WEEK THREE OF FIVE IN “CHRISTIANITY FROM A FRESH PERSPECTIVE”
“When you choose to follow Jesus, He’ll change your life. Expect it.”
With all my years in church, why had I never heard such bold statements?
I spoke with a fellow believer not long ago, telling her what I’m seeing and hearing as men and women’s lives are being changed by the power of the gospel at the church I now attend. She stated, “Wow, I’m so glad people are turning their lives around.” I was stunned as I realized she and I had totally missed the point.
Before these life-giving words, I expected when someone met Jesus, He would give them a new heart. What that meant was, they would now want to please God, and so would make every effort to do so. It never occurred to me the gospel taught otherwise, and meant so much more.
The focus of my Christian walk used to answer the following questions:
- What am I to do to follow Jesus?
- What am I to give in devotion to Jesus?
- What am I to believe? (Studying the Bible for how I’m to live.)
- How do I please God, for all Christ has done for me?
These questions aren’t wrong, and are necessary to ask. But notice all the “I’s“? When the focus of my Christian walk is on “me” and what I bring to Christ, rather than on Jesus, I lose sight of the wonder, awe, and power of the gospel to change lives.
With that single statement four years ago, my focus slowly began to change as I realized
The gospel isn’t about what I can give Jesus. It’s about who Jesus is and all He’s given me!
- Here is a glimpse of all Jesus gives those who truly seek him:
- His life, no matter the cost. (Romans 5:6-9 NIV)
- His love, no matter who I am. (Ephesians 2:8-10 NIV)
- His power to transform my life, no matter my past. (2 Corinthians 5:17 NIV)
- His forgiveness, no matter how I fail. (1 John 1:9)
- His Spirit, filling me with power to change, no matter how unable I am to change on my own. (Romans 8:11 NLT)
- His Word to nourish, guide, and correct, no matter how dark life is around me. (Deuteronomy 8:3, Psalm 119:105, Hebrews 4:12)
- His promises to sustain me and rescue me from the world’s destruction, no matter how I’ve messed things up. (2 Peter 1:4)
- His adoption, granting me a new family, no matter my biological roots. (Romans 8:15)
- His hope for a new future, no matter what my current circumstances. (Jeremiah 29:11, Romans 8:28)
- His forever home where there will be no more tears, no matter what life is like now. (Luke 23:32-43)
It’s really all about Jesus.
What is my part? Allow him this work. Embrace Him. Yield to Him. Trust him, no matter how hard life may be at times. Rest in who he is, knowing he is as powerful and loving as he claimed.
With gratitude for the power of the gospel,