The First 15

Tuesday March 22, 2022

by Sharon Reid

Today is Tuesday, March 22 and this week, as we pray through scripture, we are reflecting on our great need for salvation.

Opening Prayer

As I enter into prayer, I pause to be still, I slow down my breathing, and I seek to be more fully present with God in these holy moments.

Pause and Pray

Holy Spirit, help me release my worries and distractions into your capable care as I rest with you in these moments of stillness. Amen.

Scripture Reading

I sense I am in God’s presence here and now, as I join with the ancient praise of all God’s people in the words of Psalm 85.

Restore us again, God our Savior, and put away your displeasure toward us. Will you not revive us again, that your people may rejoice in you? Show us your unfailing love, Lord, and grant us your salvation. Love and faithfulness meet together; righteousness and peace kiss each other. Faithfulness springs forth from the earth, and righteousness looks down from heaven. Righteousness goes before him and prepares the way for his steps. – Psalm 85:4, 6-7, 10-13

Pause and Pray

The Apostle Paul wrote these words to the church in Ephesus, describing their, his, and my past moral and spiritual condition while separated from life in the kingdom of God.

As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. – Ephesians 2:4-10 NIV

Reflection

Paul leads me to remember my life before so that I might more fully comprehend the depth of God’s empathy and mercy for me in midst of my brokenness. God responds with “great love” and “rich mercy.” Paul says, we were “dead in our transgressions and sins” and “by nature deserving of wrath.” I remember what was… so that I might more fully drink in the gravity of this beautiful gift: “it is by grace you have been saved.” I deserve God’s wrath, but God made a plan to save me from it, and even more, give me to be “created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

Ask: What words could I use today to thank God for his patient empathy and gracious gift of salvation?

Pause and Pray

Holy Spirit, help me notice a particular word, phrase or thought you want me to carry with me throughout this day as I slowly read the passage once more.

As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. – Ephesians 2:4-10 NIV

Ask: What word, phrase or thought from this passage did God’s Spirit guide you to? How will you carry this with you throughout the day?

Pause and Pray

Lord, help me look inward and pay attention to what you have led me to see and hear. I invite you to transform me in these moments so that I might reflect the thoughts and actions of Jesus Christ throughout this day. Amen.

If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. – Romans 10:9-10 NIV

Closing Prayer

Lord, as I leave this time of prayer, make me ready to be faithful to you in every way. Jesus, make me ready to serve others with your compassion and grace. Holy Spirit, transform my inner thoughts and motivations so that all I do, I do to please you. Amen.

The First 15

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