yesterday and pick the one that you feel most passionate about helping to meet. Next, choose a place where that pain is particularly prevalent. Maybe you feel strongly about poverty in Asia, education funding in your state, or people who don’t have enough food in your own city. Whatever you choose, your next step is to research organizations that are helping people affected by that issue. Find as many organizations as you can. What do they do? How do they help people? Make another list, this time of the top three organizations you would be interested in working with.
Activity: Silence for the Silenced
Sometime today, take half an hour and sit in complete silence, thinking and praying specifically about those in the world who don’t know that they’re God’s beloved—who don’t understand that their true identity is in Christ. Ask God to come into the lives of those who don’t know him and pray that He will reveal their true selves to them and give them hope. If it becomes difficult to be silent, think about those across the globe who are silenced by others every day. Pray for those who are trying to bring identity and hope to those around them but whose voices aren’t allowed to be heard. Pray that God will open avenues for them to speak and save the lost.