Shaped by God
Friday, March 17
Duane Best, member of RPC since 2000
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ the new creation has come. The old has gone, the new is here. - 2 Corinthians 5:17
Up until 20 years ago, I was not a Christian. I did not grow up in the church and did not know the stories that most of you learned as children in Sunday School. Oh sure, I went to church from time to time, but I was just going through the motions. It was anything but meaningful. Throughout my adult life, I swung like a pendulum from not caring about religious matters (I was pretty sure it was all a myth) to desperately wanting that quiet faith that radiated from my Christian friends.
I was confronted with a truth about myself in the late 90's which I found difficult to accept. I had become addicted to alcohol. I was terrified to learn that no matter what I did, I could not control it - it was controlling me. Desperate for help, I began attending AA meetings, where I was introduced to the 12-step program. The 1st step - admitting the problem - was easy enough, but I stumbled on the 2nd - belief in a power greater than myself. I knew of no such power.
About this same time, we ran into friends we hadn't seen in a while and they told us about RPC. They had begun attending worship there and encouraged us to visit. We did - and the unexpected happened. God spoke to me through Lane in such a powerful way, it was like being swept away by a tsunami. I began taking classes to learn about the Bible; I wanted to know more about this Jesus who I now understood loved me. It may sound strange to those of you who have known this love your entire lives, but it was news to me! I gave my life to Christ several months later and have since walked in confidence as a completely different person.
Many Scriptures speak to me in regards to this transformation but my top ones are:
- Romans 8:38-39, where Paul says that not anything in all creation can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
- Philippians 4:13, where Paul says that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
Lord, thank you for loving me, for opening my eyes and ears, for giving me new life, and for walking with me every day. Amen.
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