“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”II Corinthians 5:17
I cannot remember exactly when this lady started to come to Freedom That Lasts, but I do remember who invited her. Her inviter has been a faithful attender of Freedom That Lasts from the inception of the ministry at our church, which started in February 2015. She has had more people accept her invitation than anyone else, and she is faithful in inviting friends, family, and neighbors and encouraging them to come. She has a care and concern for people and it is most clearly shown in how others speak of her, and she often places others before herself. She has made an impact on the lives of many, although she may not even realize it. This lady who accepted her invitation truly knows she is cared about and loved by her.
We start Freedom That Lasts with saying our motto, key verse, and the verse listed above: “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” I always put emphasis on the word “behold” because that word signifies the miracle God does in our life once we become born again. God does not offer simple change, but He offers life-altering change and a change that cannot be denied by those who know you best. This lady who was invited by her friend began to attend our Friday night class several years ago, and I did not know too much about her. She would come faithfully for the most part, but she would miss some weeks when she did not have a ride. She was in my wife’s group, and her praise to start the class would be pretty vanilla and she would often state, “I am just happy to be here.” I did not know all of her battles she struggled with from her past and her present state, but I did know a little of her story.
In recent months during praise time, I noticed a change in her praises as they were much more elaborate and contained a lot of spiritual meat. She was thanking God for the changes she was seeing in her life, and she sought to obey Him in everything. Her eyes became watery at times as she recalled the goodness of God and the change she was seeing in her life. She was working her way through the curriculum and dedicated to journaling the things God was teaching her. She was like a sponge as she soaked up everything and wanted to serve and please God. Her husband started to attend with her as well, and you could see the joy of the Lord on her face. There was no denying the change God was bringing in her life.
We were able to see her get married this month, and we witnessed her and her husband getting baptized in our church. She shared her testimony through tears of pain and joy, and I am not sure if there were many dry eyes in the house. She spoke of how God worked in her life even though her early years were far from ideal. She endured a lot of things that one would not want to wish on anyone, but God drew her and brought her through as she proclaimed God’s goodness and gave Him the glory moments before she followed Him in believer’s baptism. God makes us a new creature and truly changes our old desires and behavior into new ones. It is much like growing physically – you don’t see all of the subtle changes that come about, but eventually, you look in the mirror and hardly recognize the person God is changing you into. He desires to change you into His image, and He will make you a new creature in Christ where you start to look more and more like your Father. I have been so encouraged by this lady’s life, and I am excited to see what God will continue to do in her, in her husband, and in her children who have gotten a front seat view at the change of their mom.
Where are you today? Are you a new creature in Christ? If you are a new creature, have you seen significant change in your life? Do you have a desire to be changed? Have all things become new? Are you serious about your walk with God or are you just going through the motions of your Christianity? God wants to make you unrecognizable to those who used to know you. He wants to change your life and mold you into His image. Romans 12:2 states, “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” May we be changed like this individual who is seeking God, and may we invite others to join us.