Last week was a wonderful week for me, and hopefully for you too! Even though we are shut in, pushed apart, kept at a distance from each other, we were, and are, totally and fully connected in Christ! The chance to spend an entire week focusing on the cross, on God’s perfect love for us revealed there, and the fact that Christ is risen, lifted my heart, my mind and my spirit!
I can’t imagine the pain and despair that Jesus’ followers must have been experiencing in the hours following His crucifixion. No doubt they were overwhelmed with sadness and confused. But their grief was quickly turned to great joy when they went to the tomb and found it empty! (John 20). Yes, Jesus has risen, just as He promised!
Our world has been turned upside down in the past month; I don’t have to recount all the changes we all have experienced. Those changes have left us at times confused, lonely, and anxious… probably some of the same feelings Jesus’ disciples experienced on Friday and Saturday after watching Him die on a cross. But in the coming days, all those feelings would be relieved when they saw Jesus was alive!
Jesus lives! He lives in all who believe! We are alive in Christ! In Ephesians 2:1-10, the Apostle Paul tells us what it means for us to be alive in Christ. He helps us to clearly see and understand how God showed us His great and perfect love to us in Christ. We see His rich mercy and amazing grace on full display! He tells us about how we can have a new life in Christ and how we are called to do good works for Christ’s sake. At Watermark, we talk a lot about that!
How can I experience the life change offered to me in Christ?
1) Accept God’s amazing gift of grace to you! 8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— Ephesians 2:8. You know what grace is… “getting what you don’t deserve!” You have heard how amazing grace is, haven’t you? Maybe you have even sung about God’s amazing grace; but have you accepted God’s amazing grace gift for you?
2) Place your faith in Christ as your Savior. 8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. Ephesians 2:8-9
Some people make the mistake of thinking they can earn their salvation. People with this mindset have what I call a Boy Scout mentality regarding salvation. I was a Boy Scout as a youth, learned a lot and earned several merit badges, all based on my good work. But to be clear, we can't earn our salvation. God saves us, not because of what we do, but because of what Christ did for us. Salvation is given through faith in Jesus Christ as Savior.
3) Ask Christ to lead your life and commit to honor Him with your life! 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:10. See, a lot of folks think that good works result in salvation; but good works are the result of salvation! Believers are motivated and inspired to do good deeds for Christ’s sake and for His glory! Jesus said, 16 …let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:16
Are you ready to start your new life in Christ? Are you ready to renew your life in Christ? You can today! If you would like to talk more about what following Jesus means or to pray with someone to receive Christ, please reach out to me (Joel@mywatermark.org). If you have a specific prayer need, I would be happy to pray for you as well.
Please join me in continuing to pray for our community, state and nation. We need God’s presence in our lives and He is willing to draw near to us. He is in control! 23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. Hebrews 10:23