Monday, May 12, 2014

A Transformed Life

Encouragement for your daily walk with God

Here’s a question for you. What kind of person does God choose to do His work? The one with: the right education? the right pedigree? the right nationality? the right heritage? If that were the case, then none of Christ’s original disciples would have stood a chance. 

God works differently than we do. He takes the raw material [anyone that comes to faith in Christ], and exposes them to experiences that will teach them the exact lessons they need to be His disciple. That’s what He did with the original disciples, and the results were astonishing. Take Peter, for example. Look at what he experienced to become the great leader he was in the early church, as recorded for us in the book of Acts:

He led the meetings which replaced Judas with Matthias. He preached a powerful sermon on the day of Pentecost, leading thousands to Christ. He was involved in the healing of a lame man at the Beautiful Gate. He stood up the the religious leaders and continued to preach, even when forewarned that doing so would have punitive results. He confronted the hypocritical Ananias and Sapphira. He encountered Simon the magician. He was involved in raising Dorcas from the dead. He was the first to take the Gospel message to the Gentiles. And to add icing to the cake, he authored two letters—epistles—to comfort believers who had been displaced by the Roman diaspora. 

If you need an example of a transformed life, you’ll be hard pressed to find a better example than Peter. He was a model of spiritual leadership in both life and death. You won’t find this in the Bible, but according to church history, Peter was forced to watch executioners crucify his wife. While she endured excruciating agony, Peter stood at the foot of her cross and encouraged her by repeating, “Remember the Lord! Remember the Lord!”

When the time came for his execution, also by crucifixion, Peter asked to be crucified upside down because he felt unworthy to die in the same manner as his Lord. God transformed that impetuous fisherman into a mighty disciple. And if God can do it in Peter’s life, He can do it in ours as well...if we, like Peter, remain faithful!

There has never been the slightest doubt in my mind that the God who started this great work in you would keep at it and bring it to a flourishing finish on the very day Christ Jesus appears. Philippians 1:6 [from The MESSAGE Paraphrase]

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