1You were dead through the trespasses and sins 2in which you once lived, following the course of this world, following the ruler of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work among those who are disobedient. 3All of us once lived among them in the passions of our flesh, following the desires of flesh and senses, and we were by nature children of wrath, like everyone else.
4But God, who is rich in mercy, out of the great love with which he loved us, 5even when we were dead through our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— 6and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7so that in the ages to come he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God— 9not the result of works, so that no one may boast. 10For we are what he has made us, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand to be our way of life.
- What does this Scripture say about God?
- What does this Scripture say about life?
- What am I hearing in this Scripture?
- What am I going to do with this Scripture?
- Want to explore Scripture more deeply? Then check out our Exploring Scripture page!
Use these conversation starters to talk about life and God with your kids, spouse, or friends during the week! A great place to do this is at the dinner table. There’s one prompt for each day of the week!
Tuesday: Read the Scripture passage together.
Wednesday: How has God changed your life?
Thursday: I feel alive in Christ when…
Friday: What good works can you do for God?
Saturday: I experience God’s grace when…
Sunday: What gifts have you received from God?
Monday: What have I heard from God over the past week?
This practice allows you to listen to the Scripture for the week and to open yourself up to God’s voice in that Scripture.
- Click on the audio link above and listen to the Scripture. As you listen this first time, ask God to point out to you a word or phrase from the Scripture.
- Click on the audio link above again and listen to the Scripture a second time. As you listen this second time, ask God to reveal to you the holy intentions for this word or phrase that is being spoken into your life.
- Click on the audio link above again and listen to the Scripture a third time. As you listen this third time, ask God how you might respond to this word or phrase being spoken into your life today.
Meditation: Look at the image above. Butterflies emerging from a cocoon have long been symbols of Jesus Christ and the resurrection. In our Scripture, Paul writes about how we – who were once dead in sin – are now alive in Christ. The resurrection is for you as well! Just as Jesus emerged from the tomb, so will we when Jesus returns to usher in the fullness of the Kingdom of God. But even in the here and now, we can emerge from the cocoon of redemption and sanctification (the process of becoming more and more holy, more like Jesus, and more like God intended us to be). How might you allow your own self-centered ways to die, so that your God-centered self might come alive? Do you need more time in the cocoon to rest and grow within a season of God’s work within you and for you? Is God calling you to take a new step of faithful living, to fly into a new expression of active discipleship? You are being transformed from death into life! Emerge from the presence of God and spread your wings in the kingdom of his glory and grace!
Spiritual Practice: Confession
Confession often has negative connotations in our society, yet it can be a powerful way to connect with God. Take a look at the United Methodist prayer of confession (midway down the page, under the title “Confession and Pardon”) that we use in our liturgy for the sacrament of Holy Communion. Pray each line slowly and intentionally, truly reflecting on what each statement of confession means. Read also the words of pardon and take heart in the mercy of God. God always responds to our confessions with forgiveness and sanctifying grace – the grace that reshapes us into who God designed us to be.
Breath Prayer: LORD God, we desire you.