God's word in today's world

Saved from the claws of death


People don’t like it when we talk about the devil. It’s as if people are afraid to talk about him. Afraid that if we talk about him, we’ll leave an opening for him. But I think it is important that we know exactly who and what our biggest enemy is.

I still remember my army days. We had a whole year of training. We knew each small part of our rifle. I could dismantle the canon I had to operate in the Ratel in a minute or two and quickly assemble it again. But during that year we were also told a lot about our enemy and how they did things. Therefore, we were prepared and knew what to expect.

Similarly, we must know about the enemy who is walking among us today like a roaring lion. Just look at the battle field around us. Come on, let’s be honest with one another: It doesn’t look good. Relationships have been destroyed; there is no peace or laughter; hate has become the norm of the day; selfishness and wanting just a little bit more is the objective of many people – I can go on and on. It’s the enemy who slyly comes closer and before we know it, he’s helped us slide down the slippery slope of stupid decisions.

For each of us, there comes a time in our lives when we follow the devil and where we can easily identify with the people of Ephesus: 2You let the world, which doesn’t know the first thing about living, tell you how to live. You filled your lungs with polluted disbelief, and then exhaled disobedience.

Yes, I still see this happening around me every day. I see the works of the devil. Yes, at times I call out loud with Paul: I long to do the right things, but before I know it, I’m down in the mud together with all the others, also making the wrong choices. And again I fit the picture of the people of Ephesus: 3We 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.

Sin, that heavy burden of sin, the suffering of sin, eventually leads to death. There is no light on the horizon. Just a heavy burden with one prize – death. That is the reality.

But fortunately we have a God who overflows with love: 4Instead, immense in mercy and with an incredible love, he embraced us. He took our sin-dead lives and made us alive in Christ.

God does not give up. Never ever does God throw his hands up and say: “I cannot do this anymore. I have given mankind more than enough opportunities.” God never leaves us to ourselves. No, God be thanked! Just listen to this: While we lived as if God did not exist, before we even noticed Him, He made the first move towards us and reached out his hand to us to save us from the mud.

Wow! This sounds like a fairy tale. But it is not just a carrot in front of our noses. This is the truth. God’s love for us is so immense that He will never let go of us.

As you go through your day today, know that there is someone who wants to tempt you from the road. Be warned and be ready. But also know that there is a God who loves you so much that He will do everything to protect you. Know that His love for you is simply too big for Him to leave you to your own devices. You have received a new life in Christ. Go and live it!

Scripture

Ephesians 2:1-10

Reflection

Do you know the enemy?

Are you prepared to stand up against him?

Are you living a new life or are you still stumbling around in the old one?

Prayer

Our Father in heaven, thank you that You did not remain there, but died on a cross to save me to save me from evil, but also to save me from myself. Please help me, Lord, to live like someone who has received a new identity. Please help me to help others and to show them how people live who have been saved from the claws of death. Amen

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