Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Agent of Change

I can say, "it's time for a change," until I am blue in the face, but chances are that merely repeating those words over and over again will not bring about change.

You can say you'll stop doing any one of a number of destructive things that you struggle with, but just saying you'll change may not get it done. Ask an addict how many times he's told others and himself, "he'll change for the better, stop using drugs," only to return to using.

It was only when I began understanding that there is someone else other than myself that can bring change in my life that things really began to change. Sometimes slowly, sometimes quickly things began to change, such as the end of my desire to drink alcohol after 20 years of over indulgence.

About a year after accepting Jesus Christ into my life I was at a weekend conference for the men at my church. On Friday night, the opening night, there I was...standing among more than 500 men, singing worship songs all together as one voice.

I looked at my friend standing next to me and said, "How did I get here? How did I get from being where I was to here, standing with 500 guys singing worship songs on a Friday night? It's like I've been transported from one planet to another."

He looked at me and smiled from ear to ear...and to this day, still tells that story of the transformed life of a former drinker/bartender who was utterly amazed at his own transformation.

We can shout about the need for change, individually and as a nation, for a long time, but it's not until we accept that we can not do it on our own that real change begins.

Then, the next step is to look to Jesus.

Alexander is a writer in the online spiritual battlefield. You can also find him at The Scrooge Report.


Jesus Offers Peace

This from Max Lucado's Grace for the Moment, Volume 2:

Peace be with you. - John 20:19

The church of Jesus Christ began with a group of frightened men in a second-floor room in Jerusalem.

Though they’d marched with Jesus for three years, they now sat…afraid. They were timid soldiers, reluctant warriors, speechless messengers.

Daring to dream that the master had left them some word, some plan, some direction, they came back.

But little did they know their wildest dream wasn’t wild enough. Just as someone mumbles, “It’s no use,” they hear a noise. They hear a voice: “Peace be with you.”

The one betrayed sought his betrayers. What did he say to them? Not “What a bunch of flops!” Not “I told you so.” No “Where-were-you-when-I-needed-you?” speeches. But simply one phrase, “Peace be with you.” The very thing they didn’t have was the very thing he offered: peace.

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