NLC Email/Sept21, 2107

Dear NLC!

Greetings in that most precious Name...JESUS! One verse is standing out to me today. It is found in Ephesians 2:1. The King James Version reads, "And you, He hath quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins."

I like that word "quickened". It means that God radically changed us, kind of like a splash of icy water on our face in the morning after a long and cozy sleep will do! It means He, poetically, shook us by the shoulders, in order to wake us up, and removed our old sleepy, sinful nature, and put His wonderful nature, His Spirit, in us. We have been "quickened" by His love and mercy, which was made available to us through the body and blood sacrifice of Jesus Christ. That power is simply so very wonderful! Nothing else could have done it, no other power on earth or in the heavens would have been enough to...change a life. And this is exactly what Jesus did. He changed our lives! 

Most other translations refer to the word "quickened" as to becoming "alive."  In essence, we who were dead in sins, He has made alive in Him. Wow! 

This raises some important questions for each of us today. How's it going? I mean, how's it really going? Feeling new? Feeling fresh? Feeling like a splash of icy water just hit you in the face?

The good news is that we may or may not actually feel that way right at this very moment in time, but none-the-less, the promise in God's Word is still absolutely true. In other words, whether we feel it or not, if we have accepted Christ into our lives as our Lord and Savior, if we have repented of our sins, and if we are living a current life of faith in Him, we are in fact "quickened", "alive", "new" and "awake" in the Lord Jesus.  

This is where faith, true faith, comes into play. Hebrews 11:6 tells us, 

"And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him." 

Oh, may our faith in Christ soar! May our spirit man catch up to our emotional man, and may our true born-again selves be all that we can be in the Lord, and for the Lord. This new life is too extraordinary to neglect or to take for granted!

The Message translation captures the meaning of what we are saying here. Read Ephesians 2:1-6 and take it in slowly: 

"It wasn’t so long ago that you were mired in that old stagnant life of sin. You let the world, which doesn’t know the first thing about living, tell you how to live. You filled your lungs with polluted unbelief, and then exhaled disobedience. We all did it, all of us doing what we felt like doing, when we felt like doing it, all of us in the same boat. It’s a wonder God didn’t lose his temper and do away with the whole lot of us. Instead, immense in mercy and with an incredible love, he embraced us. He took our sin-dead lives and made us alive in Christ. He did all this on his own, with no help from us! Then he picked us up and set us down in highest heaven in company with Jesus, our Messiah."

THIS is wonderful news! We encourage you today to recognize your place of prominence "in the highest heaven"right next to our Lord Jesus. It is there that we will do our best in life. It is there that we will see ourselves as we really are...saved, sanctified, surrendered. It is there that we will discover God's plan for our lives. May each of us embrace this miraculous position in Him!

Have a great week.  Let's stay focused on Jesus. Let's enjoy our new life in Him! Oh, and get ready for Sunday as we once again gather to honor our Risen Lord!

All For Jesus, 

Pastor Rick and Pamela