A ‘strange’ life?

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My friend, Tony, who works with men who are behind bars and with those who getting out, (http://www.carmenministries.org) has a phrase for those who are partying, drinking, and avoiding responsibility.  He says, ‘they are working on their testimony.’  It’s an off-hand way to express hope that when they finally turn and become followers of the Lord Jesus and they talk about those wasted years, those scrapes with the law, those drunken nights; they will be able to thank God that things are different now. “I once was lost, but now I’m found, was blind but now I see.”

God does make broken people whole, doesn’t He? I have heard the stories of my own grandfather’s conversion. He was a Danish immigrant who had little time for God and church, who liked his cards and alcohol. He was ‘working on his testimony.’  A young woman evangelist preached fearlessly from her pulpit under a tent in a little town in Northwest Iowa sometime in the 1930’s. She declared that God loved him, that he could become a new man.  Walter Scott was transformed.  I only knew a man who occupied the 2nd row of a little church in Truesdale, Iowa whenever the doors were open, who prayed earnestly, who gave generously to support missions.

Are you convinced and converted?
Has Christ entered your life and changed you, inside out?

Not everybody is going to love the new you. Some will be aggravated that you are no longer joining the party. Others will think you a fool for leaving old ways behind for this strange new life directed by an invisible God. Some will be intrigued by the difference, ready to hear about the love of Jesus.  One thing is clear – a true encounter with Jesus will change the course of your life!

Peter wrote to the church reminding them that there were some choices to be made by those who laid claim to Jesus and a heavenly home.  His language is clear and direct.  “Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because he who has suffered in his body is done with sin. As a result, he does not live the rest of his earthly life for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God.

For you have spent enough time in the past doing what pagans (godless) choose to do—living in debauchery, lust, drunkenness, orgies, carousing and detestable idolatry. They think it strange that you do not plunge with them into the same flood of dissipation, and they heap abuse on you.” (1 Peter 4:1-4, NIV)  What words.  Who cannot love Peter’s estimate of a godless life as a ‘flood of dissipation?’   Another way to say it is that life lived for sin and Self is a waterfall of wasted opportunities.

We are told to think like Jesus. (Arm yourself with the same attitude as Jesus!) He knew what God wanted and answered the call of heaven. He was not concerned with finding the easy pathway where He could live as He desired! So must we!  Even if our choice to pursue God’s will means suffering, rejection, or wrestling to conquer temptation we do it because we know where true and eternal life is found.

None of us can even imagine the ripple effect of our decisions.  Whose destiny will be changed? Who will leave a wasted life to find a purposeful one, pleasing to God, enriched by the assurance of Heaven?

The word from the Word reflects on our baptism, the moment that our faith was announced to the world, and calls us to holy living. “Well then, should we keep on sinning so that God can show us more and more of his wonderful grace? Of course not! Since we have died to sin, how can we continue to live in it? Or have you forgotten that when we were joined with Christ Jesus in baptism, we joined him in his death? For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives.” (Romans 6:1-4, NLT)

Make it a good day and let the Light shine brightly through you!

___________


Build My Life

Worthy of ev’ry song we could ever sing
Worthy of all the praise we could ever bring
Worthy of ev’ry breath we could ever breathe
We live for You

Jesus the name above ev’ry other name
Jesus the only one who could ever save
Worthy of ev’ry breath we could ever breathe
We live for You
We live for You

Holy there is no one like You
There is none besides You
Open up my eyes in wonder and show me who You are
And fill me with Your heart
And lead me in Your love to those around me

I will build my life upon Your love
It is a firm foundation
I will put my trust in You alone
And I will not be shaken

CCLI Song # 7070345
Brett Younker | Karl Martin | Kirby Elizabeth Kaple | Matt Redman | Pat Barrett
© 2016 Martin, Karl Andrew (Admin. by Arkyard Music Services Limited)
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CCLI License # 810055

 

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