Like most dads, I’m obsessed with my kids. It amazes me how much they’ve changed my life. So about a year ago I bought Kenny Chesney’s song, There Goes My Life. It’s a country crooner and it touches me every time I listen to it. There is another song on that CD though that talks about change. The lyrics go in part like this:
His old man was a rebel yeller, bad boy to the bone, and say can’t trust a color feller, he
judge em by the tone of their skin. He was raised to think like his dad narrow mind full of
hate on the road to no where fast till the grace of god got in the way then he saw the light n
hit he’s knees n cried and said a prayer, rose up a brand new man n left the old one right
Here’s to the strong, thanks to the brave don’t give up hope some people change
against all odds, against the grain love finds a way, some people change.
You can read all the words here. Now, the thing is that song is powerful. It talks about the power that is people changing. The great thing is that idea is not new with Mr. Chesney. In fact we read these powerful words in I Corinthians 6:
8 Instead, you yourselves cheat and do wrong, and you do this to your brothers and sisters. 9 Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor practicing homosexuals 10 nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
That is the essence of the Gospel; God changes people. I mean look at the first story of conflict we see in the Bible. God says to Cain:
6 Then the LORD said to Cain, "Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? 7 If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.
Did you catch it? Cain, if you do what is right, you will be accepted. In other words, Cain Change! The rest of the Bible is about God changing people. He uses a man who’s very name mean “dishonest”, he uses a harlot, He changes a murderer into someone who is responsible for an entire nation. He changes a scaredy cat into a man of courage. Most importantly He changes hurt and shattered people into redeemed people. He buys them from the despair that is their life. And this is what he offers you. Whatever the situation is in your life, God can change it. He offers you the same opportunity He offered those people in Corinth. He will change your life, He will take it and wash it clean. You don’t have to be in addiction, you don’t have to be depressed, you don’t have to be a gossip, you don’ t have to be someone who causes strife, you don’t have to be anything that is destroying your life. God will wash you. The greatest evidence for the world that there is a God is a body of Christ Followers who can say, “I used to be that, but by God’s grace I am now this.” In a world that is blowing itself up trying to feel something, how powerful is that message?
Whoever you are, wherever you’re at God can change you. The message of the Bible is not a list of rules or a platform to learn enough to say, “I’m right, and you’re on your way to Hell because you disagree with me.” The message of the Bible is a story about a Holy God inviting you to Trust Him. Thank God for that. I know I’m a different man because of His grace.