“Earlier this morning,” Stan began, “I was reading in the apostle Paul’s letter to the church in Ephesus, and I was reminded of something that is attributed to the American author Samuel Clemens, better known as Mark Twain.”
“What’s that?” I responded.
“Although there seem to be different versions of the same story,” Stan replied, “it appears there were reports that Samual Clemens had fallen ill and died. He wasn’t dead and when he heard the reports, he said something like, ‘The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated’.”
“I remember that story,” I said with a laugh, “but how does Paul’s letter to the Ephesians remind you of Mark Twain?”
Rather than answering my question directly, Stan replied, “Not only did I think of Mark Twain, I thought of myself, where the apostle Paul wrote about being dead in trespasses and sins.”
“Yourself being dead?” I replied. “How so?”
“Prior to coming to faith and accepting Christ’s finished work on the cross,” Stan said, “it became clear to me that any report that I was dead in my trespasses and sins against God was not only not an exaggeration, but was the absolute truth. I was among the walking dead!”
“Walking dead? Did you know you were dead?”
“Before coming to the truth?” Stan asked. “Absolutely not! I was fully happy living the life of self and the life of the world, the flesh, and the devil. I thought that the way I was living was a reflection of what life was supposed to be all about. Then it happened.”
“God brought people into my life, people who cared enough to bring me to the truth, as well as to bring the truth to me.”
“And,” Stan continued, “I am eternally grateful that God brought those people into my life so that my status as a dead person was changed to one having life eternally with God when my time here is done, as well as having the eternal life of knowing God the Father and Jesus the Son for as long as I am kept here.”
“No longer dead, but thankful to be alive,” I commented.
“Exactly,” Stan replied. “Alive in Christ! And it’s my thankfulness to God for His provision of His life that drives me to I seek to help others see the truth so they, too, may stop being among the walking dead.”
Bible verses to consider:
And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, 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. Ephesians 2:1-2.
But God being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved). Ephesians 2:4-5.
Jesus therefore was saying to those Jews who believed in Him, “If you abide in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” John 8:31-32.
Prayer: Thank you, Father, for your provision of life eternally with you when my time here is done, along with the eternal life of knowing you and Jesus in an ever-deepening personal relationship before then. All through your free and gracious provision of the cross of Christ so I am no longer dead in my trespasses and sin, no longer a dead man walking. I confess that too often I do not tell others about your provision so they, too, can be alive to you both for eternity and while you keep them on this side of eternity. Please forgive me of that, and please help me in following every step of your lead to help others know and accept the truth that will set them free. Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Think on this: Have you accepted God’s free and gracious provision to no longer be a part of those who are walking around dead in their trespasses and sin so that you have the assurance of life eternally with God when it’s time? If no, why? What’s standing in the way? If you are no longer a “dead person walking,” how are you doing in telling others so they can have the same thing? If you sense the need for change in your approach to that, how is that change going to happen? Is that what you want? Why or why not?
Note: In addition to this entry, entitled, “Dead Man Walking,” you may be interested in the one posted on May 18, 2022, entitled, “Dead Man Talking.”