This again?

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Ephesians 2:3–5 (CSB)

3 We too all previously lived among them in our fleshly desires, carrying out the inclinations of our flesh and thoughts, and we were by nature children under wrath as the others were also. 4 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of his great love that he had for us, 5 made us alive with Christ even though we were dead in trespasses. You are saved by grace!

Examine / Explain

Once, we were dead in our trespasses and sin, spiritually lifeless in this world. Every desire and inclination that crossed our thoughts was followed, our flesh ruling our will, mind, emotions, and actions. Our nature was a rebellion against God, firmly rooted in the world. But then, God! Abounding in mercy and love, He raised us from spiritual and eternal death through His love and grace. This was accomplished through Jesus, who bore the full weight of God’s wrath for me. He, the perfect man, lived a flawless life to substitute for my imperfect one. I was saved by this grace! The willingness of one man, a perfect man, to bear what he didn’t deserve and give me what I didn’t deserve. Eternal life with the Father.

How do I apply this to my life?

Where is my appetite? Is it for fleshly worldly things, or is it for spiritually led things? How is the battle for my mind going? The war continues to rage between flesh and spirit. Between doing the things I don’t want to do and things I should. But why is that? As believers, how can we have such struggles with continuing to try and live “of” this world instead of just in it? I have to examine myself regularly. I have to put my thoughts on trial. My actions have to be judged. My motives must be scrutinized. Do I see the Holy Spirit leading in all my actions? Can I find how every day I am attempting to run the race set before me in a way that is pleasing to God? I have been given a miracle gift of salvation through grace! I cannot squander what I have! My problem is I live in a culture with a diluted view of religion in general, and there is no real persecution for what I believe. Could those who are “of” the world say something back to me? Sure. Could I get into tough situations with someone opposing how I follow Jesus? Absolutely. Am I in fear of losing my life over it? Not really. Not yet. It could be headed that way sooner than later. So, what will it take for me and us to live by the spirit truly? For us to walk in a way that is different from the world. If I am a believer in Jesus and follow His teaching, how do I measure up? How am I living? How am I using my gifts? Where are the disciples I’m making? I walk among the dead. Do I look like the dead? Or does my life reflect the life that comes from Jesus?

What is my response?

Father, You are love and grace. I continually fall short in my life. But You, who is rich in mercy and grace, continue to pick me. You set my feet on solid ground, and as little lost sheep, I will wander off and look for greener pastures. How much greener is the pasture than the one You have? Lord, why are humans so forgetful? We put our heads down, move about, and do not even know where we are going. I must keep my ear open and attuned to your voice. I must be guided by You. But how can I hear You if I have so much noise and distraction from flesh happening in my life? Help me kill the noise. Quiet my heart. Calm my mind and allow me to hear You clearly so I will obey every command given. Push out the distractions so I can follow Your lead. I need to stop, find my red dot, and trust You. Take a step of faith and look for the path unto my feet with the small lamp. I only need to think about the next step in every area of my life. The distractions are fears of missing out or fear of scarcity. You are abundant in life. I must stop living out of fear. Fear of rejection and not being enough. Why can’t I let this go? Why do I not trust You? Help me trust You and only You! Amen.






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