BREATH OF LIFE

By guest writer Jim Lyons

Photo by J. Earle

Her name was Mirah.  She was four months old.  I met her and her family inside a dimly lit bedroom on the second floor of an apartment building on the east side of town.  What brought us together that evening was a cry for help – Mirah had stopped breathing.  With lights and siren, I arrived within a minute.

Inside her crib, Mirah laid still.  Her skin was blue. 

No sound. 

No breath. 

No life.

I quickly picked her up, and with my mouth to hers, I began to breathe life into her body.  “Careful, Jim!  Don’t breathe too hard!  Remember, she’s little!”  After administering some breaths and small chest compressions, Mirah’s eyes began to blink.  With a few more breaths, her eyes suddenly opened, and so did her lungs!  Out of that tiny body came the loudest cry I had ever heard. 

Mirah was alive!

Suddenly, that dimly lit room became brighter.  And it was because, for a brief moment, God made His presence known.  It was His presence, His mercy, and the casting out of death that lit up that room and the hearts of all who were present.  It was by God’s grace Mirah went from death to life.

Three years later, this scene would unfold differently – I too would find myself crying out for help in a dimly lit room – “Lord, have mercy on me, a sinner!” And by God’s grace and His gospel message, He revived me that day by breathing spiritual life within my soul (Ezekiel 36:25-27, 37:5, 1 Peter 1:3, 23). 

What a glorious day that was – going from death to life!

As I look back on that day, I’m reminded of the words of the Apostle Paul to the church in Ephesus.  In Ephesians 2:1-10, Paul describes the life of those who come to Jesus Christ by faith and repentance.

In verses 1 through 3, Paul clarifies our life BEFORE CHRIST.

And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience – among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.  Ephesians 2:1-3 (ESV)

In verses 4 through 9, Paul clarifies our life IN CHRIST.

But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ – by grace you have been saved – and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.  For by grace you have been saved through faith.  And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. Ephesians 2:4-9 (ESV)

And in verse 10, Paul clarifies our life FOR CHRIST.

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.  Ephesians 2:10 (ESV)

Let those verses sink in. 

The believer going from death to life! 

What mercy! 

What grace!  

Our Heavenly Father sent His Son, Jesus Christ, into this world to breathe life into lost sinners who were dead in trespasses and sins (John 3:16-17).  And by His life, His sacrificial death upon a cross, and His resurrection from the grave, Jesus reconciled us to God, cleansing us of our sins, and giving us a living hope and an eternal inheritance in heaven that will never perish (1 John 4:9-10, 1 Peter 1:4).

Let us rejoice!  Jesus Christ has brought us from death to life!  We are alive in Him!  Let us praise Him for His finished work!

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Philippians 4:4 (ESV)

Blessings to you,

JIM      

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