Click this link to hear an audio version of the below text narrated by SOTH member Jerry Rhinehart: http://sothrichfield.podbean.com/
“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. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 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. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
First… a little disclaimer. It’s true, the first part of this Bible passage can be a little complicated. My general rule for passages like this is… Keep Reading! Even if something doesn’t make sense this time, no worries. Simply push through and pray that God will show you the important stuff. And… if you follow that method today, you’ll come across the heart of this passage, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Ephesians 2:8-10) We are made by God for his purposes in this world! Again, today I invite you to pray and ask God what he has created you to do this day. Maybe it’s something simple (a smile for your barista, a kind word to the bus driver) or maybe it’s a little more difficult (praying for someone who hurt you, asking a friend for forgiveness). Pray and ask for your assigned task this day.