But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ – by grace you have been saved. – Ephesians 2:4-5
Have you ever been in a situation of feeling completely helpless or powerless? (I hope none of you have been in a dangerous or life-threatening situation like this.)
When I was a youth group leader in Canada, I took the youth group sledding one winter evening. We knew of a great place that was secluded deep in the countryside with steep, snow-covered hills, so about 12 of us packed into the church van and I drove to what seemed to be the middle of nowhere and we had a great time.
After a few hours we were cold and had had enough so we got back in the van, ready to warm up and return home. I put the key into the ignition and turned it. Nothing. I tried again. No reaction at all from the van. Maybe you know this terrible feeling of a dead engine. I made a show of opening the hood and looking at the engine and fiddling with some cables, but I know nothing about engines and it was still dead (and this was in the days before cell phones so there was no calling for help).
One of the kids suggested praying. To be completely honest, I thought it was a lower priority, we should be thinking of ways to get help or get the van started, or just to stay warm. But of course I wouldn’t say that out loud. So we prayed then I turned the ignition. And the dashboard lit up and I felt an incredible relief when the engine rumbled and came to life.
I have no idea what happened, but was simply thankful that we could drive home safely.
Ephesians 2:4 says we are “dead in our trespasses” – dead in our sins. We have no ability to do anything to help ourselves or save ourselves. We are made alive by God’s love and mercy for us, not by anything we do. This is a pure act of grace!
Can you remember the moment you felt spiritually alive in Christ? Can you remember when you last experienced God’s great love and rich mercy?
Take a moment to reflect on that – and share your story with someone else!