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June 7, 2016

The Miracle of Life Change

“When someone becomes a Christian, he becomes a brand new person inside. He is not the same anymore. A new life has begun!” 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NLT)

There’s nothing more exciting to me in ministry than seeing God change a life!  You can begin again!  Grace makes that happen because the God who created you loves you infinitely more than you could ever imagine!  Through His Son, Jesus Christ, He offers us a fresh start.  Born in sin, we naturally drift the wrong way.  But, through Christ, we can experience a new beginning.  In 2 Corinthians 5:17 the Apostle Paul said, “When someone becomes a Christian, he becomes a brand new person inside. He is not the same anymore. A new life has begun!”  

He knew firsthand; he had experienced that new beginning in his own life.  Once a persecutor of Christ followers, Paul had an encounter with Jesus that changed his life forever!  He would never be the same.  It didn’t mean he was perfect, but he did have a new life!  That new life is none other than the life of Jesus Christ risen from the dead coming by the Holy Spirit to take up residence in your life.  Have you experienced His life?  His presence within our hearts changes us from the inside out!

This week, as we prepare for our Super Summer Baptism Celebration on all our campuses, I want to share stories of life change with you from people we’ve seen experience God’s saving grace and take that next step of believer’s baptism. Their stories reflect the same experiences you read about of those who encountered Christ in Scripture and their lives were changed.  Vallerie is a young mother of four who experienced the miracle of life change at a former Super Summer baptism. She writes:

“Growing up was never really easy for me. My innocence was stolen from me at a very young age through my pre-teen years by a family member, which led to some family members casting me out from their disbelief.  Both of my parents were addicted to drugs. My father used to beat my mom on a daily basis in front of us kids. As a teen, I was involved with drugs, sex, and alcohol.  I was so depressed and angry all the time. I would run away just about every chance I could get; I hated being home with all the madness and bad memories that lingered in that home.

To relieve some of that pain, I also slit my wrist constantly.  I met my then-boyfriend at age fourteen and, soon, became pregnant at age sixteen. I felt, at times, that I had no meaning in life here on this earth and contemplated suicide on multiple occasions.  The only relief I found was to journal and write stories. It was the only thing that gave me life. I always felt that, through my stories, I would help others in my situation. When I met my boyfriend’s family, his aunt would always speak to me about Jesus and His love. I never knew the true meaning of love, and what she was saying sounded like something I had been longing for. I never really gave myself to God until about a year ago. My flesh grew tired of this world and was ready for that true love I was told about – God’s love.

I am now married to that guy I met when I was fourteen years-old and, on December 6, we will have been together for ten years.  We have four amazing kids. We attended church, and I could see the impact it made on my children. They are just bursting through with God’s love!  At church, they showed a Super Summer Baptism video, and I felt my spirit tugging at me to sign up, but I was afraid. I asked God to give me a sign to let me know if it was the right thing to do. Then, BOOM! Pastor Kerry said something, and I knew that was the Holy Spirit speaking through him to me.

On baptism day, I was very nervous!  Halfway there, my dad arrived to see me get baptized. Well, being second to last, it started to rain and I got soaked. I was thinking sarcastically, What a great day it is! About five minutes before it was my turn, the rain cleared. I walked in the pool nervously, and the man who was going to dip me in the water whispered in my ear, ‘God cleared the rain and brought out the sunshine just for you.’

I knew exactly that’s where I was supposed to be in that very moment.  To top that off, my husband got baptized along with me! When I came out of the water, my dad gave me a hug filled with love. Not only had I just experienced the love from my Heavenly Father, but also that longing for love from my earthly father at the same moment.  It was truly the greatest moment I could ever have on this earth. Thank you, Woodlands Church, for that amazing day I will never forget!”

If you would like to experience the refreshing power of God through believer’s baptism, you are welcome to join us after any one of our weekend services at a Woodlands Church campus near you. You can register online today at wc.org/SuperSummer and let us know which service works best for you! When you do, check out the video of last year’s Super Summer Baptism! If you’ve already been baptized, invite someone else to take that step this weekend!