I recall a Walter Hawkins gospel hit entitled “Changed.” Some of the lyrics were:
“He changed my life complete, and now I sit at His feet. To do what must be done, I’ll work and work until He comes. A wonderful change has come over me. A wonderful change has come over me.”
As I read II Kings 22-23 and Acts 2:40-47 this morning, those lyrics came to mind. In II Kings, Josiah, a young man who had become king of Jerusalem when he was only 8 years old, had a heart for God. Kings before him had been so corrupt that no one even knew where the Book of the Law was. When the Book was found and read, upon hearing its words, Josiah immediately set about to radically clean things up in the land and among the people. In Acts, upon hearing Peter’s Pentecost Day message, the people asked in earnest, “What shall we do?” and Peter told them to repent and be baptized. Before the end of the day, 3,000 people responded to the first “altar call,” and from then on, the new believers set out to live a different kind of life.
Sometimes I think we take overboard the idea of being “in the world but not of the world” (See John 17:15-18). We interpret that idea to mean we can act, dress, and talk like folks who don’t know Christ as long as we know we have said the sinner’s prayer, because after all, there’s freedom in Christianity. Not so fast. To the contrary, the idea of being “in the world but not of the world” is a reminder of the difference people outside the safety of grace need to see.
I Peter 4:1-5 says, “Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because he who has suffered in his body is done with sin. As a result, he does not live the rest of his earthly life for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God. For you have spent enough time in the past doing what pagans choose to do– living in debauchery, lust, drunkenness, orgies, carousing and detestable idolatry. They think it strange that you do not plunge with them into the same flood of dissipation, and they heap abuse on you. But they will have to give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead. (NIV)
Walter Hawkins was right, a wonderful change has come over us. Let’s not be afraid or ashamed to show it.
©2013 Sharon Norris Elliott. Feel free to forward this devotion in its entirety, including this copyright line. Leave comments, ask questions, read past devotions, or subscribe to receive these devotions daily in your e-mail at www.sanewriter.wordpress.com. Also, periodically check in at www.LifeThatMatters.net to see what’s going on in the ministry.
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