8 You are saved by God’s grace because of your faith.[a] This salvation is God’s gift. It’s not something you possessed. 9 It’s not something you did that you can be proud of. 10 Instead, we are God’s accomplishment, created in Christ Jesus to do good things. God planned for these good things to be the way that we live our lives.
2:8 (a) Or through his faithfulness
I came home to find that there was a decorative package addressed to me on the kitchen counter. The package came without expectation: a happy surprise without cause! It was not my birthday or our anniversary. As I opened the box, I smiled at the fragrant and sweet smell of roses. I thought of the sweet realization of God’s most precious gift, given without cause or expectation.
When you think about it, the gift of God’s salvation comes for most of us without any initial fanfare. Whether as children or just as our younger selves, we don’t know what that gift is or even that we should expect the gift. Yet it comes as a happy surprise. Perhaps we learned about God’s grace at such a young age that this idea has always been present to us. Perhaps the realization catches us off guard and we are left marveling in its wake. However we come to the realization that God’s grace is for us, now we know what we know! Now it is a happy surprise which leaves us in awe.
In Ephesians 2, the writer tells us that God’s grace is not only a gift, but one that is offered without price. Think about it: we cannot buy such a gift, nor do we deserve such a holy treasure. There is nothing we can do or could have done to gain this gift. As verse 9 reminds, “It is not something you did that you can be proud of.” The gift just is! Instead, we are God’s good creation and we are meant to be a part of God’s wonderful plan. In turn, we cannot help but want to celebrate God’s precious gift. We want to be a part of what God can do in the name of Jesus.
by Barbara Carlson
For Pondering & Prayer
Although we did not earn it, God’s grace has come as a happy surprise. In turn, how does such a gift change you?
Gracious God, Your grace has come to me so unexpectedly. Without deserving your salvation, you have redeemed me. I cannot repay your love and grace but it is a happy surprise! May I become worthy and always be thankful for all that you have given. Amen.