Monday, May 12, 2014

that was then...this is now

As the academic year came to an end, many years ago, I was overwhelmed with the things that I had learned.  This was a couple years in to my college career when I had changed majors as well as continued to study for ministry.  The year included lessons in the Greek language, English literature and more.

The year before was also heavy with learning that sent me deeper in to study of the Bible, and I remember having a conversation, one two different occasions, with professors talking through aspects of Scripture that made me want to learn more.  The rest is history.  My love for the Old Testament and for knowing God had never been this strong before.

This week begins with a short journey through some of the strongest lessons of faith that the Apostle Paul had written.  I am talking about the letter he wrote to the church at Ephesus.  The book of Romans is often considered the textbook of faith.  The other letters stand as support for Romans.

In the second chapter of Ephesians Paul opened for us thoughts about how God has changed our lives.  Here are some of the thoughts that stick out for me:

(notes from Ephesians 2, New Living Translation)

“Once you were dead because of your disobedience and your many sins” verse 1

“You used to live in sin” verse 2

By our very nature we were subject to God’s anger”  verse 3

All three of those statements are in the past tense.  They were true once but no longer.  God made something happen that could only He could do.  Jesus is the answer. 

The chapter continues with an explanation of the change:

But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much” verse 4

he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead” verse 5

God saved you by his grace when you believed” verse 8

He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” Verse 10

For Christ himself has brought peace to us.” Verse 14

The first pieces were in the past tense.  They were true, but these pieces became true when Jesus’ work on earth was complete.  Not only were they true at that time, but these things are continually true for all who have accepted Jesus.

Then comes the dilemma that is hard to understand.  Through the years I have talked with lots of people that experienced something that seems so wrong.  When they began to learn, they were excited and spent tons of time with God and in the Bible.  Yet as the years went on they spent more time the world of learning, in academia, and less and less time with God Himself.  We have to guard against this.

That is a sad truth.  My prayer is for you and me to come face to face with God this week.  I pray we will fall even deeper in love with God and His Word and spend time each morning taking in His truth.  As these verses ring in our hearts and minds, may our lives never ever be the same.  May we help others fall in love with Jesus too.

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