Made Alive with Christ
1 Once you were dead because of your disobedience and your many sins. 2 You used to live in sin, just like the rest of the world, obeying the devil—the commander of the powers in the unseen world.[a] He is the spirit at work in the hearts of those who refuse to obey God. 3 All of us used to live that way, following the passionate desires and inclinations of our sinful nature. By our very nature we were subject to God’s anger, just like everyone else.
Father, this still seems to describe me. No, I guess not really. Yes I sin, but I know I am not dead. Somehow my heart knows it has life from You. Still, I am so often following Satan’s way. Yet You are there.
I am sorry for my sins Lord. Help me be so sorry I don’t commit them again! But I thank You that I am not dead in my sins. I don’t know why You chose to live in me, but I know You did (and are). Thank-you so much. My own life is awful, but Your life in me is awesome.
4 But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, 5 that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!) 6 For he raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus. 7 So God can point to us in all future ages as examples of the incredible wealth of his grace and kindness toward us, as shown in all he has done for us who are united with Christ Jesus.
Father, am I already seated in the heavenly realms with Jesus? I believe time is not the same for You as it is with me, but that is too hard to grasp. How can I sin if I am in heaven? I guess it is not for me to understand. But I do believe successful people begin with the end in mind, so in Your mind, it is that end in heaven that really counts. Help me to live like that Father. For if that is the end, why would I worry so much about my life here and now? Help me to live for You, here and now.
8 God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. 9 Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. 10 For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.
Father, what good things do You have planned for me to do? Am I doing them? Am I failing? I obviously don’t feel I’m doing much good. I obviously think my sins far over-shadow any small service I give. Please Holy Spirit, guide me, and embolden me, and change me, and soften my heart (this list seems to go on forever). Help me to do whatever it is You want me to do. Change me Lord, change me.
Oneness and Peace in Christ
11 Don’t forget that you Gentiles used to be outsiders. You were called “uncircumcised heathens” by the Jews, who were proud of their circumcision, even though it affected only their bodies and not their hearts. 12 In those days you were living apart from Christ. You were excluded from citizenship among the people of Israel, and you did not know the covenant promises God had made to them. You lived in this world without God and without hope. 13 But now you have been united with Christ Jesus. Once you were far away from God, but now you have been brought near to him through the blood of Christ.
Father, am I near You? I know I am, or perhaps it is better to say You are near me. I know You are directing me even when I am being foolish. For some reason You love me, and Your hand is upon my life. Please stay near me and my family Father. Keep us and bring us home. Things are changing so fast. I stray so easily. Keep me Father. Keep me near.
14 For Christ himself has brought peace to us. He united Jews and Gentiles into one people when, in his own body on the cross, he broke down the wall of hostility that separated us. 15 He did this by ending the system of law with its commandments and regulations. He made peace between Jews and Gentiles by creating in himself one new people from the two groups. 16 Together as one body, Christ reconciled both groups to God by means of his death on the cross, and our hostility toward each other was put to death.
17 He brought this Good News of peace to you Gentiles who were far away from him, and peace to the Jews who were near. 18 Now all of us can come to the Father through the same Holy Spirit because of what Christ has done for us.
Jesus, thank-you so much for bringing us close to you and close to the Father. Life would be so pointless without Your love. Holy Spirit, fill me and change me so I can live a life that truly is close to You. Bring me to that peace that only You can give. Let my life draw other’s close to You through Your peace and love. Change me Holy Spirit. Change me.
A Temple for the Lord
19 So now you Gentiles are no longer strangers and foreigners. You are citizens along with all of God’s holy people. You are members of God’s family. 20 Together, we are his house, built on the foundation of the apostles and the prophets. And the cornerstone is Christ Jesus himself. 21 We are carefully joined together in him, becoming a holy temple for the Lord. 22 Through him you Gentiles are also being made part of this dwelling where God lives by his Spirit.
Jesus, Father, and Holy Spirit, can I really be part of Your family? Obviously I am, You have blessed me so much. Help me to understand how I am one with You and one with my Christian brothers and sisters. Help me to remember whose I am every minute of every day so I live a life that does not bring You shame. Thank-you so much for bringing me into Your family. Please bring my family in too, and bring us all home.
- Ephesians 2:2 Greek obeying the commander of the power of the air