Not Who I Was

So, something funny happened last week in 4th grade Sunday School here at St. Matthew’s.  My wife was teaching the kids and was telling them about what it means to follow Jesus and how following Jesus changes your life.

And then she told the kids something that they just couldn’t believe.  She said her, and Bro. Andy, weren’t always Christians.  In fact they didn’t make the decision to follow Jesus until they were nearly 20 years old.

And, even harder to believe. Before they followed Jesus, they did all kinds of things that they shouldn’t have done.  Things that were wrong, sinful, and broke God’s heart.  They even cursed!  The kids couldn’t believe it!  One of them looked at Holly and said, “You’ve gotta be making this up!”

All in all, it’s been a pretty funny week about it.  As I said Wednesday night in my Bible Study, “come to Sunday School at St. Matthew’s, where the preacher’s wife corrupts the children!” It’s been pretty funny to laugh about it with parents and grandparents, hard to believe that the preacher at one point wasn’t a Christian!

brown-white-butterfly-butterflies-colorful-63643But, it’s true.  I wasn’t always a Christian.  I grew up in church, sure.  I was active in church, sure.  But it wasn’t until I was a senior in high school that I truly made the decision to allow Jesus to have control over my life.  I had moments of my life, confirmation, Camp Wesley Pines, others, where I had grown closer to God, but it wasn’t until I was a senior, laying in my bed, when I asked God for help, truly to help and save me, that something changed.

Something became different.  God did a work in my life.  God saved me.

And I’m not who I was.  Hear me, I’m by no means saying that I am perfect or sinless.  Far from it.  In many, many, ways I feel more sinful now that I ever did before I became a Christian. Because now I’m aware of what I’m doing. I’ve had the blinders of sin removed, and I know the things I do wrong.

And I know that I need Jesus. And I know that the ONLY good thing in me is the grace of God. That’s it.

I am a new creation.  Paul says in 2 Corinthians 5:17:

17 So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!

I am forgiven. I am new. I am His. I am not perfect. But I’m not who I used to be either. I stand, not by my own strength, but by His strength.

I am imperfect, yes. But I am forgiven.

Through Jesus, today, you can be too. If you don’t know Him, today, through His grace, you can be changed. If you do know Him, then know this, Christian.

You are forgiven.

Don’t forget that. You are not who you used to be. You are a new creation.

Each day of my life, I am truly thankful for that.

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