“Nothing For Anyone To Boast Of” ( Ephesians 2: 8 – 10, NEB ) by Carley Evans

“For it is by His grace you are saved, through trusting Him; it is not your own doing. It is God’s gift, not a reward for work done. There is nothing for anyone to boast of.  For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to devote ourselves to good deeds for which God has designed us.”

We — you and I — are designed by God “to devote ourselves to good deeds.” Yet, “we are God’s handiwork.” He designs us and saves us. “It is not [our] own doing. It is God’s gift.” Our salvation, even our good deeds, are not “reward(s) for work done.” We do not earn the right to perform those good deeds; we do not earn our entrance into the heavenly places. Jesus goes to prepare a place for us; the place is His handiwork, not ours.

“God, rich in mercy, for the great love He bears us, brings us to life with Christ even when we are dead in our sins; it is by grace you are saved. And in union with Christ Jesus He raises us up and enthrones us with Him in the heavenly realms, so that He might display in the ages to come how immense are the resources of His grace.” (Ephesians 2: 4 – 7)

God’s mercy is rich; His grace is resourceful. His kindness is beyond us. If we are to boast, we are to boast of the Lord — of His mercy, His kindnesses, His grace. Amen.

“Living Water” (John 4: 10, HCSB) by Carley Evans

The gift of God of which the woman at the well is unaware stands before her and asks her for a drink of water. She knows enough of Jesus to realize He should not be asking her for anything for she is Samaritan and He is Jewish. Jesus should be avoiding her and her entire geographic region; but He is not. Instead, He is come to make her acquaintance and to ask for her assistance and to give her the greatest gift ever — living water. This water He gives quenches her thirst, meets all her needs at every level of her being. She will never want again as long as she accepts His gift — and His gift is Himself. He is the Living Water.

Come now, let us reason together: God is giving Himself to you. Won’t you take His drink and never thirst again?