Words from the Heart for Tuesday December 3rd, 2019
He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.
Ephesians 2:18 (NIV)
Those Far Away
It is estimated that 2.8 million Canadian citizens live outside of Canada itself. That’s equivalent to 9% of the overall Canadian population. Around 1 million Canadians live in the United States. The next most popular destination is Hong Kong, where approximately 300,000 Canadians are based. Around 4 in 10 Canadians living abroad were born in Canada, but a larger proportion – 6 in 10 – are naturalized Canadian citizens who have moved back abroad — most but not all, to their country of origin.
God began revealing Himself to the world through His covenant relationship with the Jewish people. He chose them as His own. But it wasn’t His plan to limit His grace to the Jewish people alone. Even in the Hebrew Scriptures we see His love for the whole world, and His desire to see men, women and children from every nation, tribe and tongue be drawn into His family. He would do so by Jesus’ death and resurrection, offering redemption to any who would be drawn to Him by the Holy Spirit. Paul writes this in Ephesians 2:18: “He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.” Jesus brought the good news of salvation by grace through faith to those who were near – the Jews. He came as fulfillment of Jewish prophecy and was a Jew in every sense. But He also preached to those who were far away – the Gentiles – those who had not been a part of His covenant to that point. And He has made us into one people called Christians. We all have access to Him by the same Holy Spirit.
These have been words from the heart.