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Monday, August 15, 2011

Change: The Good, the Bad and the Amazing!

"Change" is one of those words we've heard a lot in the past few years. A certain politician promised change was a'comin' if we elected him president. Hmm. Me thinks the change he brought ain't so grand. I sure hope change does come in 2012...but that's a whole 'nother blog post.

Change is in the air at our house this week. Both our sons are leaving home and are headed for college. Oldest son moved into his dorm today and youngest son will move in Saturday. Our nest will be empty! I have mixed feelings about it all. I'll miss the boys more than they'll ever know, yet I'm also massively proud and thrilled about the young men they have become. I can't wait to see what God does in their lives in these next years!

But the honest truth is I'm not one who embraces change easily. I like my comfort zone, thank you very much. When hubby lost his job in 2008 from a company where he'd worked for 23 years, our world was absolutely rocked by change. We didn't know which way was up or down. We were completely lost. God's goodness and faithfulness got us through and beyond that change. It hasn't always been easy, but I firmly believe it's been positive in the long run.

The most important change a person can go through, however, doesn't come by way of politicians, bosses or parents letting go. It comes when we accept Jesus Christ as our Savior. The Apostle Paul wrote about this change in 2 Corinthians 5:17:

"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!"

God is in the business of change. Unlike a politician who promises change, God will absolutely deliver! The Bible is full of stories about lives being changed and made new. You simply canNOT have a real, true, bona-fide encounter with Jesus Christ without being changed!

The Magi changed their allegiance after they saw and worshipped the Christ Child. (Matthew 2:12)

Peter, Andrew, James and John changed careers when Jesus called them.  (Matthew 4:18-22)

Matthew and Zacheaus, both despised tax collectors, were changed by Jesus' friendship. (Matthew 9:9-12 and Luke 19:1-10)

The woman who had a bleeding disease was changed just by touching Jesus' cloak.  (Matthew 9:20)

A woman who was most likely a prostitute--Mary Magdalene--was changed and freed from a life of sin by Jesus. (Luke 7:36-50)

Nicodemus, an educated and religious man, was changed and born again after speaking with Jesus. (John 3:1-21)

Lazarus went from being dead and buried for three days to being alive! (John 11:1-44. I love Jesus' words in v. 44: "Take off his grave clothes and let him go!")

And Paul, who was originally known as Saul--a man who murdered Christians!--was completely made new by an encounter with Jesus Christ. He went from killing Believers to spreading the Gospel message himself. (Acts 9:1-19)

On and on. Story after story. One life after another, all revealing the life-giving change found only in Jesus Christ.

Everyone can experience that change! It wasn't only for people who lived thousands of years ago. It's available for you and for me! There is no sin too great that can't be changed and forgiven! There is no life so messed up that change can't come and make things new again. There is no faith so small--as small as a mustard seed--that God can't work with.

Ask! Believe! Live a changed life today!

This is one change I highly recommend!

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