Last time we were together, i.e. if you read my teaser post about this series, I left you with a few questions.
- Have you experienced being brought to life by God?
- Are you living alive?
- What the heck does that even mean?
Probably since the summer - I wish I had a better memory - I have been wondering about what my life would look like if I "lived alive." What I mean by that phrase is this: What if I really lived like Jesus has saved my soul, because I really believed that I am alive-alive, no longer a dead woman walking? Because from my understanding of Scripture at this point in my life, Christians should be the most alive living people on the planet. Jesus says things like, "I have come that they might have life and have it to the full or abundantly." (John 10:10) That gives me the impression that knowing Him means a lot more than a ticket out of hell, but rather eternity with our Lord and a life that is vibrant, flourishing, and beautiful now.
How many of you would describe the way you are living right now as "vibrant, flourishing, and beautiful"? Not many of you? Uh-huh, I thought so, because I am right there with you. And I say "the way you are living" rather than "life" because I also believe from Scripture that our circumstances don't have to be vibrant, flourishing, or beautiful for us to live that way. Oooo, that's a hard pill to swallow.
But I get ahead of myself.
For now, I simply want to introduce Live Alive and give you a general idea of where we are headed in this series. I have loved how God has been leading my mind all over the place and His Word as I've been mulling this over! So here's the deal, our central verses are Ephesians 2:4-5, (this is from the English Standard Version):
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.
We will get into the surrounding verses later in the series, but these two verses give such an excellent summary of the Good News. Let's pause here a minute and make some observations:
- God interrupted something (see "But")
- He is rich in mercy
- He loves us
- We were dead in our trespasses (fancy word for sin)
- God made us alive with Jesus
- We are saved by grace
That's just a quick list! In summary, God majors in mercy, love, and saving grace; we were dead, but God made us alive in Christ. What I immediately take from this is that until God makes us alive in Christ we are dead men walking. We have breath in us, we can do all the things, but something about us is dead and unreviveable without God's intervention. I also extrapolate that once God has intervened, I should no longer be living life like a dead person!
And that my friends, is what we'll be exploring this month, to get to answering those questions I left you with last time. First, we'll set up some backstory, like, how the Bible says we were made, how we became dead men walking, and what role Jesus plays in bringing us back to life. Then we'll dive into what that new "alive life" looks like, examining how Jesus lived and the various commands and encouragements the Bible gives us to pursue this amazing alive life the Lord longs for us to embrace and LIVE.
Thanks for joining me; I am so thankful you are here!