Changed for the Better

Change is that one word none of us like very much. Change forces us to get out of our comfort zones and do things differently. Sometimes change is a good thing even though it may happen through a difficult process. I am writing today to share with you the greatest change that has ever happened in my life, which was being redeemed by the precious blood of Christ.

Where my journey of faith began

I was raised in a broken home and for a period of time my family had no interest in God or church. My grandparents had taken me to church as a young boy and I know God certainly used their faithfulness to bring me to himself. It wasn’t until I was twelve years old that I made faith personal.

One Saturday afternoon I returned home from working with my grandfather. He was actually my step grandfather, but he always treated me like I was his family. Pastor Edward Puckett and youth pastor Andy Stidham from the Hamilton FWB church visited my family and invited us to church. My family decided not to go to church but thankfully the Hamilton FWB church had a bus ministry. The following morning I excitedly awoke and dressed for church.

About 3-4 months later I was sitting in one particular service and God was dealing with me. I remember Pastor Ed Puckett concluding his message by stating, “Some of you could leave here today and face eternity. If you have not accepted Jesus as your Lord you will not go to heaven.” In that moment I knew that if I were to die I would not to go heaven, so I walked forward and asked Jesus to forgive me and make me new. There is more to the Christian life than escaping hell and entering heaven, but this is the Truth that convinced me that was desperately in need of a relationship with God.

My journey of faith began in May 2005.  There have been good days and bad days since I became a Christian but through it all I have no regrets. Following Jesus is the greatest decision I have ever made. I have been changed for the better.

YOU can be changed for the better

Before change can happen one must recognize their need for it. We must realize that we are utterly hopeless without God. We must recognize that God alone can transform us into His image. God created man in His own image, but that image was seriously maligned after we rejected Him in Eden. Through Christ, God is renewing His image in the worst among us.   You will be changed forever when you accept His amazing work of Grace.

2 Corinthians 5:21 says, “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” (2 Corinthians 5:21, NKJV) God’s holiness demands that there must be a sacrifice to become our sin offering. Jesus the Messiah stood in our place as our sin offering. He alone was righteous enough to cover our sins. Jesus covers us with his righteousness when we accept him by faith.

If you are tired of going through the motions of life and faith, I ask you to join me at Jesus’ feet. He will transform you when you humble yourself at his feet. You too can be changed for the better by giving your life to him. We are transformed into new creatures when we fill our hearts and finds with the Truth of Scripture.

Kyle Idleman has written a great book on this subject entitled AHA. He says that three things are essential to change in one’s life of faith:

1. Awakening: This is the moment where you recognize that you have a problem. For my purposes here we will call this a sin problem. Maybe you have given your life to Christ but you have found yourself repeatedly visiting your old sins. The moment of awakening is the moment that the Holy Spirit speaks to you about your need for change.

2. Honesty: This is the moment where you come to grips with the fact that you have failed God miserably. You know that you are not living up to your God-given purpose.

3. Action: This is the most difficult part of the process because it involves correcting the problem. Idleman uses the illustration of hitting the snooze button rather than getting out of bed. If you have not been living your life for God, now is the time to recommit yourself to Him.  If you truly want to be changed for the better you must decide to do something about it.

Years ago Nike emphasized the phrase, “Just do it.” This phrase is also true of our lives. We are changed for the better when we do something about our sin problem. You see, our human nature does not naturally long for the things of God. We must feed ourselves on the Bible and prayer. When we consistently read, study, and pray the scriptures God reveals who He is and what he expects from us. To be clear, this is not a means of “earning favor” with God. He favored us when He sent his son to die for us.

I have been amazed how God has continued to work in my own life. I still have so much growing to do, but I have been changed for the better. I am longing for the day when His work in me is complete and when my new nature is fully realized. God’s work of renewing His image in all creation will continue until Jesus returns. God will transform you by His grace if you allow Him to.

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