January 4, 2016
READ: Ephesians 2:1-10
God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!) (vv.4-5).
I recently received news that the cancer I’ve been battling off and on for 12 years has returned for the fifth time. So now my wife and I are prayerfully considering treatment possibilities. The therapy employed last time included a bone marrow transplant. And now with that normally last line of defense crossed, my doctor tells me we’re in “uncharted territory.” My lymphoma has continued to threaten to take my life. That’s why I’m glad I already was dead—but am now alive in Jesus.
Let me explain . . .
The apostle Paul wrote, “God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead” (Ephesians 2:4-5). Paul reveals that before I received salvation, I was dead in my sins. My thoughts were filled with rebellion against God, and I was separated from Him. But something amazing happened. By God’s grace and the work of the Holy Spirit within me, I was reborn. I became alive in Jesus when I believed in Him (v.8).
As a foretaste of what’s to come, I have been raised up with Him and seated in “the heavenly realms” (v.6). Did you catch that? Those who have received salvation in Jesus are in Him and He is in us! His Spirit now dwells within, empowering us to avoid doing things against God’s holy ways (vv.2-3), and comforting us with His presence and the hope we have in Him (Romans 8:10- 11; 2 Corinthians 1:3-4).
So today, I may be headed into uncharted territory from a medical sense, but my future is safe and secure in Christ. What about you? Today you can choose to move from death to life, from despair to hope. Receive Jesus by faith, die to sin and death, and be made alive in Him! (Galatians 2:20).
365-day-plan: Genesis 6:9-22
Read Colossians 2:13 and consider what it reveals about the work God has done to bring you from death to life in Jesus.
Have you received salvation through Jesus—dying to your sin nature and being made alive in Him? What does it mean for you to have the very Spirit of God alive within you?