LOOKING TO PRAISE AND WORSHIP JESUS THE CHRIST, THE SON OF THE LIVING GOD. 18 No man has ever seen God at any time; the only unique Son, or the only begotten God, Who is in the bosom [in the intimate presence] of the Father, He has declared Him [He has revealed Him and brought Him out where He can be seen; He has interpreted Him and He has made Him known].

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

First Post - A Question of Sorts

We'll call this my "Get to Know You" post:

If you were to take a "Before" and "After" photo of your life as a Christian, what has been the most significant change in your life by the work of God's grace? What about your life do you KNOW changed not as a result of your own will, but by the sheer grace of God working to produce visible fruit?


Blogger Gayla said...

That's an easy one for moi. In a nutshell - reverting from a very man(me)-centered view of God to a God-centered view of God. Frankly, I didn't realize just how me-centered I was until He showed me otherwise.

September 26, 2007 9:47 AM

Blogger Baptist Girl said...

"I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. "I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them. (Ezekiel 36:26-27)

I did not realize how dark my heart was until He put a new heart in me.A heart of stone it was, When I look out in the world now, I see it so differently then I did when I was lost. I can love so uch more easily, I can forgive so much more easily. I am glad the Lord showed me such grace.


September 26, 2007 10:11 AM

Blogger donsands said...

In 1984 God sobered me up. He cleansed my mouth from blaspheming the Lord's name. Took away my prejudice.
He gave me a desire for going to church. I hated church.

As I look back, it was all sheer grace. I was in the dark, completely, and the Lord had to pour His grace in every part of my dark heart.
I hope that's alright to say it like that. I'm not trying to be too general or simplistic, but that's how I recall it.

Since then I have a lot of "growing in His grace" pains.

Thanks for the thought provoking post.

September 26, 2007 10:20 AM

Blogger Susan said...

As Cristina wrote, a change of heart. It resulted in the change of many of my old ways. But the center of it all was a change of heart.

And a receptivity to being shown how sinful I was and still can be. Along with a desire to be shown thus. A desire to have sin plucked out and to have the Lord change me continually.

September 26, 2007 10:21 AM

Blogger jazzycat said...

Great question. I think the most noticeable think for me was that I started being convicted of sin in things that used to not bother me at all. Such things as greed, selfishness, lust, hateful thoughts, etc. that did not bother me in the slightest, all of a sudden started bothering me. I am still a sinner to be sure, but now I feel guilt and sorrow over such sin. The worst part was the remorse I felt for some things that I had done twenty or so years before that all of a sudden seemed horrible. That was a shock and though I know I am forgiven, I am still repulsed by my former actions and attitude.

September 26, 2007 10:24 AM

Blogger mark pierson said...

I think Cristina nailed it with Ezekiel 36:26-27. But, although sanctification is inevitable, it is not automatic. We must be transformed by the renewing of our minds, let the word of Christ dwell in us richly, and be being filled by the Spirit.

September 26, 2007 10:33 AM

Blogger Even So... said...

The things I talk about always center around God now, they are brought to Him, and are about Him, and then how I may relate to that, whereas before, God or anything else were ways to talk about me...

September 26, 2007 10:41 AM

Blogger Even So... said...

He is still working on all of us in that area...

Good question Marcia...

September 26, 2007 10:42 AM

Blogger only1way said...

I think for me the most significant change(s) were fourfold.

1. I had a profound sense of the sinfulness of sin. I always knew that wrong was wrong and that sin was sin. But, hey, everyone was doing it so … the majority rules. If it was okay for them, it was okay by me. But when the Lord got a hold of me I saw for the first time that sin was a monstrous problem in the face of a holy God and that caused me to tremble and grieve over my sin for the first time,
2. I had a profound sense of acceptance. For the first time in my life I felt loved and accepted. That was a unique and special experience for me.
3. I had a profound sense of purpose. My life, up to the point of my conversion, was pointless, directionless and without significance. At last, when He introduced Himself to me, I felt like my life actually had value and meaning.
4. I had a profound sense of an intellectual change going on. I was actually interested in the Scriptures. I bought the books. I studied Greek. I preached. I taught. I wrote. I couldn’t get enough of Him. I KNOW that was not of me.

September 26, 2007 11:10 AM

Blogger Gayla said...

"I had a profound sense of an intellectual change going on. I was actually interested in the Scriptures."

This was me too.

September 26, 2007 11:41 AM

Blogger Craver Vii said...

I expect that we might feel like everyone else here is telling our story.

I was going to say the biggest change that other people would notice was the conversion from ME-ism to HE-ism, and I see Gayla mentioned that right off the bat.

Also, I immediately quit swearing.

Personally, the way the Scriptures transformed before my eyes is the most spectacular thing that I noticed, but I wouldn't say that anybody else notice me, noticing God's Word.

Great question; glad you're aboard!

September 26, 2007 7:21 PM

Blogger Jonathan Moorhead said...

No-brainer - becoming a Calvinist after my patient roommate taught on Romans 9. It was almost like a conversion experience.

September 26, 2007 11:51 PM

Blogger Daniel said...

Marcia - excellent question in that you specifically said, "not as a result of your own will".

There were a lot of profound changes in my life that came about not as the result of my own will. The most notable, and it didn't happen on the day I was saved, but later - I had always resented my father with a bitter hatred. This hatred was perhaps focused on my father, but it saturated all aspects of my life - really what I hated was the "hand I was dealt" in life. We were poor, white trash, and I mean trash. I think I was the only one who was ever arrested though, but many of the people we were hanging with did hard time. Anyway, I can paint a pretty black picture and this isn't the place - I mention it only because all my siblings and I shared this profound hatred for our father. He had singlehandedly, flavored our lives in such a negative way that we all hated him and blamed him for all the misery that a life filled with want produces.

One day in prayer I realized that my father was a sinner just like I am a sinner, and without any emotion at all it seemed, I simply forgave him from my heart before God. It wasn't some big psychological thing - almost entirely intellectual - I simply understood him to be a sinner, and that I could not hate him because of what sin had done to him and through him to myself and my siblings. I didn't think about it for the rest of that day, but when I woke up the next morning the hatred was gone.

Now that doesn't sound as profound as it was, but when I say that this hatred had penetrated and infiltrated every aspect of my being, so that when I woke up in the absence of it, for about three minutes or maybe five or ten, I am not sure how long it took, I couldn't understand what had changed. I felt so at peace, like a hindrance or weight that I had always borne was suddenly gone. It was as though there had been a great cloud of darkness over me all my life, and I awoke that morning and it was utterly and entirely gone. I didn't understand what was going on for a few minutes then suddenly I knew that I had absolutely nothing in my heart against my father. I loved him without hating him, and let me tell you - THAT was a leopard's spots being removed by God. I didn't ask for the freedom, in fact I had no idea that I was in bondage to such hatred, until it was suddenly gone I had no idea it was there. I would have told you that my previous reactions to my father were normal cautious reactions, I would not have called them hate, but rather just a settled indifference, or a wound that had long since healed - but that morning I saw it all and I saw it clearly for the first time. I had hated my father with a profound enduring hatred, and through that hatred I had learned to hate the rest of my life - every aspect of my existence was filtered through that hatred, as difficult as that might be for some to imagine - but I woke up that morning and it was gone without a trace. I could remember it, and I suppose if I wanted to I could work myself up to a ripe justified anger about some thing or other, but it would be real work, as I have no such desire at all.

To put it another way, I had an unforgiving heart, and I woke in the morning and it was gone. The vacuum left in its stead was filled with peace, joy, and good fruit.

Of course many other things have happened too that would qualify in a before/after comparison, but I like this one especially because it was a profound change (my wife was reeling for DAYS at immediate and profound change in my attitude and walk) that came about through God - for me, the "circumcision that is made without hands" is not some empty phrase - God literally cut out that fleshly part of me and tossed it away. It didn't happen the day I was saved, but on the day after I responded in obedience to one tiny little thing - to forgive others. Had I had any idea that I was walking under such a cloud, and that God could lift it like that - I should have become a Christian much sooner!

I just want to stress one more time for our unsaved readers... this was no psychological shift. It wasn't that I came to some profound understanding that suddenly changed me. When I finished praying I felt exactly the same - I hated my dad still, I had just forgiven him. When I went to bed that night, I still hated him, and my life was still under a dark cloud that I didn't even know was there. But when I woke the next morning I was utterly free from a thing I had no idea was even there, and only discovered its previous existence by its sudden absence. God is real, God's love is real. God loves me and has done great things to bless me so that my life now is life more abundantly, exactly as God has promised me.

September 27, 2007 8:38 AM

Blogger Gayla said...

Daniel, I would say that was a supernatural experience - wrought only by the hand of God.

Wonderful testimony!

September 27, 2007 9:24 AM

Blogger Gayla said...

Off topic, but I did want to let everyone know that I 'awarded' our little group - over at my blog.

September 27, 2007 9:38 AM

Blogger Susan said...

It was almost like a conversion experience.


I have heard others say that as well. And for me, it was like that too. Realizing the truth in the doctrines of grace was akin to being born again. The depth of it was practically overwhelming.

September 27, 2007 9:57 AM


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