"But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions - it is by grace you have been saved." Ephesians 2:4-5
As a pastor, one of the things that I have had to adjust to is the fact that I am going to be asked to preach a lot of funerals and to preach a lot of weddings. It seems that I am surrounded by death and by life each and every day. I am with families who have lost loved ones, and I grieve with them during death's darkness. I am with families who are overjoyed to see their children become one during a marriage ceremony, and I rejoice with them during these bright and cheerful moments. By the way, I still haven't adjusted to it yet...death and life and all the in-betweens.
But as I think of death and life today, I must say that I am so thankful for the grace of God! Many years ago, I realized that I was a sinner. I realized that I was lost, separated from God because of my sinful nature. Romans 3:23 says, "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." I also realized that sin brought death. Romans 6:23 says, "For the wages of sin is death." This death that sin brings is not just physical death; it brings spiritual death as well. To be separated from God is to be separated from life, true life. But the rest of Romans 6:23 says, "But the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." After I realized that I was a sinner, I trusted God's Word. I trusted the Holy Spirit as He spoke to me and led me to repentance. In Acts 2:38, Peter says, "Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit." I admitted my sin before God; I took ownership of my sin. I didn't blame it on anyone or anything else. I repented; I turned away from my sin and turned to God; I didn't let Satan or my sin hold me down. I didn't believe Satan's lies that I wasn't good enough or that I had gone too far or that God doesn't truly love me. NO! I believed God! I believed His Word! I repented of my sin, and God saved me from my sin through the blood of Jesus Christ, my Sacrifice, my Savior! I went from death to life in one moment of confession and repentance! It wasn't anything I earned or anything I deserved. I didn't move from a bad person to a good person. Jesus didn't sacrifice Himself so I could move from bad to good. He sacrificed Himself so that I could move from death to life! It was all through the grace of God. Ephesians 2: 4-5 says, "But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions - it is by grace you have been saved." Ever since that day of confession and repentance I have been alive, alive in Christ! I don't know where you are today??? Maybe today, you are continuing to walk in death, walk in sin...separated from God, from His love, from His life. Maybe today, you are continuing to believe the lies of Satan...that you aren't good enough, that you don't belong, that you've gone too far. STOP! Call out to God. He hears your voice! And He will save you! Romans 10:13 says, "Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved." Believe it! Don't continue to walk in death's darkness. Allow God to move you from death to life in Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.