Tuesday morning, I had been asked to speak at our staff meeting. I was filled with joy that I would have the opportunity to share all the good God has done in my life. It is one of my favorite things, to talk about Jesus and most especially when it is in the capacity of His work in my very own life. I have a heart for people to experience Jesus’ transformational power in such a way that I have and to have the channel in which to encourage that was such a blessing. As I prepared the night before, prayerfully considering what He wanted me to say and what not, I found myself overwhelmed. Overwhelmed by the actually transformation that has happened in my life. I sat on my bed and remembered the girl who all but a year or so ago would sit on her bed, each night contemplating why she was even alive. I remember the girl who cried herself to sleep every night, hopeless and broken. I remember the weight of the unbearable pain, the rejection from friends that defined who she was, and the wounds from her past that still sat there blocking out all signs of healing. I remember what life was like void of Jesus. I remember her complete refusal of the gospel, of a God at all, dismissing the idea that I could finally be free. And as I sat and remembered her, I looked down at my journal from what I had written the day before and it said,
“Oh, my Lord, how glorious and magnificent are you! I am always finding myself in awe of who you are. How I love to meditate on your word day and night and how my heart longs for everyone else to seek and know you in the same way. I finished John Piper’s book! Oh Father, thank you so much for brining that book into my hands. Through it I learned how to better study your word, how to better bring glory to your name, and how to find you in Scripture. I pray that with the help of the Holy Spirit, I would be able to best apply it to my reading of your word.”
I sat in shock at the contrast I had just witnessed. This is the same girl, different heart. A Heart that has been transformed and captured by the love of Jesus. It brought tears to my eyes as if I were observing the life of someone other than myself. But this so clearly reminded me of what God did in my life. Sometimes we get so used to our story, we get so exposed to the same testimonies again and again, that we forget the power of it. I remember a few days ago, another staff member came in to talk to me and he said “It was such an encouragement to hear your story. It was a great reminder to us who have walked with Christ for so long, that He is still working, He is still transforming and changing lives.” He is still at work! He is at work in my life every day, and He can be at work in your life every day. “Where He is welcomed as supreme in authority, that is where you will find freedom and justice for all” (Bevere).
So today, I want to encourage you. Today I want to remind you to remind yourself what God has done in your life. For those of you who, like me, did not receive Christ with your parents in your bedroom at the age of three, remember that person you were before you found Him. Remember the way you lived your life, and look at where you are now. Reflect on all that He has brought you through. Think of how hard those battles were but, through the power and the grace of God, He brought you through them to where you are now. Do not forget, as so many do, that God works. God transforms. And your life is the letter to the world from Christ. “The vast scope of mercy shown to Paul never ceased to amaze him. His response, therefore, was to labor all the more diligently for the spread of the gospel and the honor of Christ in order to make the most of his calling. He wrote, ‘By the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me’” (1 Corinthians 15:10-11). And as you remember, let it be the encouragement to you to live your life fully surrendered to Him. Let it remind you who you are living for and why. Let it push you to work harder, to live fuller, to love deeper. Let it change the way you look at the world around you, let it affect the way you live your life. Because it already has. You are not that person anymore. You are who you are and it is by the grace of God that you are. “Therefore, do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised. For, ‘Yet a little while and the coming one will come and will not delay; but my righteous one shall live by faith, and if he shrinks back, my soul has no pleasure in him.’ But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith and preserve their souls” (Hebrews 10:35-39).
Let this sink in and by that, I mean sit and meditate on it. Take what has been said to you here and apply it, for through that action, we will create a mighty force for the kingdom of God. And that is what this is all about, right?