January 2020 brings with it so many different possibilities, excitement, and goals. With the start of a new decade, it is important to look back to see how much God worked in and through your life. Proper perspective is often the lens in which we can see God’s hand in our lives. Each year comes with its obstacles and challenges which in turn brings anxiety and fear. Yet we know that God is always working things out for his glory and our good. That is what a loving father does.
One of the best passages to meditate on at the beginning of the year is Ephesians 2:1–10. “And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience — among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ — by grace, you have been saved — and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” Paul outlines the past, present, and the future.
First, in Ephesians 2:1–3, we are reminded of our past. Each one of us use to be without Christ. Our sin separated us from God. We had no hope and no future. Second, Paul speaks about the present in verses four and five. God loved you so much that he did not leave us dead in our sin. Get this, “Even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ.” Salvation is a gift from God to you. You cannot earn it and you do not deserve it, yet God gives it freely to all who would believe. It keeps getting better. Paul writes about the future in Ephesians 2:6–7. Once we place our faith in Jesus Christ, we have eternal security. He will raise us up, and we will be seated with Christ. Did you get that? You will be seated with Christ! Forever and ever! Why? Verse seven reads, “So that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.” What a great day that will be!
Paul goes on to sum up this section in verses eight, nine, and ten. You have been saved by grace, not by works. God has created you to be his workmanship. This workmanship can be translated as masterpiece. He made you to reflect him. God is always working even when we cannot see it. Study this passage. Meditate on its truths.
As we enter into 2020 may we remember what God has done for us in the past, what he is currently doing, and what he has in store for the life to come. May each one of us reflect God’s love in how we speak and treat one another and live out our daily lives. 2020 is here. May we be who God has called us to be!
— Jacob Chilton