Can a life be transformed?
As a Christian I'd say yes, it's what I know to be true, it's what I've been taught, it's what I've experienced. Accepting Jesus as our Lord and Saviour can change our lives and yet for me there can be fear in believing it to be lasting. Too many times I have seen someone on fire for the LORD, a life changed only to fall away 6 months, a year, two years later. I don't say that to judge or put myself above anyone. All I need do is look at my own life and the places where I stumble and fall, to realize it can be easy to fall back into old habits. How often do I live this life I've been given selfishly...doing what I want forgetting about my Saviour.
Yet I so desperately want to believe it for people. I want to believe deep in this heart of mine that transformation is possible...lasting transformation. You know it can be so easy for us to categorize people, we get out our measuring stick on sin and think to ourselves I'm not so bad but look at him or look at her, they're off the scale...can their life ever change, they're probably a hopeless case.
Jesus didn't use a measuring stick to measure the different sins committed. All sin separates us from God and all sin needs to be repented of and turned from.
We are all in need of a Saviour...the HOPE of the world.
I love the passage in Matthew 9 : 9-13, Jesus has just asked Matthew, a tax collector, to follow him. Now tax collectors were despised by the Jews and considered the worst of sinners. They were known to be greedy thieves, taking more money than what was required for the taxes. Yet Jesus calls Matthew and then goes to his house for dinner. The Pharisees saw this and question Jesus' disciples saying, "Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and 'sinners'?" Can you just see them whispering to each other about these so called sinners, the undesirables...can you see yourself doing the same thing at times.
Jesus hears about this and says, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. But go and learn what this means: 'I desire mercy, not sacrifice.' For I have not come to call the righteous, but the sinners."
He didn't put the sinners into different categories...little sins...medium sins...big sins...unforgivable sins. A sinner was a sinner...a person in need of a Saviour.
But still at times we look at a life...a life broken...a life not as blessed with stability...a life of bad choices...a life of addictions and we wonder can they ever really change?
My heart can feel heavy and ashamed because of my doubts...because of my fears to truly believe.
Last night I woke in the early morning hours and laid there thinking of a man who needs to know Jesus...a man who needs a Saviour...a man who has everything that the world would say you need to be happy. And I laid there pleading with the LORD for his soul...because though he has everything...he has nothing...nothing that will last. I desperately wanted to believe that this man could bend the knee...that this man could surrender his life to Jesus and yet doubt and fear of believing lingered along with belief. I said to God, "You said even if I have faith as small as a mustard seed I can say to this mountain move and it will move, LORD I have faith...move in this man's heart." I don't know if anything changed for him but I will continue to pray and one day I believe the mountain will move.
So on the one hand we can have a person totally broken, messed up by a life of bad choices and just the hard knocks of life and on the other hand we can have someone who seems to have life all together but in the eternal view of things they're in the same boat, actually the one whose life is seemingly all together could be worse off. In Matthew 19 a man comes up to Jesus and falls at his feet asking, "Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?" Jesus lists some of the commandments and the young man has kept them all. Jesus looked at him and loved him and said, "One thing you lack, go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me." The young rich man couldn't do it, he couldn't let go of the world.
In the words of Ravi Zacharias, "Transformation is a problem of the spirit, we don't realize how poor we are, we are impoverished and until we recognize that we will never come to the Saviour." So wether we are rich or poor, raised in a stable or unstable home, have lived a good life or a wretched life by human standards, we all come to that same "Y" in the road, turn the one way continuing life on your own or turn the other way into the arms of Jesus.
Some things to be grateful for...
184. The sound of Daytona and Amadeous' hoof's as they hit the ground cantering up the hill
185. Matthew stepping out
186. Hot chocolate with whipped cream
187. Hanging with Charissa and Kayla
188. Beautiful trail riding video made by Matt
189. Rain stopped for an afternoon wedding
190. Beautiful Sunday morning
192. Trail ride with Kayla and Charissa
193. The great time and experience Matt had in videoing at the Festival of Hope in Toronto
194. Great night at youth group
195. Peaceful, beautiful morning
196. The woods
197. Time with Amadeous
198. Afternoon in Kingston with my husband and kids
199. Good chat with my niece
200. Rain on a Sunday morning
202. Wisdom of my husband to say the tough things - he's a good father
203. I serve a God who sees and knows
204. Beautiful morning mist in the sunshine
205. The colours of Fall
206. Charissa got a job!
207. If my God is with me, whom than shall I fear...
208. Drive and walk with a friend
209. Sarah's help for a video
210. Beautiful weather for a wedding
211. Words of thanks and appreciation
212. Peaceful Sunday afternoon drive with my husband
213. Vibrant colours of Fall
214. Gorgeous sunset
It's amazing how much the sky can change in fifteen minutes.
215. My neck is a bit better this morning
216. Matt got his first contact through his website
217. The beauty of the fallen leaves covering the ground
218. God's Word
219. Beautiful walk through the Frink Centre with a friend
220. The words of Ravi Zacharias - a man of God
221. Walk in the woods with Matt, videoing and taking pictures
222. Leaves gently falling
223. This was written by Charissa for # 223. ( I haven't made the list lately...) Thanks for making me smile Charissa