In our day-to-day lives of deadlines and expectations, we are challenged to remember that we are saved, by the grace of God, through our faith. We are not saved by perfection or status or wealth; we are saved by a relationship with God. We cannot earn salvation through good works or right words. God’s love and our faith in God is what saves us.

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At one time you were like a dead person because of the things you did wrong and your offenses against God. You used to live like people of this world. You followed the rule of a destructive spiritual power. This is the spirit of disobedience to God’s will that is now at work in persons whose lives are characterized by disobedience. At one time you were like those persons. All of you used to do whatever felt good and whatever you thought you wanted so that you were children headed for punishment just like everyone else.

Ephesians 2:1-3

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The images that come to mind when reading this scripture are vivid. “At one time you were like a dead person because of the things you did wrong and your offenses against God.” Wow – that’s harsh! But is there truth in it? Have you ever felt like your soul was a little “dead” because of a terrible fight or because of doing something you know you shouldn’t have done? We can probably all understand what the scripture writer meant.

We have all suffered from a “spirit of disobedience to God’s will” at least once. Think of a specific time when you did “whatever felt good and whatever you thought you wanted,” even though you knew God wanted something else for you. How did that make you feel? Did the situation change how you interacted with God? Looking back can be painful, but it can also help prepare us to make better choices in the future. As you continue your life journey with Jesus as a companion, choose to live in a spirit of obedience.

Becky Ullom Naugle

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Spirit of Life, help me speak and act according to your will. Encourage me to turn away from things that are dangerous for me. Strengthen my faith today and in the days to come. Amen.

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Go into your day-to-day life confidently, knowing that God has brought you to life with Christ. Remember God’s love for you; remember your faith in God. You cannot go where God is not!

Becky Ullom Naugle

Becky Ullom Naugle, director of youth/young adult ministry for the Church of the Brethren, lives with her husband Patrick in northern Illinois. They enjoy family time, pets, the family lake house, and the Rocky Mountains.

Wondrous Love: Be Still, My Soul

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