Tuesday, March 8, 2011


Ephesians 2:4-5

But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. 

"New Thing" by Gwen Meharg  www.drawneartogod.com
Human beings are renowned for rejecting God.  We are notorious for this behavior.  Throughout all of history, human beings have rejected their Creator and instead given their hearts to created things. 
"For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.  Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles. . . They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen." Romans 1:21-23, 25, NIV 
I am no exception.  I remember well when I was one of the walking dead.  But in spite of this churlish behavior, Paul says that God loves me -- loves us.  He loves us in spite of it all!  Meditate on that for a minute.  Swallow it and internalize it.  In spite of it ALL . . . He LOVES us!  He didn't let our constant rejection of Him stand in the way of the great love He has for us!  Can you say the same?  Most of us have faced rejection of some kind and we always feel like it is unwarranted.  And rejection always hurts.  And, most of the time, when we face rejection from someone, we reject them back.  But not our God.  His love for us led to mercy.  We reject Him and He showers love on us.  It is difficult to fathom.  Instead of loving us even more, He could have destroyed such a rebellious and unlovely creation such as human beings.  And He would be justified.  Instead, He sees our weaknesses and flaws and unholy behavior and is moved to mercy.  He does not approve of our rebellion and unholy behavior, but He does approve of His creation -- you and me.  He made a way for you and me to find our way back to Him and to change our "walking dead" ways.  That way is Jesus Christ.  It works like this: when we were the most unlovable, Jesus stood in the way and God looked through Him and saw us . . . cleaned up, standing firm, living right, giving back, loving Him!  Because of Jesus, we are alive and well!

He is Risen by Paula Maybery
In verse 5, Paul points out one of 3 things that God did for us in Christ.  The first one is He "made us alive with Christ."  (The other 2 we will discuss in my next post.)  God gave us new life together "with Christ."  It's like a partnership (although we can take no credit for this partnership).  We were dead in transgressions . . . Jesus died on a cross.  When Jesus beat death by overcoming the grave, we too were given new life.  Death and the grave could not hold Jesus and it cannot hold us now, either.  We no longer have to live this life as a dead person.  We live because HE lives!  It was an act of God's power that Jesus was literally raised from the dead . . . it's an act of God's grace that we are literally given new life with Him.  Because of God's grace we share this life with Christ.  Mercy overflowed from God's heart at the cross right to you and me.  We deserve death but we got life = mercy.  We do not deserve life, but we got it anyway = grace.

Here's the good news, friends: you are no longer dead . . . you are ALIVE because God LOVES you!  God's loving heart holds a treasury of mercy and it cannot be exhausted.

"Yet this I call to mind
   and therefore I have hope: 
Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed,
   for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
   great is your faithfulness." 
Lamentations 3:21-23, NIV

"It wasn't so long ago that you were mired in that old stagnant life of sin. You let the world, which doesn't know the first thing about living, tell you how to live. You filled your lungs with polluted unbelief, and then exhaled disobedience. We all did it, all of us doing what we felt like doing, when we felt like doing it, all of us in the same boat. It's a wonder God didn't lose his temper and do away with the whole lot of us. Instead, immense in mercy and with an incredible love, he embraced us. He took our sin-dead lives and made us alive in Christ. He did all this on his own, with no help from us! Then he picked us up and set us down in highest heaven in company with Jesus, our Messiah."
Ephesians 2:4-5, The Message

May grace rain down on you today!


Sweet J said...

Grace, We just can't say it often enough can we?

Grace, grace, grace.

Anonymous said...


I just love every single thing about your blog. I love the art work, I love the lay out, I love the message you give me every time you post. This last post made me feel light as a feather. Thank you very much! Love you.


sarahbri said...

I know it took me 10 days to read it, but it's really good. I like the way you describe how God looks through Jesus and sees us. Cool visual. Also, I just noticed the thingy that shows where people live who have visited your blog. Pretty cool that people in those places are getting to read this!