It’s All of Grace

by Mike Ratliff

1 And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, 2 in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. 3 Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest. 4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them. Ephesians 2:1-10 (NASB)

As many of you know Tom Ascol collapsed Sunday at his church. He was rushed to the hospital and is still there. I have been following this as much as I can and I have prayed for him, his family and his ministry as many of you have. I rejoiced today as I read that Tom is responding verbally to those around him.

Here is a link to an update on Tom’s condition from Founder’s Ministry posted today. That was certainly great news and really helped me get my mind and focus off of all the terrible political nonsense going on right now and on what really matters. I also received another email from Founder’s Ministry today with a link to the latest Sword and Trowel episode on Youtube that is a more detailed update not only of Tom’s condition, but also of what actually went on after Tom fell, the events right after that, the ride to the hospital in the ambulance and the things that are going on at the hospital now. Here is that link. It is a very intense track. I suggest you listen to it wisely without the children around.

We discussed things like this in our small group last night. Where is our focus? What is really important? Isn’t our focus supposed to be on the eternal rather than this messed up world? Aren’t we who are in Christ supposed to be growing in grace rather than taking on the ways of the world? It is things like what is going on with Tom Ascol and within our own friends and families that God uses to draw us to him, to be sanctified more, to become more and more Christlike and less and less like the world.

Please continue to pray for Tom Ascol, his family and his ministry.

Soli Deo Gloria!