Daily encouragement

Video by

Katie Fox

ACF Devo Team

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Ephesians 2:8-9

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-not by works so that no one can boast.”

Behind the Scenes

When Paul traveled to the metropolitan center of Ephesus, he was encountering both Greek and Roman culture and lifestyle. Ephesus was considered the most important trade route in the Mediterranean region and was home to one of the seventh wonders of the world, the Temple of Artemis. After ministering for almost three years, Paul leaves and the church of Ephesus takes root. Paul’s letter is one of encouragement, reminding the church and each member that their identity is rooted in the gospel; they may outwardly talk like a Greek, or inwardly think like a Roman, but none of that matters in pleasing the One True God.

Make it Real

Paul seems keenly aware of the heart’s inclination to elevate oneself over another. In the Bible, the Israelites equated their wealth to their own righteousness with God; the more money, the more holy or blessed one must be. We can easily relate when we think our “good acts of service” should equate to grace deserved: God hearing our pleas, answering our prayers how we would like, or giving us comfort and safety. On the flip side, we can see ourselves as undeserving and unable to accept the gift of grace. We didn’t earn it; we can’t repay it back; it’s too much.


How do you view God’s gracious salvation? Do you take it for granted, not thinking much of it? Or do you think you must earn it, striving to gain God’s favor? Paul is reminding his audience, both Jew and Gentile, that grace is freely given, we cannot earn God’s favor and make him love us more than he already does. The text states that it is through faith we are saved; and I’m reminded of when Jesus tells the bleeding woman her faith has healed her, or when he commends the centurion stating he has not seen such great faith (this to a Gentile!), or when he comments to the disciples what faith they lack.


How can you step out in faith and offer God’s undeserving favor of salvation? Ask the Holy Spirit to show you how you can offer grace in your actions with others, in conversations with friends, in the thoughts you have against others. Whether the faith is big or small, abundant or lacking, each encounter with Jesus gives way for us to see we are undeserving and yet in need of his grace. Jesus is both the gift and the giver, offering salvation and life. Paul reminds the Ephesians it's not of themselves, not of their linage or position, not of their own ability or identity that they receive salvation.

End in Prayer

Jesus, how sweet your grace is. Thank you that you saved me. Thank you that I can’t earn or give more of myself to get more of you. Thank you that your grace is a gift, that I only need to believe. Help me when my faith is lacking, and help me when I boast in my heart or elevate myself above others. Forgive me, Father, when I take your grace for granted. Forgive me when I go my own way and try and save myself. May I live with abundant grace, freely given and freely received.

Written by

Hollyn Roberts

ACF Devo Team