Scripture Reading: Ephesians 2:11-22
God’s grace is like a powerful magnet: it draws you close to Him. No matter how far away you may feel from God, God can still draw you near.
There’s an old joke that says that the Prime Minister of Israel came to visit the President of the United States in his office one day. The Prime Minister noticed a red telephone on the President’s desk. When the Prime Minister asked about it, the President said, “Oh, that’s my direct line to God.”
After a few minutes, the Prime Minister asked if he could use the phone. The President said, “Sure, but don’t talk too long, because it’s pretty expensive from here.”
A few months later, when the President of the United States went to visit the Prime Minister of Israel in his office, he noticed the Prime Minister had a red phone on his desk, too. When the President found out that the phone did the same thing as his phone back home, he asked the Prime Minister if he could use it for just a few minutes.
The Prime Minister said, “Sure, and you can talk as long as you want! From here it’s a local call.”
While God does seem to have a special place in His heart for Israel, the truth is that no matter where you live in the world, you can talk to God anytime, for as long as you want. Every call to God is a local call when you place that call through Jesus Christ.
As the Apostle Paul wrote in his letter to the Ephesians, Christ destroyed the dividing wall that once separated the Jews from the Gentiles (or “non-Jews”), as well as the wall that once separated all people from their Creator. Now anyone can come near to God through Christ. Paul said:
“Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth…were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ.
“For He Himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility…. He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near” (Ephesians 2:11a, 12-14, 17).
God’s grace draws you near. It doesn’t matter how close or how far away you may feel you are, His grace can draw you in.
The first time I went to Israel, I stayed with a Muslim family on the West Bank. They were incredibly gracious and treated me like a king.
But as I thought about how close they lived to the paths where Jesus once walked and ministered and died, I also thought about how far away they were from the peace that Christ offers to all who put their faith in Him.
Even though I lived over 6,000 miles away from this land where Christ called His home, God’s grace was still powerful enough to reach out to me on the other side of the world and draw me close to Him. He’s not far from any one of us. As Luke, the writer of the book of Acts, says:
“From one man He [God] made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and He determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. God did this so that men would seek Him and perhaps reach out for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us” (Acts 17:26-27).
God is not far from you today. It doesn’t matter where you were born or where you live. What matters is that you keep putting your faith in Christ, realizing that it was God’s grace, demonstrated in Christ, that destroyed the dividing wall of hostility between you and God.
Reach out today and give Him a call. And feel free to talk as long as you want! No matter where you are, it’s always a local call.
Prayer: Father, thank You for sending Jesus to bridge the gap between me and You, and between me and my fellow believers. Lord, I pray that I would be able to experience just how near You are to me today, sensing Your presence as close as the very air I breathe. Lord, help me to reach out to You today. In Jesus’ name, Amen.