Posts Tagged ‘change’

  

“There is no Rock like our God. No one will succeed by strength alone.” (1 Samuel‬ ‭2‬:‭2, 9‬ NLT)

Katrina Sweet has spent most of her life looking for stability. Having been sexually abused in her home as well as her church, she was devastated and feeling as if nowhere was safe. As her latest destructive relationship fell apart, Katrina, single mother of two, drove to a nearby bridge to end her life of pain. 

Sensing the need to give God one more chance, she prayed as she stared over the edge. “I remember praying one word,” she said later. “I cried one word, ‘Help!’ ‘Help’ is what I said. I feel like God heard my cry for help. And I didn’t know how my life was going to turn out; I just had a sense that everything was going to be okay.” Today, Katrina is recovered and leading others back from the brink. 

Are you in a place where your strength isn’t enough to fix it? Our God is a strong and mighty Father, full of love and compassion for you, regardless of how you have felt towards Him. Turn to Him today, like Katrina, and let Him save the day! You are loved! 

  

“Has the LORD redeemed you? Then speak out! Tell others he has redeemed you.” (Psalms‬ ‭107‬:‭2‬ NLT)

Milton Greidinger of New York and Concha Watson of Miami, Fla., were in their mid-80s when they first learned to use a personal computer. The experience dramatically changed both their lives, enabling them to reconnect to the world by pushing through the loneliness and isolation that had threatened to engulf them. “It saved my life,” says Greidinger, speaking praise for the Virtual Senior Center, a Microsoft public-private partnership that uses technology to link homebound seniors to activities at their local senior center and to provide better access to community services. “Before this project, I was bored to death. I was just waiting for my time to finish. Now, all of a sudden I’m wide awake. I’m alive again.”

We all have things in our lives that we praise enthusiastically. From makes of cars to types of foods to brands of toilet paper, some things have made a marked difference in our quality of life. But when Jesus changes a life, redeeming them from life’s losses and establishing an eternal prize, THAT should receive our highest praise!

As you go about your day, take time to simply tell God “Thank you!” for saving your life. Then make it an everyday practice to simply declare to others how great God is. He’s the best thing you’ve got! You are loved today! 

  

My days are like the evening shadow; I wither away like grass. But you, Lord, sit enthroned forever; your renown endures through all generations. You will arise and have compassion on Zion, for it is time to show favor to her; the appointed time has come.” (Psalm‬ ‭102‬:‭11-13‬ NIV)

As we sat in the car, you could feel the agony in the atmosphere. “Robert” no longer cared what anyone, even God, thought about him. His addiction meant more to him that family or career. That abandonment moment would last for several years, leaving many scars. Yet, could he change?

The scripture paints a picture of a man in deep dejection, loneliness, despair. He feels his life is ebbing away like the evening shadows and there’s so little time left for him. He says, “I’m withering away like grass.” Have you ever felt like that? And what do you do if you ever feel like that? 

Robert’s life eventually turned around, but only after great prices were paid. Do what the psalmist did instead. He looked away from himself, his own situation, he lifted up his eyes to the Lord and he saw the Lord by faith, on His throne, and he realized that the Lord doesn’t change with our situations and circumstances. The Lord is always on His throne! He never abdicates; He’s always in total control! Rest in His care and control! You are loved! 

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For only when you come to judge the earth will people learn what is right.” (Isaiah‬ ‭26‬:‭9‬ NLT)

In 1998, Oscar was a “drug mule”, carrying heroin in his stomach from Columbia to Miami. He was arrested at the airport and sentenced to 100 years for his crime. But while in jail, Oscar’s life was changed by God’s grace and a little Gideon’s Bible. Today, Oscar and his wife minister to others, delivering the same hope of forgiveness.

We are accustomed as Christians to hate judgment, simply to fail in the realization that mercy only comes through judgment. The sins in our life, even our hidden ones, must be exposed to God’s face before they can be taken away. Only through conviction and repentance does mercy come. Otherwise, we could commit whatever sins we wanted and still expect a place at the Lord’s table, leaving Jesus’ death as a vain and meaningless act.

Never shy away from God’s judgment; if He loves us, then He must correct us. Instead, learn to thank Him for correction, for then does true mercy and love come! Then go live a more free and uncompromising life! You are loved today!

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Prove by the way you live that you have repented of your sins and turned to God.” (Luke‬ ‭3‬:‭8‬ NLT)

Steven Spielberg is argumentatively one of the best movie makers to ever hit Hollywood. But to experience his early works might make you wonder how. Even he admits that a lot of his early projects were bad, calling one production as boring “as a piece of drift wood ” or “a Pepsi commercial”! Yet, he proved himself capable by staying at it, improving his craft, and letting his imaginative collaborations display his greater caliber of work.

The mark of a truly godly person is their authentically changed life. We can say whatever we want people to believe, but it’s our actions that will actually proclaim the verdict. It doesn’t mean that we won’t make mistakes or commit sins, but that we react with humility, repentance, and graciousness. What is seen is truer than what is said.

While Spielberg is no longer judged by his lesser works, neither should we. Allow the world to see your greater genuine works as you live for Christ in front of them! You are His best work of grace!

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Even though we were dead because of our sins, God gave us life.” (Ephesians‬ ‭2‬:‭5‬ NLT)

As I stood before the family at the graveside this past week, a song played from a CD player, telling of looking for our loved ones on the other side of Eternity’s Veil. I glanced around the vacant cemetery, seeing the monuments shining in the bright Autumn afternoon sun. It was a gentle reminder to me of how precious and fleeting life is. When death comes, there is no place to hide.

This scripture speaks to me of how damaging and deadly our sins are to us. Sin creates a spiritual deadness towards God, making our lives living cemeteries; lives stuck in hopelessness and a continual moral decay. By continuing in our sins, we create a deeper wedge between ourselves, God, and even those we hold most dear.

The good news is that there is freedom! The cost is simply the surrendering of your life and the sinful habits you live in. The payoff, however, is your life! Freedom from self-hatred and hopelessness, and the possession of every promise God’s word has for you! Choose life over death! Choose to let Christ be over EVERY part of your life, holding nothing back! You are loved today!

In those days, you lived in this world without God and without hope.” (Ephesians 2:12 NLT)

My friend, Tracey Hutson, is a just one of many that I’ve pastored whose life is a true picture of the value of living the Christ Life. After years of drug addiction and spending time in prison, where Tracey first found Christ, God led him to our church. Today, Tracey is a Deacon, Teacher, and improved Father and Husband. He is a changed man!

The key to this verse is the past tense term “in those days”. Paul is signifying to us that once we begin our personal journey with Christ, we must allow our life to be changing, and then continuing to change as long as we live. As we do so, then the quality of our life changes, improving for the better, which only God can accomplish for us.

If your life isn’t continually changing, becoming godlier, then you’re not on the path of the Christ Life, no matter how you think otherwise. It’s not just praying a prayer or a singular experience, but it is a daily commitment to die to self and live as God leads. Let your life be marked by the different person you’ve become! You are loved today!

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