Click this link to hear an audio version of the below text narrated by SOTH member Jerry Rhinehart: https://sothrichfield.podbean.com
Ephesians 2:1-10 (NIV)
Made Alive in Christ
2 As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, 2 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. 3 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. 4 But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. 6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7 in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. 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. 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
What in your life is due only to God’s presence and goodness?
Lord, this virus is a threat to everyone. It crosses economic, social, financial, political, demographic and geographic borders and can cause harm to anyone in its course. It is like sin and evil. Evil takes over people and changes their desires and behaviors and is deadly. When I followed the ways of this world, I too was susceptible to the effects of evil. But Your grace is the antidote for my sin, giving me a fresh new life in my soul. You washed not only my hands but all that I am with Your blood. Because of loving me, I was delivered from sin and death and my desires, behaviors and my life have been transformed. My salvation was not the result of anything I did, or how loveable I am but was the result of how loving You are. I now have the hope of the future and the promise of being raised up with You in heaven for eternity where there is no sadness, sickness, evil or death. Thank You, Lord, for Your saving grace. My response is to worship and serve You and those in need, not as a payment for my salvation, but out of gratitude and love for what You have done for me. Lord, I pray for all those who need Your cure in their soul. I pray for all those who need Your healing in their body. I pray for those who are struggling financially at this time. I pray for all those who grieve, are lonely or need Your loving care. I pray that You give leaders wisdom and courage to do the right things to move us back to normal, safely and quickly. Help me to be an instrument of Your peace and give those in need Your hope of everlasting salvation through Jesus Christ. Amen.