I have been amazed at the testimonies of some people when they tell me the way they used to be. I’ve looked at them and thought, “There is no way they used to be that way. Jesus Christ has so radically changed them.”
God promises that He “will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair. In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks that the Lord has planted for his own glory. They will rebuild the ancient ruins, repairing cities destroyed long ago…” (Isaiah 61:3 NLT).
For the person who has made a mess of his or her life—a pile of ashes, so to speak—God says, “I will bring beauty.” For those who mourn because of the wrongs they have done and the sins they have committed, God says, “I will bring joy out of it.” Only God can do that; only He can take a tangled mess of a life, turn it around, and transform it in such a way that you would not even know that individual used to be a whole different person. Paul wrote: “When someone becomes a Christian, he becomes a brand new person inside. He is not the same anymore. A new life has begun!” (2 Corinthians 5:17 TLB).
If you come to Christ and say, “Lord, here I am. Forgive me of my sin,” He can transform and change you. God can take your mistakes and your sins, turn them around, and even use them for His glory. When you commit your life to Christ, putting the broken, stained, twisted pieces into His hand, He will transform it into a thing of beauty.
It’s the job of long-time believers to show younger Christians what it means to follow the Lord. That process is called discipleship. And Friday on A NEW BEGINNING, Pastor Greg Laurie offers some practical help. Discover how to follow this important part of God’s plan