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Boy! You've Changed!

Boy! You've Changed!

Of course, your former friends are surprised when you no longer plunge into the flood of wild and destructive things they do. So they slander you. But remember that they will have to face God, who will judge everyone, both the living and the dead. That is why the Good News was preached to those who are now deadso although they were destined to die like all people, they now live forever with God in the Spirit. The end of the world is coming soon. Therefore, be earnest and disciplined in your prayers. 1Peter 4:4-7 (NLT)

I've spoken with many different people who have questioned the fact that I told them that I've never smoked dope, or got caught up into drunken binges while out sewing my not so royal oats.  The fact is, I've never had an issue in those areas of temptation, and for that I give all the glory to God.  It's true, there were several opportunities for me to do these things along the path of life, but I never chose to indulge in these things.

I think the fact that I never did these things is a blessing, but most of the people I speak with, find it hard to believe.  And that blows my mind in itself.  I guess it just shows us how much the enemy uses those areas to destroy lives.  And this fact I can attest to, as I lost a brother to drugs about 19-years ago.  

The fact that I haven't been plagued with these things in my life, by no means, lessons my guilt.  In fact, every sin is pretty much equal except the unpardonable sin of blasphemy of the Holy Spirit.  This means that you keep saying no to the Holy Spirit when He comes upon you and invites you to know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.  

I like to refer to sin as a drop of gasoline in our drinking water.  If we sin, then we have a drop of gas placed in our glass of water, and therefore it is now undrinkable.  So, whether you have one drop or ten it doesn't really matter.  And it doesn't matter if you have one brand of gas or another, because one type is just as poisonous and just as deadly as another.  The same goes for sin.  It doesn't matter to God whether we ran a stop sign on purpose or we spoke evil of our neighbor; both are sin, and both are capable of separating us from God.

The point I am making is that it doesn't matter that I didn't get caught up in drugs or have an addiction to gambling, my sin was just as deadly and just as grievous to God.

I sometimes hear people say that they don't have much to tell in a way of a testimony.  They'll say, My life was boring!  I never drank, I never smoked, and I never did drugs.  I don't have some horrible experience from my childhood that I was delivered from.  I don't have any type of prodigal son story about walking away from God, and then coming back, or anything like that.

But I always counter with, Everyone has a testimony!  You see, our testimony isn't always going to be an exciting story of how we were snatched from the grasp of a gang affiliation once we repented and sought God.  It isn't always going to be a story of how we were delivered from the bondage of a sinful addiction immediately once we made that profession of faith.  

It is different for everyone, because everyone is different.  God has a special way that He transforms each of us, uniquely.  For some it is immediate, while for others it seems to take a lifetime.  The common thing is that He will and does deliver each of us when we come to Him.

I've got plenty of stories of stupid things that I've done over my life, and they may or may not be as interesting as someone else's.  The point of this devotion is this; God is changing me each and every day of my life.  Every step, whether it is walking towards Him or even during the times I step away from Him; it is changing me for the better, as it is transforming me into the image of Christ.

For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son& Romans 8:29-(NKJV)

God uses everything in our life; nothing is wasted!  He will use all things for good, for those who love Him, for those who have been called according to His purpose (See Rom 8:28).

I'm not the person that I was 30-years ago when I first accepted the Lord.  I'm not the person I was 20-years ago when I was trying to figure life out, and was still trying to conquer the world on a motorcycle.  I'm not the person I was 10-years ago when I was trying to keep from turning old by living in the gym.  I'm not the person that I was this time last year when I thought that I had finally started to become old and wise.  Truth be told, I'm not the person I was last week, and for that I am so thankful to the Father, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit.

I can think of no better compliment than when someone who I've not seen for a while comes up to me and says, Boy, you've changed!  Now that's a testimony.

Hey Christian, I want to encourage you today to know that God loves you tremendously and He is working on you 24-hours a day.  He is going to use everything that you've done to make you better.  I want you to know that as you spend time with Him, it is changing you more and more, and others are noticing.  They might not accept the changes, and that is okay, because we can know that we are truly being the salt and light that God has said that we're to be.  Shine bright Christian!  Who knows, maybe you'll meet someone from the past this week and they'll say, Boy, you've changed!

STUDY QUESTION: What does Peter exhort us to do because the times for our world are getting short?

PERSONAL INVENTORY: Are you having people tell you that you've changed because of your walk and your relationship with Christ?  If not, do you want others to see Christ in you?

APPLICATION: Continue to spend time in the Word of God, and in prayer with Him.  Spend time in fellowship at Church with others who love the Lord.  Regardless of where your walk is at now, you will continue to see a difference as you spend time with Him.

Father, Thank You for my transformation.  I give You all the glory for every change that has happened in my life that reflects You through me.  Help me to continue to be transformed and to reflect Your image as others look into my life.  I am sorry for all the junk that I have done along the path, and I willing to use it to help others, and to give good counsel.  Thanks for using me Father.  I love You lots...In Jesus precious name, amen...

Be Blessed, Pastor Scott

Copyright ©2017 by Pastor Scott Wright.
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Bible text from the New King James Version is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000