A life that’s been set free from sin is a beautiful sight. When you turn from your sin and live a life more in tune with God, you testify to the glory of God and give others hope that he can change their lives. You know that the suffering, affliction, and brokenness come from going and doing things your own way. You know what its like to be enslaved to your passions. Yet you should also know there is more to life than bondage’more to life than alcohol or pornography ‘more to life than envy and jealousy’more to life than work or football. There is healing and freedom. There is beauty and joy. There is love, forgiveness, and mercy.
And you have the wonderful privilege of proclaiming this Good News to those around you, both in your vocal testimony and in the testimony of your life. I love the saying: Go out and preach Jesus to all you meet, and when necessary, use words.
When you surrender your life to Jesus, he’ll put you on a path of new life. Your salvation is assured, and now you will live a life of gratitude. You’ll change from the inside out because God got a hold of you. Others will notice, and God will be given the honor and glory.
Regardless of your humble beginnings, God can lead you to a glorious future. But there’s a catch. You need to be transformed according to his perfect plan. And you’ll need both faith and courage as you allow him to make the most of your weaknesses, to transform your deficiencies into strength, and to turn your misery into mission.
Take for example another man’a man named Gideon. When you first meet Gideon in the book of Judges, he’s discouraged. He’s a young man with little self-respect. His clan was the weakest in his whole tribe, and he was the least in his family. He’s first seen threshing wheat in a winepress, hiding the little food he has from his Midianite oppressors. An angel appeared and called to him, ‘Mighty hero, the Lord is with you!’ Gideon certainly didn’t look or feel like a mighty hero, but God knew his potential. By the end of the story, Gideon had become the deliverer of his people. His first step toward success was to see himself as God saw him’a ‘mighty hero.’ Then Gideon was able to hope in the possibility of freedom.
No matter how weak or unworthy you are, God is able to transform you into a mighty hero of faith. Just as Gideon was changed when he trusted God to make him into a powerful man of God, you too will be changed when you allow God’s strength to empower you in your areas of weakness.
Not only do you search God’s Word, but it searches you. Not only do we seek to understand God’s Word, but we need to stand under its authority.
As you read the Bible, you may be tempted to draw back from it soul-searching power. You may argue with its teaching, resent its discipline, or question its assertions. But these reactions simply alert you to the fact that God is searching you heart. At times like these, spiritual renewal comes as you stop and examine not only God’s Word but also your response to it.
Why are you feeling upset when you’re challenged? Why is the Bible affecting you in a particular way? What specific attitudes or behaviors is it addressing? How does the teaching of God’s Word differ from your way of living? Questions like these can move you beyond impulsive reactions to spiritually productive reflection. The psalmist wrote, ‘Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life’ (Psalm 139:23-24). That’s a pretty brave prayer, isn’t it?
When you surrender your resistance, you find the grace of Jesus Christ sustaining you. The very Word that exposes your sin also reveals the remedy for that sin’Jesus, your great High Priest. Through him you find mercy that removes your sin and power that works through your weakness.