Topic: Better Than a Piñata [Sunday February 19, 2017]
Read: Ephesians 2:1–10, Bible in a Year: Leviticus 25; Mark 1:23–45
By grace you have been saved. Ephesians 2:5
There cannot be a Mexican party without a piñata—a carton or clay container filled with candies and treats. Children strike it with a stick and try to break it, hoping to enjoy its contents.
Monks used the piñatas in the sixteenth century to teach lessons to the indigenous people of Mexico. Piñatas were stars with seven points that represented the seven deadly sins. Beating the piñata showed the struggle against evil, and once the treats inside fell to the ground, people could take them home in remembrance of the rewards of keeping the faith.
But we cannot fight evil on our own. God is not waiting for our efforts so that He will show His mercy. Ephesians teaches that “by grace you have been saved through faith, . . . it is the gift of God” (2:8). We don’t beat sin; Christ has done that.
Children fight for the candies from the piñata, but God’s gifts come to all of us when we believe in Jesus. God “has blessed us . . . with every spiritual blessing” (1:3). We have forgiveness of sins, redemption, adoption, new life, joy, love, and much more. We don’t get these spiritual blessings because we have kept the faith and are strong; we get them because we believe in Jesus. Spiritual blessings come only through grace—undeserved grace!
Prayer: Thank You for Your mercy, Lord, which is great and free!
We have been saved by grace. Now we enjoy the many blessings that come by grace.
Today’s reading shows the spiritual condition of those who have not placed their faith in Jesus Christ for salvation. But it also proclaims that new life is freely offered as a remedy to all who believe. In the King James Version, Ephesians 2:1 says, “And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins.” The Greek word translated “quickened” does not appear in the original. However, it appears in verse 5, and many other passages support this concept of quickening or making alive (Col. 2:13; Rom. 6:11–14; 8:10–11). Every member of the human race is dead spiritually and will someday die physically. But through the extraordinary ministry of Jesus Christ through His death and resurrection, all who believe in Him can be “quickened” from death to life.
This message was written By Keila Ochoa [Our Daily Bread Ministries.]