From Dead to Alive (Ephesians – Week 5)

February 26, 2014

I couldn’t have timed it this way myself, to be in Israel during week 5 of the study, “From Dead to Alive.”  In this week’s video, I say, “Dead can look and sound real spiritual.”  And that’s what struck me about Israel, and in particular, Jerusalem.  Almost everywhere I turned, from physical structures to the garments people wore, so much of it appeared spiritual.  Religious.

And yet, if we believe the Bible—if we believe Jesus Himself—we know that He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life (John 14:6).  Apart from Him, we remain spiritually dead.

This is one of the most important weeks of the study, if not the most important.  This is the Gospel.  This is the difference between heaven and hell.  This is where we praise God for saving us, raising us, and seating us in heavenly places if we’re His—and where we fall to our knees to pray for those who are still in darkness.  We will all exist for eternity.  The only question is where.

I’m so looking forward to your comments this week.  The video is here.  I encourage you to share it with others.

P.S.  I uploaded pictures from the trip into a Facebook album, which can be found here.  (I know some of you already spied a few of these on Instagram. :))

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  • Reply Tamara Davis February 27, 2014 at 7:57 am

    Good morning! I actually watched the video on Monday because it was on your YouTube channel. I am learning so much. I mean, phrases and words I’ve heard for years are now making sense. I never bothered to study them, although my pastor strongly encourages us to study the word for ourselves. In this study, I learned what “dead” really means–to be separated from God. I went on to realize that the enemy is in stark contrast to God and speaks only from his nature. I made a list of the devil’s nature so that I can know and recognize how he speaks. Great study Kim!!! This is phenomenal.

    • Reply Deborah (Debbie) February 27, 2014 at 3:12 pm

      Tamara…Me too!!! I am learning, relearning, having what I know to be true refreshed and deepened. And every moment focuses me and refocuses me on God and who He is and Christ lifted up. Oh, that is goooood!!!

    • Reply Kim Cash Tate March 2, 2014 at 1:46 pm

      Hey Tamara! You make such a good point because there are so many words and phrases from the Bible that are familiar to us. We hear them so much that we may have an idea what they mean, but often not in context. So much opens up when we study…so many “aha” moments where the Spirit gives understanding. And I love that it never gets old because we’re always growing in our understanding. I’m praising God that your understanding was deepened as to what it means to be “dead” and the stark nature of the enemy as opposed to God. God is so good as to how He’s meeting each of us in this study. I’m blown away. May He be glorified continually as our knowledge of Him deepens. He is so faithful!

  • Reply Heather Adams February 27, 2014 at 9:53 am

    Oh, I love this study – you are amazing. How fascinating that “dead” means to be separated from God, right?

    • Reply Kim Cash Tate March 2, 2014 at 1:47 pm

      Heather, I’m praising God that you’re loving this study. How awesome that He’s illuminating His word to each of us! And oh, how we praise Him that we’re no longer separated from Him. When we understand what “dead” means, we rejoice all the more that He’s made us alive in Christ!

  • Reply Deon A February 27, 2014 at 10:02 am

    Morning!I actually watched this video on Youtube and commented on Sunday. Still havent gathered my thoughts because this study is just so rich and im just in awe of the revelations i am receiving through this study. will be back with my thoughts soon:)

    • Reply Kim Cash Tate March 2, 2014 at 1:49 pm

      Deon, I was so glad to discover that I could upload the video before I left and schedule it to go “live” on Sunday while I was gone. Technology amazes me. :) I saw that you commented below and will see you again down there. :)

  • Reply Deborah (Debbie) February 27, 2014 at 3:31 pm

    Welcome home, Kim.

    Well, Wow.Wow.Wow. Do we have an absolutely amazing, beyond wonderful God?! YES!!! (I want pom poms, I think..HA! there’s a picture)My heart is full of the wonder of it. God God God, life is all about Him and He is LIFE. Its a wonder. AND I.DID.NOTHING. to deserve His absolutely amazing grace and love. It’s all Him. THIS — “But God, being rich in mercy, because of his great love with which he loved us…” (v4)Our God RICH IN MERCY…being GREAT in LOVE, loving US with that GREAT LOVE….it’s a wonder (Open the eyes of my heart Lord!). And then “EVEN THOUGH…” know what? That “even though” still applies today…He still exercises His mercy toward me because of His great love for me “even though”…ain’t nothin’ I can do to make Him withdraw that love and He longs for me to walk in the light of that truth and in the freedom that mercy and love has bought/brought me in Christ (o.k. that’s for another post :) ) But He is a wonder. An absolute wonder. By HIS grace I have been saved through faith…nothing I have done. [And I am not alone…so don’t despair, oh, my soul, (or my sisters) if there are those who seem too dead to be raised — DON’T you believe it!!! Take them to God and rest in His goodness and wisdom and love and purpose and work…leave it at the Throne!] It’s all Him…and now, I am called to walk by faith every moment — trusting His grace. Trusting HIM!!

    Oh, boy….there is sooo much here. Thank you, Kim for letting God use you to draw our attention to this and build one another up in this. Thank you, Jesus for your great love and mercy and sacrifice and Thank you, God the Father for your great plan. May you be glorified in it and in our lives as the Spirit works your mighty power and purposes out in us.

    Bless you Kim and my blog Sister — may His great mercy, love and grace ruin us for anything else in His place!

    • Reply Deborah (Debbie) February 27, 2014 at 3:34 pm

      P.S. that would be “Blog Sisters” — I can count, there’s more than one of us meeting here :)

    • Reply Danielle February 28, 2014 at 6:44 am

      Yes, Debbie – THIS: “[And I am not alone…so don’t despair, oh, my soul, (or my sisters) if there are those who seem too dead to be raised — DON’T you believe it!!! Take them to God and rest in His goodness and wisdom and love and purpose and work…leave it at the Throne!]”

      I think of that thief on the cross who was “dead” up until the last MINUTE of his life! Never too late – and how awesome that WE don’t need to worry, nag, cajole, beg, etc. those who seem so dead!

      I’ve stopped talking TO my husband and started talking ABOUT him (to God), because interacting with B about his faith and “issues” just made him angry and he shut his ears and heart. Now, I’m letting God to the “dirty work” LOL and smiling as I watch the small changes.

      DISCLAIMER – I still do talk to my husband, just not about this :)

      • Reply Deborah (Debbie) February 28, 2014 at 3:54 pm

        Danielle, your “disclaimer” made me chuckle out loud :) . You are on to something my sister! Here’s something the LORD seemed to be “pointing out to me” not so very long ago, when I was worried and fretting over somethings and someone and wondering what I was to do (hint: fretting always leads to problems (Psalm 37:8) so THAT should have told me something)…anyway, “Patiently wait for God ALONE, my soul (Psalm 62:5 NET)” and “Rest in the LORD and wait patiently for Him.” (Psalm 37:7 NASB) Now, whatever the particulars of the psalmist’s issues, the truth and the wisdom in those verses is applicable. There may be times God called me to speak but they would be fewer and farther between than I might think AND this is all about trusting Him with what is His business…meanwhile, live out His love, His grace, His wisdom in His Son and through the working of the Holy Spirit in me/you :) . You know I’m praying for you and yours.

        P.S. LOVE the point about the thief being dead until the last minute of his life — hey and then he was REALLY alive :) Kinda gives me chills (in a good way).

      • Reply Kim Cash Tate March 2, 2014 at 2:07 pm

        Danielle this is so awesome…”I’ve stopped talking TO my husband and started talking ABOUT him (to God)…” So good because if B’s not hearing you, you will indeed only make him angry and cause strife in the home to continue talking about God to him. But when you go to God, you can trust that He will penetrate the heart as only He can. And I soooo get this…”Now, I’m letting God do the ‘dirty work’…” yes! You know the prayers you’ve prayed, and you know when B’s heart is being turned ever so slightly. You can see those glimpses of grace. Keep standing in faith because our God is the God of miracles. We pray believing that B is a testimony in the making!

        • Reply Danielle March 3, 2014 at 10:55 am

          Yes, and yes – amen!

    • Reply Kim Cash Tate March 2, 2014 at 2:02 pm

      Thanks for the welcome home, Debbie! And thank you for handing me my poms so I can cheer the wonder of God with you! :) Ephesians 2 truly does make you stand in wonder of God and His amazing grace. AMAZING grace. And LOVE. And this got me cheering wildly…”That ‘even though’ still applies today…He still exercises His mercy toward me because of His great love for me ‘even though’…” Ditto, ditto, yes, yes! I can’t count the number of times He has shown great love and mercy toward me DESPITE me and my sinful flesh. I don’t understand it. I can’t fathom it. He just does. His mercy endures! And all we can do is stand in wonder.

      And AMEN to “so don’t despair, oh, my soul, (or my sisters) if there are those who seem too dead to be raised — DON’T you believe it!!!” That’s why God is a miracle-working God! He raises a person from “dead” to alive in Christ…no matter how much they were against God, no matter how much they didn’t believe. When He works, He WORKS. That’s why testimonies are so powerful. “I was headed this way…doing this thing…actively working against God….BUT GOD!” Look at the apostle Paul’s testimony, persecuting Christians! Our God is an awesome God! I’m so thankful for His mercy and love, and for Jesus’ sacrifice for us, that we might be made alive. My heart overflows with gratitude.

      Bless you, dear Debbie, for leading us to cheer His wonder and stand in the gap for those who don’t yet know Him. I’m thankful to be on this awe-filled journey with my blog sisters.

  • Reply Danielle February 28, 2014 at 6:58 am

    Oh, there is so much here – and it really opened my eyes to so much. I look back on my life, and I can see that I was alive for a while (baptized at 11, following God, learning that spiritual milk), then I was dead – doing all the “spiritual stuff” and looking pretty good on the outside, but my heart and soul were stubborn and defiant – in my late teens and early 20s – and then at 26 I became alive again, and have been “growing in wisdom and stature” ever since!

    I love that line “Dead can look real spiritual”…..yes! I lived that myself, and see it played out in others still. (I’m not judging, because I KNOW I have logs in my own eye, but you know those people that do/say/spout all the right things but are NOT living right, or even TRYING to live right!!!!)

    Side note – I tried to use the analogy of “Take the log out of your own eye before you worry about the speck in someone else’s” on Adanya the other day because of something she was doing, and it was so lost. Sometimes I forget she is only 3, and SO literal!!!

    Anyway, what keeps coming to my mind when I study this divergence between being dead and alive is an image of a coat – you can put a coat on, wear it around, and pretend to be warm, but if it’s not doing the job, it’s worthless. A person can “wear” all the right Scriptures, behaviors, etc. but if their heart is dead, it’s worthless. Once you are brave enough to let God into your heart…….maaaaannnnnnnnn, get ready!!! I was that coat-wearing person that was still cold, but now I’m on fire! Praise God for seating me with Christ and giving me all those amazing attributes and placing ME high above the Devil…..oh, he has been grabbing and struggling to pull me back down these past few years, but he can’t touch me!

    Welcome home, Kim!!! Another awesome week of growing in Him!!!

    • Reply Rochelle March 1, 2014 at 3:14 pm

      Hi Danielle,

      That line hit me too, how dead can look real spiritual. Priceless! I’ve had those seasons where it doesn’t seem God is operating on my oh-so-logical timeline. I get frustrated or bored, and just drift off the path. I’m still saying all the right things, believing in God but just not believing Him. I’ve got my coat on, but not really trusting it to keep me warm. Praise God He didn’t give up on me and puts up with my petulant behavior. Yes, we must keep fighting the good fight of faith, with our shields in hand! Don’t let the devil pull you back down!

      ~ R

    • Reply Kim Cash Tate March 2, 2014 at 2:22 pm

      Danielle, I’m still smiling at your comment above because I love how God leads you and gives you lavish wisdom when it comes to your husband and your home. Reading your comment here, I’m struck by how we’re all affected by this notion of being born “dead” and coming alive at some point in time. For some of us, it’s hard to pinpoint the exact time we were made alive. I know for me, I was 27, yet I don’t know if it was the day I visited a church in Madison and walked the aisle in tears at the end of the service…or was it a little while after? I do want us all to understand though, that once God makes us alive, we’re ALIVE. (I wasn’t sure if you were being a little tongue-in-cheek when you said you were alive for a while, then dead…but wanted to clarify for others who might be reading). We can be alive in Christ and not growing as we should. Or sometimes we think we were alive because we said a prayer, but we never really were. It’s honestly hard to know sometimes. But the basic truth to understand is that all of us were dead in trespasses and sins, and when we’re saved, God makes us alive and gives us His Spirit..and seals us with His Spirit. (Sorry for the tangent in the middle of your post…:))

      But my sister, we KNOW that you are very much ALIVE in Christ and being used by Him in such amazing ways in your home that it astounds me. You are indeed on fire! :) “…oh, he has been grabbing and struggling to pull me back down these past few years, but he can’t touch me!” We all need to pause and praise God for that! Girrrl…amen and AMEN!

      And I’m over here chuckling at the “Take the log out of your own eye” analogy with Adanya. She was probably like, huh?? There’s no tree in my eye! :) Oh, but that little girl’s got an on-fire momma who’s planting some fierce seeds in her heart and mind. May the Lord bring forth a harvest in both her and her baby brother. The trials you’re enduring will reap much fruit in their lives!

  • Reply Brenda March 1, 2014 at 12:14 pm

    Kim, this study is so rich. I’m learning, relearning, letting it marinate and trying to savor every bite. It’s like a delicious meal – yo don’t want it to end!

    I’m thankful God chose to make me one of those who are alive in Him. My prayer is to focus more on what He’s done for me, who I am in Him and what I can do with Him.

    Every word ministers to me but what’s stuck in my mind at this moment is how Satan deceived Eve and that lie – “… not surely die” changed it all. How many lies have I(we)
    believed from him over the course of my(our) life? I don’t want to live a life of defeat when Christ has given me victory in everything though Christ.

    Glad you were able to experience the trip of a lifetime in Israel. :)

    • Reply Kim Cash Tate March 2, 2014 at 2:31 pm

      Brenda, you raise a sobering question. I shudder to think of how many lies I have believed from the enemy. The Bible says he’s crafty for a reason. His lies are believable. They sound plausible. They cater to our weaknesses. Lord, open our eyes to see every lie that we’re currently believing! Help us to walk in truth. Like you, Brenda, I don’t want to live a life of defeat when Christ has given us victory. I’m so thankful that we have the truth readily available through God’s Word. May the Lord deepen our understanding of His truth continually!

  • Reply Rochelle March 1, 2014 at 3:04 pm

    Hello All,

    Kim, welcome back from Israel and thank you for sharing your photos. They were beautiful! It looks like you had a marvelous time. I hope to make it to Israel in the next few years.

    Powerful message both this week and last. I’ve been thinking a lot about the access I have to God’s power. It resonates with me more strongly than ever, how through His love He makes it available to even me. It’s a very humbling concept. I am so grateful that in His mercy He raised me up from my former life, from that enslavement to sin. I read this quote from Tim Keller: “Sin is building your life and meaning on anything, even a very good thing, more than on God. Whatever we build our life on will drive us and enslave us.” And this one from Dr. Richard Lints: “Sin is desiring something not worthy of your heart…Honoring and worshiping something less than God.”

    It feels good to be alive and free, to be living under God’s loving grace. I continually pray for that spirit of wisdom and revelation. He is indeed opening the eyes of my heart, day by day.

    ~ R

    • Reply Kim Cash Tate March 3, 2014 at 3:56 pm

      Hi Rochelle! Thanks so much for the welcome back! :) So true…it’s such a humbling concept to think of all that God makes available to us, purely out of love. And the POWER He makes available to us is incredible. If I simply thought of His power in raising me from death to life… I am forever grateful. And I really like that Tim Keller quote because we tend to think of sin as involving things that are bad in and of themselves. But a “very good thing” can indeed be sin if it becomes idolatrous. It can be painful when the Lord points out those things in our lives, but we know He only does it for our good. May He be on the throne of all of our lives, always.

      “It feels good to be alive and free, to be living under God’s loving grace”…yes, it does! Rejoicing with you in that freedom!

  • Reply Deon A March 1, 2014 at 6:21 pm

    Hello Sisters

    Oh Kim! I just cannot explain how refreshing this study has been for me. Being reminded of the POWER we have in Christ. The overwhelming victory we have through his sacrifice on the cross. Phenomenal and breath-takingly awesome! (Don’t think that’s a word:))

    I just love those BUT GOD verses. Verse 4″But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us”. This verse right here is a place I often sit reflecting on just how loved I am by my savior. As we discussed in our previous study God’s love is limitless. It doesn’t matter who we are or where we have been HE loves us and wants the best for us.

    I reflected on Romans 5:7-8 (MSG)
    We can understand someone dying for a person worth dying for, and we can understand how someone good and noble could inspire us to selfless sacrifice. But God put his love on the line for us by offering his Son in sacrificial death while we were of no use whatever to him.

    This summarizes our study and it brings me to praise every time knowing that I don’t deserve God’s mercy but HE chose to extend it anyway. Knowing that I was in total rebellion toward God as the scripture says, BUT God in his infinite mercy changed my heart and drew me in. What a God! He took me out of darkness into his marvelous light.

    Again thank you Kim for allowing God to use you each week.

    I’m ending with one of my favorite hymns

    The love of God is greater far
    Than tongue or pen can ever tell;
    It goes beyond the highest star,
    And reaches to the lowest hell;
    The guilty pair, bowed down with care,
    God gave His Son to win;
    His erring child He reconciled,
    And pardoned from his sin.
    Oh, love of God, how rich and pure!
    How measureless and strong!
    It shall forevermore endure—
    The saints’ and angels’ song.

    Could we with ink the ocean fill,
    And were the skies of parchment made,
    Were every stalk on earth a quill,
    And every man a scribe by trade;
    To write the love of God above
    Would drain the ocean dry;
    Nor could the scroll contain the whole,
    Though stretched from sky to sky.

    Be blessed my sisters and may we continue to grow in wisdom and grace as we pursue the one who gave HIS all for us.
    Love you

    • Reply MrsTrip98 March 2, 2014 at 8:03 pm

      Beautifully stated, Deon! I so agree with you. Kim’s eloquent teaching reminded me of the spiritual blessing of being raised from that old, rebellious nature. It certainly reminds us of God’s transforming power.

    • Reply Kim Cash Tate March 3, 2014 at 4:05 pm

      Hi Deon! I love your posts because they are always dripping with awe of God. :) And I totally think that’s a word! :D

      I’m with you on the BUT GOD verses. Even if it doesn’t say BUT GOD, but the Bible story reveals an obvious BUT GOD, I love it! When God shows up, EVERYTHING changes! I love that we are all enamored by God’s love. It could be easy to take for granted because we always hear that God is love or that God loves us. But it’s truly something to sit and ponder, something to treasure. SO much of what He’s done for us flows from His love. When we trust in that love, we can truly rest. As you said, we know He wants the best for us.

      I’m with you on the praise that HAS to come when we understand that we did NOTHING to deserve God’s mercy. In fact, we deserved just the opposite. BUT GOD… What kind of love is that that would sacrifice His Son for people in rebellion?? I praise Him for His endless mercy and love. What a God indeed!

      And thank you for sharing that beautiful hymn! I love hymns that are filled with truth and the wonder of God…and in this case, the wonder of His love. How fitting! Thank YOU, Deon, for sharing your love for the Lord and your delight in His Word each week. You truly bless me. Yes, may we grow in wisdom and grace together…what an awesome privilege. Love you too!

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