Verse for today – “But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus (Eph. 2:4-6).”
Dear Reader, are you ALIVE in Christ and seated with Him in the heavenly places? Or are you still dead in sin—separated from Him because of your sin? This verse declares that God is rich in mercy! It proclaims that He is great in love! Because of God’s mercy and love, He enacted a plan to secure our salvation, deliver us from death, and restore our relationship with Him. He put this plan into action long ago, despite our sin, and He remains ready to honor it today. This is indeed GOOD NEWS!
When I was young many people told me about God’s love. They explained how Jesus died for my sins and that He was willing to forgive me IF I would put my trust in Him. On the positive side, I had no trouble believing in God since I grew up on a small farm and was constantly out in nature’s beauty. Outside, I saw God’s handiwork everywhere which made me aware of Him. However, there was a negative side as well since I had several objections. First, I thought I was a pretty good person. I wondered, “What could God have against me? I am so quiet and reserved!” I didn’t realize I hurt anyone! It took me sometime to discover that I was an “undercover sinner.” Earlier, in these notes, I described to you how I stole something from a hardware store. No one knew except for me and God. But HE was not pleased with me and, despite my attempts at hiding and justifying my sin, God eventually won out. This experience, and others, helped me to see that what I saw as “little” and “unimportant,” God viewed with extreme displeasure since He hates sin. Finally, I began to see my sin and my need for a Savior.
The second objection down deep in my heart was that I was afraid of what people might think if I became a Christian. Not only did I originally think I was a pretty good person, but I thought others saw me that way as well. I thought my sin was well hidden. I feared that if I admitted I was a sinner in need of a Savior, people would judge me, or laugh, or think less of me. My pride was really in the way!
Finally, one morning at a local church, I surrendered my life to Jesus. I asked Him to forgive my sins and I thanked Him for dying in my place and paying my debt to God. I cannot describe the burden that was lifted from me, AND the joy and “new eyes” I received with which to see the world. God became very real to me, and I wanted to talk with Him, please Him, and live differently in all my relationships. I am convinced that Jesus gave me a new heart and that I was instantly seated with Him in the heavenly places. Dear Reader, God is rich in mercy; He is great in love! I encourage you to call out to Him today for His forgiveness and salvation. In the days ahead we will explore more about how this salvation transaction takes place and we will explore Christian GROWTH. Please stay with us!