June 24, 2016

Meet the New Me!

“All who heard him were amazed. ‘Isn’t this the same man who caused such devastation among Jesus’ followers in Jerusalem?’ they asked….” Acts 9:21 (NLT)

A pastor sent me a picture of a young man being baptized at his church with Meet the New Me! printed on his t-shirt!  What an awesome description of the radical transformation that happens when we put our faith in Jesus Christ!  He changes us from the inside out!  We are never the same!

Convincing others you’ve changed can be challenging.  Saul of Tarsus certainly faced that challenge after his dramatic conversion on the road to Damascus where he was traveling to arrest Christ’s followers and take them in chains to the leading priests.  The persecutor became preacher in a moment!  He encountered the risen Christ on that road and, by the time he reached Damascus, he was a new man!  He had changed!  He could have worn the same Meet the New Me t-shirt at his baptism that day. The one who persecuted Christ followers had become one himself!  It was such a dramatic change, though, that many Christ followers struggled to believe if it was even true.  Some suspected it was a trick to lure in more believers to arrest.  The Bible tells us:

“When Saul arrived in Jerusalem, he tried to meet with the believers, but they were all afraid of him.  They did not believe he had truly become a believer!” Acts. 9:26 (NLT)

Your life change may not be as dramatic, but it is just as powerful!  When you become a Christian, you become a brand-new person inside!  You are not the same. A new life has begun.  Old ways are replaced with new ways of living, new thoughts, new attitudes, and new desires!  God has not only rescued you from hell one day; but, even greater, He got out of heaven and into you now!  Last year, Craig experienced that powerful transformation in his life and celebrated his new found faith at our Super Summer Baptism Weekend.  He recently described his experience like this:

“Before Christ, I was lost, angry and unsatisfied. I knew I wanted more from life, but I didn’t know what it was that I wanted. I realized I needed Christ when everything started to fall apart in my life. I was unhappy and unsatisfied at work, which kept me away from my family. My marriage was falling apart, and I was in deep financial debt. I received Christ in my life after watching and listening to the likes of Kerry Shook, Joel Osteen, and TD Jakes. Just listening to their messages, God’s messages, brought me to tears and made me realize that that was what I was longing for. That was what I had been missing. Now that I am a Christ follower, I am more fulfilled. I am happier. I still have stress, but it doesn’t affect me the way it used to. Those closest to me have noticed how changed I am. My experience at Woodlands Church has been amazing. I have never felt this at home in a church before. It is so warm and welcoming and loving. I am a member of two small groups with great guys who are like family to me. No, they are family. I love Woodlands Church.”

You too can experience a fresh start with a new beginning in Christ!  As God writes your story, people around you will meet the new you!  It’s not too late to register now and celebrate your transformation at Super Summer Baptism 2 this weekend at Woodlands Church.  Share it with others on social media #Raised2Life!