Friday, July 7, 2017

Made Alive

Every Friday afternoon I meet with some dear friends for Bible study. We are studying Ephesians. We go through each chapter taking a few verses at a time and reading and studying them to hear from the Lord. I Love how the Holy Spirit teaches us from the Word. This passage of Ephesians really touched and ministered to me. Here are my notes on Ephesians 2:1-10 using the NKJV, NLT and the Amplified Bible:

As I read through this portion of scripture I was refreshed as to my condition before Jesus and then after Jesus. I have often thought that I was not ‘evil’ before Jesus but I was a sinner. I did not do all that the Lord wanted me to do. I know I rebelled against my parents instructions; I know I did not always say nice things to others but I also know that I already had a love for others and wanted to help them. I guess you could say I was a normal little girl. I do not remember being mean or ugly or hitting people or hurting them. I did not cuss or talk bad about people; at least I don’t think I did but I did need a Savior. I was singing in the junior choir and I came under conviction. I needed Jesus in my life. I told the pastor and he helped me pray the sinner’s prayer. I was so excited and wanted to tell everyone! I knew things were different in my life. I don’t know why but somehow fear got instilled in my life and I lived for over 40 years in fear. Fear of doing wrong rather than a healthy relationship and love of Jesus, of God. I did not grow in my relationship with Him. I am forever grateful my mom took me to church where I heard the Word of God taught and preached but I still had trouble reading the Bible for myself. I just did not understand it. I knew I had to be good! I am so glad that knowing Jesus MADE ME ALIVE WHEN I HAD BEEN DEAD.  I was much older before I realized that I couldn’t be good enough to get into heaven.  

All these scriptures in Eph. 2:1-10 brought all my memories back. As a young wife I went to the altar several times but just did not feel saved; I did not have the assurance I needed. At one point I did get that peace and I did not question my salvation again. I began to grow in my relationship with the Lord when I began teaching the oldest ladies class of Senior Adults. What a privilege but a bit scary too! They had lived so long with Jesus and here I was so new in the Lord. They loved me and listened to my lessons always being encouragers and speaking blessings over me. Through my studies I began to understand (with the Holy Spirit’s help) the scriptures.
What stood out to me in verses 1-10:

V4 God is so rich in mercy, because of and in order to satisfy the great and wonderful and intense love with which He loved us.

V5 God gave us the very life of Christ Himself, the same new life with which He quickened Him. By Grace, God’s unmerited favor (we did not deserve it) that we have been saved (delivered from judgment).

V6 God raised us up together with Jesus and made us sit down together, we have joint seating, we are joint heirs with Jesus in the heavenly sphere in Christ Jesus, the Messiah and the Anointed One.

V7 He demonstrated by this act the immeasurable (no limit) riches of His free grace.

V8 It is by God’s unmerited favor that we are saved (delivered from judgment and made partakers of Christ’s salvation through faith). This salvation is a gift from God. We can’t earn it. We can’t strive for it. Works won’t make it happen.

V10 We are God’s handiwork (His workmanship) born anew in Christ Jesus that we may do those good works which God planned before hand for us, taking paths that He prepared before. Living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us to live.

Wow, I look back and see how His hand of protection was over me and He guided my steps to meet Charley at His appointed time for us to join our lives and anointing together for His honor and glory, even when we were not spiritually sensitive to know it was God’s perfect plan.

But it was and it IS God’s perfect plan! Praise the Lord! Praise His Holy Name!