Being the Church Means...

being reconciled.

Day Three – Encounters with alienation

10/1/14

Read Ephesians 2: 13-18

13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ.

14 For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, 15 by abolishing in his flesh the law with its commandments and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new man out of the two, thus making peace, 16 and in this one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. 17 He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. 18 For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.

Sunday's Sermon

Today's Devotional

When you hear the word “alien,” maybe the first thing that pops into your mind is some sort of creature that arrived in a UFO, has laser blasters, and is the most out of this world thing that you have ever seen. We’ve all heard enough stories that we can picture something that is extraterrestrial.

In Colossians 1:21, we were told that once we were “alienated” from God – and you can see the same root word that we would use to describe a Martian. It’s the idea that we were once far away from God, we were once separated from God, we were once so alienated from God – because of our sin – that it was like we were aliens. But, Paul tells us in Ephesians 2, it’s the blood of Jesus that brought us back into a relationship with God.

Sometimes – even when we’re following Jesus – we might feel alienated from God. We might still feel far away from God. Sometimes it’s from sinful choices we make. Sometimes it’s a season of lament or sorrow. Sometimes we can’t quite put our finger on why.

Today's Challenge

Challenge: Think deeply about times when you’ve felt far from God. Were there certain spiritual practices – prayer, service, worship, Scripture reading, for example – that brought you close to God again? Were there other choices that may have prolonged the alienation?

Pray that God would draw you closer to Him, even if your relationship is already flourishing. Pray that He would give you discernment how to “draw near to him” during the times when you feel alienated.

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