Grace Life

And you were dead in your trespasses and sins,

in which you formerly walked according

to the course of this world,

according to the prince of the power of the air,

of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience.

Among them we too all formerly live

in the lusts of our flesh,

indulging the desires of our flesh and of the mind,

and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest.

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 up with Him,

and seated with Him

in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,

so that in the ages to come

He might show the surpassing riches

of His grace in kindness

toward us in Christ Jesus.

For by grace you have been saved through faith;

and that not of yourselves,

it is the gift of God.”

Ephesians 2: 1-8

Lord God, thank you for making us alive through Christ Jesus our Lord!  Amen.

March 26 Don’t Cry

Photo by Laura Jostes

Photo by Laura Jostes

Deuteronomy 5:1-6:25;  Luke 7:11-35;  Psalm 68:19-35;  Proverbs 11:29-31

“Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior,

who daily bears our burdens.

Our God is a God who saves;

from the Sovereign Lord

comes escape from death.”

Psalm 68:19-20

* * * * *

“Soon afterward, Jesus went to a town called Nain, and his disciples and a large crowd went along with him.  As he approached the town gate, a dead person was being carried out–the only son of his mother, and she was a widow.  And a large crowd from the town was with her.  When the Lord saw her, his heart went out to her and he said, “Don’t cry.”

Then he went up and touched the coffin, and those carrying it stood still.   He said, “Young man, I say to you, get up!”  The dead man sat up and began to talk, and Jesus gave him back to his mother.”

Luke 7:  11-35

* * * * *

“Don’t cry”

our Lord says

when impossible

troubles

impede our sight

and cloud our hearts

with doubts and fear.

“Don’t cry,

but trust.

I, who can raise the dead-

was raised from the dead-

see the weariness

 feel your pain

your struggle

your grief.

“Don’t cry,

but lean on me.

I live to give you

life.”

Lord God, nothing is impossible for you and because you live we too live with all the possibilities of heaven.  You know our every need, feel our every hurt, hear our every sigh.  You are as close as our heartbeat.  Lord, today we bring to you all our burdens and our cares.  We pray, Lord, that You will come to our aid, to shoulder our burdens, to help us get through this time.  Thank you, Lord, for your faithfulness to us and for hearing our prayer this day.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

September 23 Zombies No More

Image

Photo by Kevin Carden

 

Isaiah 41:17-43:13;  Ephesians 2:1-22;  Psalm 7:1-7;  Proverbs 23:29-35

There’s been a rash of zombie movies in recent years–zombie comedies, zombie horror flicks, zombie romances.

I haven’t been able to figure out the attraction and devotion to zombies.  Is it because something so grotesque, yet so similar grabs our attention?  Is it because something dead still has power to control, scare or effect the living–even though it’s just “Hollywood?”

Who knows!

St. Paul seems to have a handle on zombies.  He writes:

“As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient.”  Ephesians 2:1-2

Like the Hollywood zombies who crave the living, Paul tells us something about ourselves:

“All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the craving of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts.”  Ephesians 2:3

Pretty scary.

Like zombies who can’t “help themselves” Paul points the way to our rescuer:

“But because of his great love for us, God who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ, even as we were dead in transgressions (sins).  It is by grace you have been save.”  Ephesians 2:4-5

Zombies no more!

“For it is by grace you have been saved through faith–and this is not from yourselves, it is a gift of God.”  Ephesians 2:8

Lord God Heavenly Father, thank you for your great love and mercy that rescued us from our miserable, zombie life of sin.  We are no longer the walking dead, but those living by faith in the One who gave His life for us.  May we live in full confidence of sins forgiven and joyfully tell others your message of hope.  In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

“May God be gracious to us an bless us and make his face shine upon us, that your ways may be known on earth, your salvation among all nations.”  Psalm 67:1-2