Prepare – Ephesians 2:2-5
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. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. 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.
I couldn’t even look him in the eyes. I felt so ashamed and embarrassed as my dad picked me up from the sheriff’s office that night. I was 17 and finally all my running from God had caught up with me. The ride home was silent and neither of us said a word. I just knew he was boiling inside and when we got home I was going to get the scolding of a lifetime. What happened however, impacted the rest of my life. My parents didn’t yell at me like I deserved. Through tears in their eyes they told me they loved me. Yes, they were disappointed, but the most important thing they wanted me to see was God’s grace, mercy and love. I was shocked by their response and God began to soften my stony heart.
Several weeks later, at the top of a sandhill at Mt. Carmel Bible Camp I gave my life to Jesus. Though I deserved wrath, He showed me love and forgiveness. It was the same mercy and forgiveness I had seen through my parent’s weeks earlier. Christ gave me life in a way that is hard to explain. He took a quiet and hurting kid and gave me a passion to see others come to know Christ. Today, think back to when His mercy and grace became real and alive to you. Though none of us deserve His love, He has given it freely. It is good to remind ourselves of God’s goodness to us when life is hard. I hope you find joy today remembering God’s great love He has for each one of us.
~ Pastor Nate Drege