Have you ever been excluded from anything? Kicked to the side? Ignored? That was most of my Junior High years. Having been moved to a bigger school, separated from my friends, and by nature shy, I was an easy target. It was a horrible feeling and for three years I hated going to school. Being left out in the cold, without a friend in the world, surrounded daily by hostility is a terrible position to be in.
That is exactly where we all were before Jesus rescued us. Here is apostle Paul's description in point form:
"Therefore, remember that
- formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and
- called 'uncircumcised' by those who call themselves 'the circumcision' (that done in the body by the hands of men)
Remember that at that time you were
- separate from Christ
-excluded from citizenship in Israel and
- foreigners to the covenants of the promise
- without hope
- and without God in the world." (Ephesians 2:11-12)
Alone, vulnerable, bullied, owned by the enemy of God, excluded, foreigners, without hope. Pretty dark times. It is good for us to remember these things so our hearts will be filled with gratitude and praise because our Father was not satisfied to leave us kicked to the side. He had a plan to adopt us and he did it through the first born:
"But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought bear through the blood of Christ." (Ephesians 2:13)
Isn't that an incredible truth to wake up to or go to bed with. We can never forget what we were so we can never forget what Jesus has done for us. We can never get so set and comfortable in our new skin, new situation that we forget the grace and love that was pored into us. Yes, we must grow and mature but we cannot afford to forget.
If we forget we may grow spiritually fat and lazy. We may forget the foundation of our praise and worship. We may forget to be humbly grateful. We may even allow a complaining spirit to occupy our mouth. We may set our eyes on those things that have no great value and forget that which has worth beyond compare. We can't afford to forget.
Paul told us to remember. We are a branch that has been grafted into the vine. We have been adopted into this family. We are 100% sons and daughters but remember that for which we must be eternally grateful. Our Father has done a great thing for us by becoming our Father. Remember and praise him for this incredible act of love.