“In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us.”Ephesians 1:7-8
I’ve found that when I am not assigned a steady job here in prison, I have a lot of time to read books, correspond with pen pals, and occasionally watch television. The latter is how I became aware of something called the Ice Bucket Challenge. While this was the trend, people around the world were pouring gallons of freezing-cold water on their heads with the intent of raising awareness of and research funds for ALS, Lou Gehrig’s disease.
That gesture reminds me of the Apostle Paul’s description of God’s rich mercy (see Ephesians 2:4-7). Although he is speaking of all believers— himself included—I, as a convicted felon, cannot help but see my own pre-salvation portrait in Paul’s words from Titus 3:3. At one time I was “foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions,” acting out of hatred for everyone, including God and myself.
That summarizes who I was before the Lord poured His Holy Spirit on me through Jesus (vv. 5-6) with grace that overflows much more powerfully than emptied-out gallons of ice water!
“The dying thief rejoiced to see/ That fountain in His day;/ And there may I, though vile as he,/ Wash all my sins away.” (William Cowper, 1772)