Forever Changed



Wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you. 

Jesus, I belong to you.

I lift up my heart to you.
I set my mind on you.
I fix my eyes on you.
I offer my body to you as a living sacrifice.

Jesus, we belong to you. 

Praying in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, amen. 

Ephesians 2:1–5

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.


In the healing story of the blind man, Jesus asked, “What do you want me to do for you?” (Mark 10:51). We’re eleven days into this Lenten journey and when we began, I said we wanted to be changed, we wanted to be altar’d by embracing a life of surrender. Is this what you want Jesus to do for you? Today’s passage tells us the good news that we are not just changed, but we are forever changed!

Read the passage again but this time change the pronouns to make it personal. “As for me, I was dead in my transgressions and sin, in which I used to live when I 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 . . .” Keep going! It’s good news! The transformation that God is capable of doing in your life and mine is radical and it is eternal. When we make our lives an altar and choose each day to surrender, we will forever be changed.

Paul is quite direct with his words in this letter. He tells the believers that they, like him, were deserving of wrath. That’s the nature of humanity. We were sinners and we are sinners. But God. That can stand as a powerful sentence on its own. But God did not leave us as sinners to receive the punishment we deserved. But God did not turn His back on us. But God who is rich in mercy, perhaps better translated as abounding in mercy, saved us. And this is a mercy that meets us again and again as we surrender through confession and obedience to God. When we fail, and we will, we can remember that God is rich in His mercy and His mercies are “new every morning” (Lam. 3:23).

What does Paul say God does because of His mercy? He makes us alive with Christ. The beauty of being alive, just like God’s mercy, is that we can experience this daily. In another of Paul’s letters he calls it walking “in newness of life” (Rom. 6:4 CEB). And all of this comes as the gift of grace we have received because Jesus surrendered His life on a cross for us. It is the only reason we can be forever changed.

Breathe in this good word today and give thanks for the mercy of God. Since Ash Wednesday we have looked at altars, altar fires, the sacrifice, and surrendering. As we continue in this journey, we will dive a little deeper into specific areas of our lives we need to surrender and what God gives us in exchange. But for today, rest in the “but God” that has changed us from being dead in our transgressions to alive with Christ.


God, we do not deserve Your mercy but thank You for saving us. Your mercy lifts us up from the pit that we deserve to breathing in the air of the Holy Spirit. We celebrate that today. Amen.


Knowing that you were dead because of your sin, how does that affect the way you approach God? How will you walk in the newness of life this week as a sign of being alive with Christ?

For the Awakening,
Susan Kent 

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WHAT IS THIS? Wake-Up Call is a daily encouragement to shake off the slumber of our busy lives and turn our eyes toward Jesus. Each morning our community gathers around a Scripture, a reflection, a prayer, and a few short questions, inviting us to reorient our lives around the love of Jesus that transforms our hearts, homes, churches, and cities.

Comments and Discussion

2 Responses

  1. The reminder that we were once dead in our trespasses and our saved by Grace alone serves as a permanent obstacle against any boasting on our behalf. All glory be to God ALONE.

  2. Forever Changed

    Dead to the voice of the living God,
    Controlled by self-focused desire,
    Ruled by pride and disobedience,
    Inwardly defeated by guilt,
    Deserving of God’s punishment,
    Avoiding His Holy presence,
    Insensitive to His great love,
    Unaware of Christ’s rich mercy,
    One day I heard Jesus talking
    And started walking
    With Him!

    At the start of each day
    I hear Jesus talking.
    Before I get on my way
    I hear Jesus talking.
    When my conscience speaks
    I hear Jesus talking.
    In valleys and on peaks
    I hear Jesus talking.
    As I listen and pray
    I hear Jesus talking.
    If I begin to stray
    I hear Jesus talking.
    When I open my heart
    I hear Jesus talking.
    When I need a new start
    I hear Jesus talking.
    As I read Bible verses
    I hear Jesus talking.
    In all of life’s reverses
    I hear Jesus talking.

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