Ephesians 2:1-2 No Longer Dead

 

Life and death

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. Ephesians 2:1-2

When a person is born, he is seen to be alive, however, when he begins to sin, he is no longer alive, but dead, even though he is alive physically. Sin causes a person to die. They die spiritually, because they no longer have the life of God in their lives.

The people of this world are living for themselves and temporary pleasures. People sin and accept and promote sin in others. It is a life that is against God.

Without God in the picture a person cannot see or know that in reality he is dead. Paul says he is dead in sins and transgressions.

Every person that has been born, has also sinned. This means that every person who has been born is also dead, even while they walk this earth. They are living in sin and in bondage to sin. True life can only be found in Jesus.

Once a person believes in Jesus and accepts what He has done for him, he is no longer dead. He is now alive in Christ Jesus with an eternal life.

Paul points out that as a believer one was once dead in sins, but is no longer dead in those sins. This is showing that there is a change in life. The believer should no longer be chasing after those sins or living a sinful lifestyle. He should no longer be living like this world.

The believer is now a new creation in Jesus. He is now following God, rather than this world and Satan.

As you look at your life, who are you following? If you are following Jesus, you should be dead to sins and transgressions. Do not seek to find ways to sin or promote sin, flee from all sin. Do not allow yourself to follow the ways of this world and cause yourself to die again.

Live for God, not self or this world. You turned away from this world, now stay away from it. Live the full life that God is giving you. The ways of this world only bring about death.

I pray today that you will know the life Jesus offers you; that God will show you the way of true life; that God will strengthen you to turn from all sin; and that you will be alive in Christ Jesus for all the world to see. 

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1 Corinthians 5:8 Live In Sincerity And Truth

 

lady in a mirror

Therefore let us keep the Festival, not with the old bread leavened with malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. 1 Corinthians 5:8

Paul reprimands the Corinthian church for allowing believers in the church to openly live in sinful ways. He calls them to cast those types of people out and to live a certain way. They are to celebrate God with sincerity and truth.

The world lives by a standard that anything is acceptable. A person can live how he wants and everyone else must accept it, as long as he wants to live that way. Living in this way, allows a person to live in sinful ways with no concern that it is wrong. The world has no true standard that they must live by.

This type of thinking and living has been brought into the church since the time Paul was preaching the gospel message. There are people who live their lives in sin on purpose, while they are still going to church.

It is a common thing to see couples, who are not married, living together, while going to church and claiming to believe in Jesus. Churches are rising up all around the nation and world that teach that it is acceptable to live in a homosexual lifestyle, while being a believer. There are many other sinful lifestyles that are being lived out, as a believer, as though it is acceptable to God, that are directly stated against in the Bible. Many in the church have accepted these lifestyles as acceptable.

This is different from a person who is striving to overcome a sin, but still has problems. These are people who are living this way on purpose, despite what God’s word says. And the church accepts it.

God wants His people to live in sincerity and truth. Living according to His standards in full truth, not just in word or on Sunday.

Living as the world does, is a double standard. God’s word is truth and only one way.

Take a look at your life. Are there things in your life that you have accepted, that God is against?

Turn away from sinful lifestyles, and turn to Jesus. Live as He did, in full sincerity of heart and truth. Do not allow malice and wickedness to reign in your life and heart, but God’s love and righteousness.

Be who you say you are.

I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will know the ways of God; that you will live according to God’s standard; and that you will encourage others to live as God desires.

Zechariah 14:9 King Of The Whole Earth

The LORD will be king over the whole earth. On that day there will be one LORD, and his name the only name. Zechariah 14:9

Looking into the future Zechariah sees a time when God will overcome all the nations of the earth. At that time He will destroy all false beliefs and gods. God will be the God of all the earth.

At the time of Zechariah and even today, there are many gods on this earth. People worship and serve other people, false gods and things. Some will worship them to the point of making it a religion, while many will just give their whole life to something or someone.

It looks as though the world and Satan is in control and will win the battle. Churches appear to be getting smaller and smaller, many closing their doors. Sinful activities are promoted more and more openly everywhere. Certain false religions appear to be on the rise, growing more and more all the time.

This looks the same as when Israel was in captivity and there appeared to be no hope left. God had said that He rejected them and cast them out. The nations of the world had overcome Israel. Yet, there was a hope. Not all were destroyed in the captivity. After a time in captivity, they were restored. Later after that, they regained their land as their own nation and country.

While it appears that the world and Satan are winning, they are not. God is setting up the stage for the return of Jesus. When Jesus returns all sin will be destroyed for all eternity. A new heaven and a new earth will be made. At that time the name of Jesus and God will be the only names worshipped and honored. God will be God of the entire earth.

Each day that you look out on this world and read or see the news, keep in mind that Jesus said that He will return some day. There will be a day when He returns and takes you away with Him to a home He has prepared for you.

Until that day, stay strong in your faith in Jesus. Continue to let every person know what Jesus has done and can do for them. Be a witness and strive to bring as many with you to God as you can. In the end God will be God of all the earth. You have hope!

I pray today that you will know the salvation of Jesus in your life; that you will know the hope you have in Jesus; that God will remove the fear of the world in your life; and that you will be a witness for Jesus to this fallen world.

Zechariah 5:4 Thieves And False Swearing

The LORD Almighty declares, ‘I will send it out, and it will enter the house of the thief and the house of anyone who swears falsely by my name. It will remain in that house and destroy it completely, both its timbers and its stones.’ Zechariah 5:4

Zechariah had been given a vision by God of a large flying scroll. The scroll had a curse written on both sides of it. One was against all thieves and the other was against those who swore falsely by God’s name. It was to go into the houses of these people and remain there until the house was completely destroyed.

It is common for people to be upset about others who are thieves. Very few people have room for someone who is a thief. It is expected that thieves are to be punished.

While this is true, there are many people who are living as thieves. They may not be stealing physical things from other people, but they are stealing from God. He has given them blessings to be used for others and they use them for their own personal gain. They refuse to give generously in offerings and tithes. They steal time to spend with Him for their own personal entertainment.

The other curse was against those who swear falsely by God’s name. It is easy for a person to claim a belief in God, but it is another thing to live by His name. People claim to live for God, yet refuse to read His word, follow His commands, or be His witness. Others also claim things, as though they are true of God, that go against His word. When this happens, they are swearing falsely by His name.

As a believer, you need to continually examine your life, what you say or do. Are you stealing things from God? This could be done on purpose or by accident, but it is still stealing. How much time are you taking from God?

You claim to be a believer, then you must ask yourself if you are really living like a disciple of Jesus. Are you striving to be more like Jesus everyday? Or are you falsely swearing allegiance to God and living your own way?

Make God the center of your life. Live in every way possible for God, in everything you say and do. May God not be able to accuse you of being a thief or falsely swearing in His name.

I pray today that you God will reveal to you ways you may be stealing from Him; that God will show ways you may be falsely swearing in His name; and that you will be more like Jesus everyday.

Micah 6:3 God’s Complaint

“My people, what have I done to you? How have I burdened you? Answer me.” Micah 6:3

God is asking them a simple question as to how He has been a burden to the. He had provided everything that they had needed since they were brought out of Egypt. God had given them land, food, and victory over their enemies many times. Yet, the Israelites chose to follow and serve other false gods.

People like to say that it is difficult to live as a Christian because there seems to be so many different rules. They see God as a harsh judge that just requires people to follow difficult rules and allows for no freedom.

Churches can often make this seem like the truth, that God is harsh. Rules are often made up on how a person is supposed to live and what he can and cannot do, that are not in the Bible. Some of these rules have been: cannot go to a movie theatre, cannot dance, cannot play cards, and the list goes on. These types of things can push a person away from God, rather than drawing him near.

Along with those types of rules, many churches or people are legalistic in following God. There is no grace or mercy involved. In himself, no person can completely live up to God’s standards. God has provided salvation through Jesus, not through a man’s work.

The only burden that God has put on you is to love and obey Him and love your neighbor. When you are doing these two things, everything that is done will done with joy. It becomes a joy to spend time in prayer talking to the one who loves you perfectly. It becomes a joy being able to share the gospel message with someone else. It becomes a joy when you can help another person in their time of need. It becomes a joy seeing God do great things in and through you.

When everything is being done with joy, nothing is a burden. Jesus said that His burden was light. God is not out to put a heavy burden on you. He is there to give you an abundant and fulfilling life in serving Jesus.

How do you see following God?

As a heavy burden?

Or an exceedingly great joy?

I pray today that you will know the love and grace God has for you; that you will see the joy in serving God; that you will find joy in loving others; and that you will follow God out of love rather than a burden.

Micah 4:11-12 Not Understanding God’s Plan

But now many nations are gathered against you. They say, “Let her be defiled, let our eyes gloat over Zion!” But they do not know the thoughts of the LORD; they do not understand his plan, that he has gathered them like sheaves to the threshing floor. Micah 4:11-12

As the nation of Israel was being overtaken by many other nations under the judgment of God, those nations thought that they had great favor. They felt that they must be better than the nation of Israel and that the God of Israel was giving them His favor. In their eyes, they had won the great prize, the land of Israel.

In all of this, they did not realize the plans God had for them. Yes, God was allowing them to destroy Israel, but it was only for a time. Their time of punishment would come for their own sins. God was using those nations to get Israel’s attention and then provide for an even greater salvation.

God has plans that often are greater and longer reaching than most people can see or think of. Very few people have a plan of desiring to go through a disaster or trouble. They want to avoid it, if at all possible. God, however, uses disaster.

If God had not crushed Israel and allowed other nations to take over, things would have been much different. It was the Roman government, a pagan government, that set up a system to be able to spread news around the world very rapidly and safely. This allowed for Jesus to come and the gospel message that He proclaimed to be proclaimed around the world. God used a secular government to bring together His blessings.

Even in today’s society, there are times that the secular world is making choices that seem to go against God. Believers are often worried and scared of those choices. Yet, those choices may be what God is setting up for a greater victory for believers in the end.

When you see things occurring that go against God, pray about it and seek God’s will in it. Do not take a part of those actions, but trust God to work through those actions.

Seek the victory that He promised in Christ Jesus in the end. God is gathering the world up for His victory in the end. The world will not be on the winning side.

I pray today that God will show you what He is doing; that you will trust God’s choices in this world; that you will not fear those in this world; and that you will be on God’s winning side through it all.