Daily Devotional 2-14-20

Living as Saved
By Rev. Emmanuel Afful

Then the Lord said, “I have seen how cruelly my people are being treated in Egypt; I have heard them cry out to be rescued from their slave drivers. I know all about their sufferings, and so I have come down to rescue them from the Egyptians and to bring them out of Egypt to a spacious land, one which is rich and fertile and in which the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites now live. Exodus 3:7-8

I love the stories of the Israelites in the Old Testament. They reveal the richness of God’s love for His people. Those narratives are metaphors for us, Christians, today. They also lead us to appreciate and appropriate the love of God in Christ. For example, the story of the Israel’s exodus from Egypt to the Promised Land is a metaphor for the Christian’s salvation and deliverance from sin and the world into the kingdom of God. 

The Israelites had been in slavery in Egypt for centuries. One word, bondage, summarized their life. They were hopeless, with no sign of rescue from the wickedness of their masters. They lived and raised their families in bondage so much that suffering became normal to them. Each day came with the expectation to be hurt by the very economy they suffered to build. Not feeling pain was an occasional blessing! Worse off, they had no idea of the true God of their ancestor Abraham. 

Then God commissions a deliverer, Moses, to lead the Israelites from Egypt. And, in His words to Moses, He said, “I have seen how cruelly my people are being treated…” You see, the Israelites did not know God, but God knew them. Before He gave them the law He called them “my people.” He gave them the law after they were saved from bondage. God wanted them to live as his treasured people, so he gave them the laws. The same is true for Christians today.  God saved us not because we obeyed some rules, but because we simply believed and accepted Jesus Christ as our savior and Lord. We respond, then, to God’s love with the way we live. Thus, belief leads to behavior.

My dad loved me wholly when I was a kid. He knew when to discipline and pamper me. But, as a child I did not understand why sometimes he did not allow me to do what I wanted. Now I understand. When he did not allow me to have my way, He was preventing me from trouble.

Friends, the only way we show that we have been saved by grace is how we live our lives. Do not see God’s invitation to live right as burdensome; see it as a way of responding to His love in Christ Jesus.  

PRAYER: Holy Spirit, grant me the grace to live as one saved from sin. Help me to lift up the weak and not condemn them.