It doesn’t seem real or even possible sometimes. I shake my head with a confused optimism most days. Why am I not defined by my past actions? When God picked me up in my most broken time, I had no idea that life would be so different years later. In fact, I didn’t realize my life would be different immediately. When I gave my heart to Jesus, and later professed it I was instantly saved (Romans 10:9). Saved…from what exactly? Myself. I had lived my life to only please myself and others. I was a slave to this world. I did as I wanted to do, and it landed me in alcoholism, materialism, and in a complete bubble of selfishness. When I write those words, it seems obvious, but when you are a slave like I was, it was a vicious cycle, and I had no idea I was completely tangled in it.
However, I sit here today completely new. Some people may be shaking their head, because they don’t know what it feels like to be made new. Not yet anyways. Being broken is hard to admit, no matter how small the wound is. The beautiful thing about Jesus, is that it doesn’t matter to him about our past. He is only concerned with our present. He takes care of our past because of what he sacrificed for us. He takes our brokenness and makes us new. Paul put it this way, “This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” (2 Corinthians 5:17)
This upcoming Sunday, August 23rd, we get to make something new. On this day we start renovating our new church building. However, our new church building is not exactly new. In fact, if the walls could talk, there would be story after story of brokenness. It is an old bowling alley/bar and although there were plenty of good times and stories from inside this building, I can only think with the same confused optimism that it will be made new to glorify His Kingdom. The building itself won’t change the hearts of the broken and neither will the people there, but God is about to use this “new” building and the people inside of it to create an environment conducive for people to learn about the gift of salvation!
This renovation is a miracle in itself and I don’t need to worry how it’s going to happen, I just need to be prepared when it DOES happen! One more thing. Not only does God make us new, but he also makes us ambassadors for His message of reconciliation! Paul continues in (2 Corinthians 5:20-21), “So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!” For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.
I pray that our seat belts are secure because God is about to use this new church and the people who are His church to show people that new life is possible!
If you would like to be a part of something that is much bigger than we are, please sign up to help with the renovations!
Posted on Mon, August 17, 2015
by John Phipps