Between 2013 and 2016, South Africa experienced a devastating drought with the driest period on record. With little or no rain, the effects of death could be seen everywhere. Crops withered, livestock perished, and people suffered as food became scarce and rivers and dams dried up. The country was a sad-looking, brown dust bowl until the rains finally came. When the skies opened, the entire nation celebrated as new life was birthed. Lush, green grass that had lain dormant for three years now pushed its way up through the cracked, dry ground, and within days it was on glorious display throughout the country.

Prior to becoming believers in Jesus, we were spiritually dry and dead—desperately in need of the life-giving power of Jesus Christ our Savior (Colossians 2:13). We “were foolish and disobedient. We were misled and became slaves to many lusts and pleasures. Our lives were full of evil and envy, and we hated each other. But—when God our Savior revealed his kindness and love, he saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He washed away our sins, giving us a new birth and new life through the Holy Spirit” (Titus 3:3-5).

Just as the rains across South Africa brought new life out of the dry, dead ground, so too has God—by His Holy Spirit—brought us out of a place of spiritual death and into new life as we put our faith in Jesus. May we not then go back to living as we used to when we were dead in our sins. Instead, let us live fully alive to God who has made us right with Himself through Christ. In Him, we receive as our inheritance both an abundant life here on earth and eternally with Him (Titus 3:6-8; John 10:10).

NLT 365-day reading plan passage for today: John 16:5-33