Ephesians: Day 3

From Death to Life

by

Today's Text: Ephesians 2:1-10, Ezekiel 36:26-27, John 3:16-21, 1 John 5:1-5

The best day in all of social media, I would argue, is Thursday. On Thursdays we are treated to a little something the kids are calling “Throwback Thursday,” or #tbt. I don’t pretend to be able to keep up with social media trends, so I hope you’ll forgive me if I’m #doingitwrong.

Regardless, Throwback Thursday is, in a word, awesome. After all, everyone loves a good makeover. Whether it’s simply to ridicule the past or embrace the present, I think we can all agree that witnessing a transformation is tremendously satisfying. That is, unless you are the casualty of someone else’s #tbt, and are left having to untag a very public photo of yourself sporting a spiral perm, Aqua-Net-frozen bangs, acid-washed jeans, bright yellow slouchy socks, and knock-off Keds. (That description alone confirms that I am indeed too old to be talking about any kind of current trend whatsoever.)

When reading Paul’s words in the opening of Ephesians 2, we’d be remiss to equate his description of transformation with some sort of cute, little makeover. Not only would it minimize the transforming power of the love of Christ, which we’ll get to shortly, but it would also gloss over the depravity of sin.  

Paul writes that when “we followed the ways of this world” we were dead (Ephesians 2:1-2).  He’s obviously not speaking of adhering to sad fashion trends here, or any other poor choices we’ve made, really. He’s talking about who we are in ourselves, about the nature of our flesh, and about the Enemy at work in our disobedience of God. He’s talking about death.

When I think of the horror of sin in light of who Christ is and has created us to be, I remember those PSA-style posters they showed us in high school, the ones depicting the decline of a methamphetamine user. Each picture shows the individual falling further into their addiction, gratifying their flesh despite the severe cost to their wellbeing. The physical deterioration is alarming. Even more horrifying, though, is that you can almost see the life leaving their eyes. How can death be what God intended for His workmanship? It isn’t!

Sisters, this is what it looks like for any of us— or our neighbors, friends, and family— to live a life apart from Christ. Paul adds that we, left to our nature, are deserving of this dark fate and, even worse, the wrath of our our Creator (Ephesians 2:3). I’m so grateful there is a “but” in these verses!

But God.

But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love that He had for us, made us alive with the Messiah even though we were dead in trespasses. You are saved by grace!
- Ephesians 2:4-5 HCSB

God is the Author of our lives and of the change in our lives—not because we deserve it, but only because of His goodness, His mercy, and His love. There is no behind-the-scenes footage to be shown of the good works that earned us such a gift. No, this soul-deep change is made in spite of our behind-the-scenes footage! We are saved by grace. 

We can marvel at the transforming power of His love. It’s a love that raises us up with Him on the resurrection side of the grave and makes us truly alive. It’s a love that makes us new. This is what we were made for! Not the death, depravity, and suffering we experience while trying to live life apart from Him.

We are His masterpiece. “He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things He planned for us long ago” (Ephesians 2:10, NLT). Obedience, service, Kingdom-building—these are no longer duties and burdens to be carried but blessings to be fulfilled. They are byproducts of being made new in Christ!

Though God gently reminds us— by His Word and in His love— of who we once were, He will never leave us or abandon us. He will never throw us back, not even on a Thursday.

SRT-Ephesians-instagram3

  • Morgan Nicole

    Really good i love the constant reminder that it is by grace that I have been saved not by my own works or doing

  • Jeannie

    Amen ! I loved this ❤️

  • amen!

  • This was exactly what I needed today!

  • Angelica Francis

    Love that last part!! so clever. This devotional is firing me up! I love when that happens. Thank you for acknowledging the word, thank you for putting this so beautifully, and thank you for bringing us that much closer to the light! I love this!!

  • Krista Bethany ❤️

    I love thisssssss

  • alwaysfaith

    amen!!! so blessed we are to know the god. :) so happy and humbled

  • Talk about a transformation! So thankful that even when I revert back to my sinful ways, God provides these awakenings to show me His grace. Hallelujah!

  • Nikravesous

    We are his workmanship! I love that! Or, as Marty Goetz said, we are his poetry.

  • Beautiful…thank you for reminding us of God’s grace, mercy, and endless love.

  • My daughter shared that song with me. Beautiful heart felt song.

  • Kasey Summers

    Love the way ya ended this… made me chuckle.. I shared it with my husband and he laughed too :) This might be my favorite Bible study SRT has produced.. Ephesians is my absolute favorite book in the Bible, but the truths yall are proclaiming are great. Love this one –> “God is the Author of our lives and of the change in our lives—not because we deserve it, but only because of His goodness, His mercy, and His love.” So thankful for God’s grace and mercy he shows us in saving our souls and also just in our every day… my dad has been in the hospital this week because of heart attack symptoms and we have been trusting the Lord and praying like crazy but scared because we love my daddy so much. Thank the Lord he came home from the hospital last night and the arteriogram showed that his arteries were in great shape.. praising Jesus so so much for answered prayers. My family and so many of our friends were praying so hard because my dad has high bp normally and has a very stressful job so we were concerned that he could have a heart attack anyways.. those 48 hours were intense and I did nothing but pray and cry and pray and proclaim scripture to myself… but we are so so thankful to have my daddy back at home and healthy and all glory goes to our awesome God!! Either way God is always good and always loving and his ways are always perfect. But, we are so overwhelmingly thankful for His grace that he showed my daddy and our family.. Praising God extra hard today for my dad’s life! God is soo good. If ya haven’t heard the song “You’re a good good Father,” you should check it out.. I have had it on repeat since I heard it at our youth’s retreat this weekend.. anyways so sorry this is so long! But love SRT so much and so thankful for the truths it proclaims into this wandering heart of mine.

    • Hallie

      AMEN!!!! Everyday we are thrown ways the devil tries to distract us but by prayer we can fight the war!! And remember GRACE WINS EVERY TIME

  • Love that psa poster analogy! It’s so true. Sadly, I’m sure I’ve been that poster child more recently than I’d like to admit. But God doesn’t throw us back…and I’m accepting his grace everyday and reversing that poster!

  • 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them….I’ve read this verse a hundred times and it just hit me that every good work for my savior has already been planned and layer out for me…I just get to walk in them. It’s not up to me to come up with some great plan to earn more favor. The work was finished on the cross and now everything moving forward can be a joyful response of obedience!

  • I agree!!! Me too!

  • Does anyone else find these passages in Ephesians awfully wordy? I struggle to grasp more than the basics. I find that I quickly read through the scripture and rely heavily on the devotion part and spend most of my time there. I just feel guilty that I’m not spending more time trying to nut out the words for myself…

    • Jessica

      I feel the same! The previous 2 days especially, I’ve found myself reading, rereading, then reading passages again and still not getting the sense of them for myself.. very frustrating. I think praying for His enlightenment and maybe trying a couple of versions to get a better sense is the best way forward.

    • Maya Basquin

      Yes. I began reading the passages in the Message version. It helped.

    • Danielle

      Yes – me too! Maybe try The Good News translation; it’s helped me!

  • Absolutely love Ephesians 2:8-9! It’s been a favorite scripture of mine for quite some time.

  • I really needed to hear this this morning. I felt led to share this, especially in light of the verses in John 3 about light and darkness and even though it scares me to post on such a public platform; my boyfriend and I have been struggling with crossing physical boundaries for a while now. We have been struggling specifically with oral sex for the past month now and we have both felt so convicted about it and yet can’t seem to resist the “passions of our flesh”. Although God says we are not condemned for those who are in Christ Jesus, I still feel so much shame, shame that has stopped me from sharing this with my closest friends. I know it has to stop, because we are dead to sin, we have the Holy Spirit, and our sin grieves God above all else, but I just don’t know how to. All this to say, these verses were so encouraging this morning, reminding me of who we are in Christ and how God has transformed me so that sin has no power over me anymore. God is so unbelievably good.

    • Hailey

      Hi Amanda, it saddens me to hear of your sin struggle and I’m glad you feel safe here to share with your sisters. As you know we all have struggles yet God’s word remains the same. I went back to a very old Instagram post to find truths to share with you about temptation so I will post them at the end. I want to encourage you to invite those sisters and an older mentor back into your life for accountability. It’s painful to hear it or think of it but if ending your relationship is the only way to remove yourself from this situation you may have to be that extreme. God refers to sin that “so easily entangles” being a hindrance to our race in this life toward the prize. You can overcome this, Amanda! Through Christ you can do all things who gives you strength. God can renew your relationship and restore purity ~ it will be indescribably worth it to feel like a new and radiant bride on your wedding day who has made a commitment with her Jesus and husband-to-be – who makes herself ready in the waiting <3 just as we make ourselves ready as His church. I hope this encourages you as today's truths and devo did. 1 Peter 5:8, Mark 14:38, Hebrews 2:18, 2 Timothy 2:22, Hebrews 4:16, Luke 22:46 provide some great action steps.

    • Hailey

      In case the rest of my comment didn’t post I just added … As we all make ourselves ready as the church and throw off sin (daily, hourly) to make ourselves ready for our Bridegroom. What a day to look forward to and live for! I pray this encourages you as the truths and devo from today did. 1 Peter 5:8, Mark 14:38, Hebrews 2:18, 2 Timothy 2:22, Hebrews 4:16, Luke 22:46. Xo

    • Frances

      That’s very brave of you to share! I just wanted to say I know all too well what you’re struggling with and going through. I’ll pray over you, and just remember that with Christ all things are possible!

    • Madison

      Amanda, I have struggled with this kind of sin since the beginning of my faith. I have felt that same brokenness and shame so many times before. I applaud you for having the boldness to be honest about where you are. I shared my struggles with this same sin with one of the wisest and most loving youth leaders in my church (who also happened to be my boyfriend’s older sister). Having someone tell you that they understand, they love you, and you are a new creation in Jesus despite what you’ve done is one of the most freeing experiences I’ve ever had. It is so easy to talk yourself out of the importance of purity. But I’m sure you have also felt the absolute weight of the temptation and guilt that comes from that thinking. Don’t talk yourself out of victory, girl!! You sound like you’re in a great place right now.

  • Ever since learning we would study Ephesians, I have been waiting for the day we would read Eph. 2:4-5. It was celebrated in the posts, "But God," (THIS IS THE GOSPEL) and "God's Perfect Timing." (DANIEL) And since reading those two posts, the verse–particularly the words, BUT GOD–has resonated with me. The photo at the end of this post is lovely, but I would love, love, love for SRT to commission an artwork, like many of the other beautiful pieces available–for these verses!

  • Samantha Pfisterer

    Thankful for all the wonderful comments and points of view provided by everyone. It's amazing what God has been revealing to me through this Ephesians series so far. I'm stoked to see what He has in store for the rest of it, as well as into Philippians. My church, Living Stones in Reno NV is going to be starting Philippians this Sunday. Amazing parallel. Can't wait to see what that all brings :)

  • So perfectly said!!! Amen!

  • ofDustandWonder

    SO many awesome scripture passages this morning! Specifically Ephesians 2:1-10 and Ezekiel 26:26 moved me a lot. That first chunk is just so full of gold– the distinction between death and life, the acknowledgement that we've all been there (v.3 "among whom we all once lived in") and just how deep in mud we were. The realization of the depth of sin is so crucial for me when thinking about grace– that's it's a daring, impossible (yet successful) rescue, not just a gift! Even that little bit at the end about us being the WORKSMANSHIP of God, to do good works that were prepared ahead for us to walk in– that gives me warm fuzzies. -^_^-

    Ezekiel 26:26 speaks to me SO because I lived so many years of my life as the Stone Hearted Girl– heck, I still slip back into that at times, even now. But to hear, and remember, that God has given me a new heart (and that he desires us to have a heart of flesh, not of stone) is always, always warmth to my heart.

  • Friends, I feel humbly (and rawly) in the in-between. In a season that has often felt like death, I am longing for new life. (Literally!) Since moving back east – more than a year ago – I have been 'between jobs' (read: season of humiliation). However, this has in the end been a choice. I have had many opportunities and people who have tried to help, but I have walked away from them all. My heart just wasn't there, in those opportunities. Even still, soul-weary and guilt-ridden I couldn't help wondering, "What is wrong with me?"
    But God has provided – through my Husband's work (financially) and through my Husband's *gracious* support and love of me during this time. I know I cannot give up on working. I value work. I want to live with purpose and intention in the working world. I have student loans I want to take responsibility for, and I want to also contribute to our family (especially before we start family planning). I have good intentions. Yet, all my good desires have come up void, empty. Enter confusion. I don't understand. I feel I must be doing something wrong. I rack my mind. Spend most of my days seeking God. Fighting anxieties. And it's lonely. Frustrating. Because this is the last place that I want to be or 'feel' that God wants me to be.
    But God, wins… always. He always knows best. Clearly, for whatever reason I am here, in this place, in this season. I *know* I cannot mess up His plans. And I *know* that He is not surprised at where I am. I *know* He is after my WHOLE heart. But, dear Lord, this in-between season is so very hard. YET He sustains me. Continually. In spite of myself, of my toiling, anxious heart and distracted mind. He is my Rock. My Refuge. My Comfort. Overwhelmingly grateful as I type this now. Because after a rough couple of days, I am emotionally exhausted. But He does not let me fall because of His great love and care and mercy.
    … And the cause of my present feelings… fear. Recently, another opportunity and friend presented itself. I worked prayerfully, diligently, and intentionally to prepare my materials last week. I submitted them, prayed with my Husband, and felt peace… but only for a moment. Those fears and doubts came crashing in. The 'but' questions steamrolled me… but I've been unemployed for over a year… but this job at this place is impossible… but I'm not the perfect candidate… BUT I know that God wants me to trust Him. Even now, even as I write this fighting my own feelings, my own fears and inadequacies. Because all week long, I've convinced myself that I am not ready, I could not do that job, I barely have enough emotional strength for each day… really, Lord? But His grace is enough, it's all I need.
    "But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me." (2 Corinthians 2:9)

    …And about that opportunity… Silence. Until today. I received a glimmer of hope. Not by anything I did or could have done. Only Him. As Sarah says so perfectly, "God is the Author of our lives and of the change in our lives – not because we deserve it, but ONLY because of His goodness, His mercy, and His love." All of this season, this opportunity – everything! – is out of my hands. I walk faithfully and the rest is up to Him. And with each season, each refining time in my life I feel He is drawing me into an ever greater surrender to Him. A deeper and more intimate relationship. To letting go of my ways. To drawing near and trusting His ways. Not because of the size of my faith, but because of Him, only Him.

    Dear Lord, thank you for the daily strength you provide. For being for me and with me, no matter how I feel or what my circumstances. Please take this heart of guilt and shame and hopelessness. Remove it (Ezekiel 36:26). Replace and root in me a new heart of love and grace and gratitude. Teach me to rejoice in my weaknesses as they remind me I am human, I am not You. And give me courage and boldness to boast all the more gladly of Your great power working through me. Trusting You and your good plans for Your glory over my life. Praying my path, my story encourages someone else to not give up. And praying for other sisters who might also be in a hard and humbling season. Thank you for Your great love. Grateful that you walk with us *through* our trials, our struggles – even and especially when they seem endless. Grateful that all paths, all seasons lead to You. Amen.

    • Brittany

      Thank you for this. I’m also in a season of transition and I needed this today.

    • Lindsey

      Also in this same exact season! Thank you for your uplifting words!

  • Firstly – so good today! Thank you.
    Secondly – I read theses passages and rejoice (although that word doesn't seem adequate!) that I've been saved by such a glorious God. But I'm also deeply saddened for those that remain in the darkness because of fear. Like many of you lovely ladies, my marriage is in a season of struggle and so is my husband. I don't think that he trusts that God's love and forgiveness are unconditional. He's struggling right now and I can see the battle as he wrestles in that prison. But it is a step that he needs to take to surrender all to our merciful Lord. So I pray for my husband knowing God hears my prayers and collects my tears in a bottle. I love him even when it's hard so that he may see Christ living in me. And I wait for God's timing b/c it is perfect and He knows the plans & purposes He has for us. May today we remember those who are still blind and in the dark and pray that they would turn to the transforming power of the Light. In Jesus name – Amen.

  • Brendasan01

    Thank you Lord for this day of reflection during Yom Kippur, Day of Atonement. As I think about my sins and ask you to forgive me, I am reminded by this devotion that you have forgiven me. I am a new creation in You Lord! Thank you Father!

  • Rochelle

    I love this. It doesn’t matter how much I hear it, I need to be reminded constantly (daily bread!) that it is because of God’s goodness and grace – His mercy – that I am saved. Nothing I can do can “get me to heaven”, and nothing I can do you will keep me out of it once I know Christ. My faith is the only thing that saved me, and His goodness is the only reason I even have that faith. This is so reassuring, such a great way to start the day.

    *I also want to add that these devotionals rock in general because we are often surrounded by negative ideas and messages from the world. It’s not enough to just weather it – we have to constantly renew our minds (partly to protect ourselves, but also to be a light unto others.)

  • Ezekiel 36:26 "And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh."

    My marriage was dead. But God. Through this verse, He restored it. So thankful for His ability to turn death into life in more ways than one!

  • Rachel Fischl

    I was so struck by the PSA poster idea. The Lord is definitely reminding me of those in my life who are dead because they are living a life apart from Christ. And we know that apart from Christ there is no life at all. Thank the Lord for the hope that He has given ME that I may go and share it with those who need the way, the truth, and the LIFE.

    Also, my favorite part of verse 10 is the beginning… "For we are his workmanship". Sometimes I think we have a tendency to focus on the good works part. What are the specific good works He has prepared in advance for ME to do? Regardless of what those works are I think Paul started the verse off with "we are his workmanship" because he knew we would forget that no matter what we do, the most important thing is for us to know who we ARE…. and above all else we are HIS MASTERPIECE. When we discover who we are, the good works flow naturally out of that.

    Thanks so much for sharing this study! :)

    • Kim

      I love that perspective of Paul needing to remind us of who we are before the why we are. Thank you for sharing that and adding such a great dimension to today's reading for me!

  • Mrs Richards

    “Obedience, service, Kingdom-building—these are no longer duties and burdens to be carried but blessings to be fulfilled. They are byproducts of being made new in Christ!”

    Often times I forget that even good works don’t win us salvation. Reading this reminded me that we are not burdened down by the great works God has planned for us, but that they are blessings we will fulfill simply by following him. Love it!

  • Lord Jesus, thank you for making me whole in your eyes when I feel so broken in my own! It has been a season of spiritual deadness for me – I have found myself out to sea, overwhelmed by worldly demands and lost without God. And yet, I’m slowly making my way back to his word. And yet, He still loves me. Wow! This was just the passage I needed on this first day of Fall, a new season where I struggle to reconcile the aliveness and deadness I see in the leaves and in my own heart. Lord, help me come alive in you…breathe new life into me through your word and image, not in the words and images of any other who claims to promise false riches. You and You alone are my light!

  • Caroline @ In due time

    So much amen!!! So glad He is in control!

    http://Www.in-due-time.com

  • HelenWalksinAwe

    This: "It’s a love that makes us new. This is what we were made for! Not the death, depravity, and suffering we experience while trying to live life apart from Him." I find so much hope and consolation in thinking about what we were made for. It reminds me that whatever pain or trouble is happening in my life right now, it's got to be temporary and that it's not God's intention that I stay here. Talk about hope!

    And I appreciate the call in verse ten: 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

    The action-oriented side of me appreciates this role of works. No, they can't save us; only God's love and mercy can do that. But the works are important because we are called to know, love, and serve God. We were built for good works. When I'm mired in darker seasons of my life (like right now, for instance) often one of the best ways to pull myself up is to do these works for other people. It's like a very active form of prayer when it comes not from the desire to earn anything but from the desire to align myself with God's purpose for me. There is so much peace in doing what we were built for.

    …now if only the ol' womb would get on board with that and go into labor. =D

    • Beverly

      "It's like a very active form of prayer when it comes not from the desire to earn anything but from the desire to align myself with God's purpose for me. There is so much peace in doing what we were built for."
      Love this, Helen! So true, so life-giving. Saying a prayer now for your pregnancy and family. :)

    • Kim

      Also trying to align myself with what I was built for. Love that phrase – thank you!

      Praying for you and baby! And for grace to endure the waiting! ;)

  • A PEACH IN ITALY

    I love this: But God…

    I am a sinner…But God.
    I make mistakes…But God
    I often fail…But God.
    My family was broken…but God.

    So thankful for all of the "But God" in my life. He is a God that renews, gives grace, mercies and blessings each day.

  • pinkandteal27

    Thank you Jesus!!

  • Thinking about when I was dead in my trespasses, I was a kid who was dying by the rules. Always pegged as someone who was at youth group or church, was a leader, happened to be good at sports and making friends… I knew how to play the game. Until (#summercamp) one starry night in upstate NY– Saranac, anyone?– I realized the weight of my sin and the joy of your grace.

    These works in v. 10… they were killing me before, dare I say they were the steps I thought were leading me to the other side of the pit. However, they sunk me further down with each move. In the context of 10 with Christ, I see them as stepping stones to get across that pit. Without Christ, they´re useless; even dangerous. With Christ, they´re what makes us more like Him- our heart of stone being changed to flesh.

  • Yes! Thanks Lord!

  • I grew up in a church where I was taught that Jesus died on the cross to be our Savior. But I never heard WHY I needed a Savior. I never heard that I was “dead in trespasses and sins”. I deceived myself into thinking I was a Christian. Not until I was 23 years old, at a church service far from where I grew up–far geographically and far theologically–I finally saw my desperate need to be rescued, who I was apart from Christ and I couldn’t get to the altar fast enough. I still need to remember daily how much I need Him, who I am apart from Him. And then to grip the words “But God” and rejoice in all He has done!

  • Once dead in sin – now alive in Christ. Thank You!

  • The first time I remember really connecting with photography was 24 years ago. One of the reasons I love snapping an image is because it truly freezes time, corny, I know, but true. It can capture a moment or facial expression or idea that passes so quickly. I can look back at images of my kids and think to things they've done or used to do or bits of them faded by age. When my middle daughter was a wee babe she pursed her lips frequently while sleeping, I have an image of it. My eldest always had something on her face; dirt, food, glitter. You name it. It's in print. And my youngest, he had an obvious birthmark when born on the edge of the tip of his nose. I used to say it was like an angel's kiss left an imprint as he left heaven….. It has paled over time, but I have the photos.

    Photography allows me to see a story in something. It time stamps periods of life and even people before I knew them. Images have been a tool to recall where we were in certain seasons and sometimes I can tell so much about a person by that frozen moment; their insecurities or joy, their happy or despair. Often it is the candid, unintentional, shot that tells a great deal. Thing is, it still isn't the whole. There are many questions to consider; what was happening, what were they thinking, who were they, why were they doing that, who else was there, etc…. and much like that is our transformation. There is always a bigger story, we only see part of it. God provides us glimpses, pictures, images of who we once were so that we don't get "lost" in who we've become. It is good to know where you have been, the mountains you've climbed and the walks you've taken with Jesus, otherwise it can easily become a place of arrogance, allowing us to forget and not be humbled by the work God has done, the sacrifices He has made, the blood He has shed. He doesn't remind us to hold us back, to sadden us, taunt us or to guilt us into love. He reminds us to say, "See, even when you were this person, I loved you. Even when you were going through that, I was with you and even though you didn't know me, I knew you. I loved you then, I love you now, I will love you forever!"

    Acknowledging our deadness, allows us to revel in new life. Knowing who we *were* is pivotal to knowing who God *is*! Life with Christ has changed how I see things, it has changed how I look at the world around me and it has changed how I appreciate what was before, what is now and what will be. God truly opened the eyes of my heart and I am forever prayerful that my focus be entirely on God as I am so grateful for his ongoing mercies and love over me. ~ B

    • Kelly_Smith

      I thought about this today. There is a danger in dwelling in the past, in letting your mistakes define you. But, there is also a danger in forgetting where you were when saved by grace. Looking at my old self through the lens of grace puts the emphasis on the goodness and mercy of God.

      • tina

        A zillion Amens to that…Kelly Smith…reminds me of that Joyce Meyer quote,.. " I may not be where I need to be…but praise God, I am not where I used to be…." Saved by His Grace…Amen…
        Hugs out to you ma dear…xxxx

    • Gina

      Amen!

    • MNmomma (heather)

      I so agree Kelly – I have been forever changed. I am completely a different person that I was……..I have been thru A LOT of trials (mountains, if you will)…..thru each journey I have been refined, drawn closer to Him. I am NOT the same woman I was even a few years ago….I am growing and changing – by His grace. I am so thankful for that.

    • tina

      Totally in line with you there my friend…"life with Christ has for sure changed how I see things"… how I act, how I am….praising God for His on going love , Grace and mercies over me toooooo…
      Love you friend…Blessings and Love to all…xxx

    • Beverly

      Grateful for your words this morning, B!
      There is always a bigger story – and only He sees it all. We only see pieces. So true! Only God is sovereign. Only He is fully in control. And He walks with us, showing us all we need to know. I am so very thankful for this, for Him and His ways.
      Praying right along with you, B. To be continually focused on Him alone. I'm grateful for His grace and unrelenting love over me.

  • But God.., being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He has loved us, even, yeap, EVEN when we were dead in our trespasses…( even when there seemed to be no hope, no way back.., no way to change) made us alive, together with Christ…by Grace you have been saved…( emphasis mine).

    This devo, reminded me of one of my favourite books and films, The picture of Dorian Grey…in it the main character, of the same name, after having his portrait picture done, decides that He never wants to grow old, he wants to forever stay young and handsome, so, he sells his soul to the devil…So through all He does, terrible or not so good, he still looks good on the outside , yet behind the scenes, in a locked room, the portrait of the handsome man was absorbing all his wrong doing and becoming the most hideously ugly picture…Needless to say it doesn't end well….

    I guess, first and foremost , I need to Thank and praise God, for Jesus …and what he has done and continues to do for me..for us….Amen…
    My 'portrait', my life, could have been a different picture, had I not been saved by Christ's gift and God's Grace and Mercy…I have been given a hope that would have eluded me otherwise, I can look forward, knowing, I am saved, and my future is secured….And not because of anything I have done, or could do….but because,

    (I love this line)…God is the author of our lives and of the changes in our lives- not because we deserve it, but only because of His goodness, His mercy and His love…Amen to that…
    .Thank you Lord God, for your great mercy that just blows my mind…Lord, may I not take it for granted, but humbly live as you would have me live this life, for you glory Lord God……

    Our Father in Heaven,
    hallowed be thy name,
    Thy Kingdom Come,
    Thy Will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven,
    Give us this day, our daily bread,
    And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.
    Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us Lord, from evil…
    For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory..
    For ever and ever…Amen..

    Praying God's rich blessings for you all this sunny Wednesday…with love..xxxx

    • Tricia

      Thank you Tina for always adding your thoughts, your heart. I love it! God bless you today!

    • ~ B ~

      Love this T! What a great analogy, with a beautifully written book … one that even resonated with my 17-year-old. In fact, our pup is named Dorian, he came with the name, but naturally, we kept it and in our minds, for this Oscar Wilde book. Great take on it Tina and so incredibly true to how we let our flesh deceive us. So thankful for God's great mercies! ~ B

    • Kelly_Smith

      Adding it to my reading list :)

      • Lyle

        Me, too! :)

      • tina

        Kelly, make sure if you should want to watch the film, you watch the 1945 version with George Saunders, the recent one, 2000 something, although, I've never watched it, I believe is too much of the modern translations and not enough story…Oscar Wilde would not approve.
        .It's definitely a good read..though..
        Thank you for your encouragement and love, my friend…
        Blessings…xxx

    • MNmomma (heather)

      AMEN!

    • Beverly

      "…my life could have been a different picture had I not been saved by Christ's gift…" For a moment, after reading your words, I imagined that life. And all that came to mind was emptiness. Nothingness. A pointless, purposeless life. Grateful we get to do life with Him, in Him. And even when we 'feel' those feelings of hopelessness or experience struggles that leave us feeing forgotten, unseen – the Truth is that He is with us. We are never alone, never without His great love and mercy. We have real, lasting hope in Him, only in Him.
      Thankful for your hopeful words today, Tina!

  • Georgie Pilgrim

    He will never throw us back, even on a Thursday!! Best devotional ending of all time!!

  • Where is Alexis.C? Hope s/he is okay.

  • Hannah - Swansea - UK

    This marvellous Gospel of Grace.
    “But God – who is rich in mercy….it is by grace you gave been saved.”
    Some of the sweetest words our souls will ever hear. What a way to start the day!!

    • Agreed, Hannah from Swansea……it is reminders like these that put a spring in your step….definitely a great boost to the day…xxxx

  • Stephanie Hibbert

    The greatest freedom of all: God knows EVERYTHING about us, the deepest darkest secrets and still says "I love you!"

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