2 Corinthians 5:17 - Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
There's more to your life's story than stuff.
By "stuff" I mean the things that happen in your life: going to school, falling in love, getting married or living single, getting divorced, working, retiring, and so on. These things are the stuff of life. Some stuff is good; other stuff is not so good. Truth be told, God can turn your stuff into a great story—an everlasting story.
But how often sin gets in the way!
Sin is bad stuff, evil, corrupt. Sin is breaking God's commands by what we say, think, or do. Sin multiplies and gets worse. For example, King David coveted his neighbor's wife. He committed adultery with her. He had her husband killed. Sin is all about us. Sometimes we feel the effects of sin as when innocent people die after being hit and killed by a drunk driver. Sometimes people who take great pains to stay fit contract a debilitating, even fatal, disease through no fault of their own. Ours is a broken, imperfect world. Sin fills our lives with bad stuff.
But God turns this. That's the great glory of God to us sinners. God's great glory is that He sent His Son Jesus to the cross to forgive all your sins and to break the power of sin in your life. Just think—you don't have to stay stuck in your sin! Jesus' Easter resurrection replaces our despair with real hope and empties death of its power, offering us life, instead. Jesus says, "Come to Me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest" (Matthew 11:28). Jesus says, "The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life" (John 6:63b). Jesus is calling for you. He didn't come into the world to condemn the world (see John 3:17). Rather, He's coming to take the stuff of your life and turn it into a great story.
So, hang on!
That seems unbelievable, doesn't it? And indeed it would be if it weren't for the words of Jesus that are spirit and life. In the Good News of Christ, God gives us the faith we need. Like the God who gives it, our Christian faith is living and active. Because it is, the power of God in faith enables you to start shaping your own story. As a Christian, you are a story-maker—a redeemed story-maker. What were once stumbling blocks can now be stepping stones. Your life isn't the stuff of failure; in Christ the page has been turned.
And why shouldn't the Gospel produce this result—that our lives are shaped into a wonderful story? After all, according to the apostle Paul, we are new creations in Christ. Jeremiah knew about this transformative power of God, too, when he spoke for Him: "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope" (Jeremiah 29:11).
God is in the business of changing lives. Is He at work in yours today?
THE PRAYER: Heavenly Father, make our life story new through the power of Your Son. In His Name we pray. Amen.
From "Proclaim His Glory," a sermon excerpt from Rev. Dr. Dale Meyer, former Speaker of The Lutheran Hour
1. Looking back, can you see how your reaction to life's significant events has changed over time?
2. Do you have a heartfelt sense that your Christian faith makes a difference in how you approach life in general?
3. How can we keep the "stuff" of our life in perspective and not let it dominate our life—or our witness?
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