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It Could Happen To You (published in The North Weld Herald 8/20/09)

posted Sep 7, 2013, 1:14 PM by Fccea Webmaster
A backwoods family are new to the big city; everything is a wonder to them. Somehow they get into a department store and while the mother goes off shopping, father and son became enamored of a shiny chrome wall that occasionally parts in the middle revealing a small room. They watch an elderly lady in a wheelchair punch a button causing the wall to part, allowing her to enter as the wall closes up again behind her. Lights flash on and off for several minutes and, then, to their amazement, the wall opens and out steps a beautiful 24-year-old elegantly dressed young woman. Without ever taking his eyes off the chrome doorway, the father says, "Son -- go git yer maw."

Wouldn't we all like to find that fountain of youth! Want to know a secret? You can! You can have the existence of youth and beauty that you know you were meant for -- all in God's plan.

To be transformed outwardly, we must first be transformed inwardly. The truth is, however decrepit, aged, wrinkled or lacking in beauty our outward appearance may be, it can't hold a candle to what we look like inwardly. The Bible says, "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?" (Jer. 17:9). It further says, "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Rom 3:23).

This isn't my verdict. It's the verdict of a loving and holy God who still longs for our total transformation. So, He doesn't just pronounce sentence and disappear. Amazingly, He leaves the bench, comes to our side, takes all of our sin upon Himself in the person of His Son, Jesus Christ, and now offers redemption from our sentence -- and inward and outward transformation to all who will accept His free gift of grace. What a God!

How do we get this gift? The same way we get any gift. We accept it by agreeing with Him about our sin. He promises, "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (I John 1:9). Paul goes even one step further and says, "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation" (II Cor. 5:17). Not just cleansed, but a whole new creation.

That's the inside part -- but now get this! For those who are in Christ, the Bible also promises that Christ will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself. Transformed inside and outside in due time. Not a magic elevator, but this has the virtue of being real.

Some people refuse to accept the gift saying it is just too simple. But I look at it like this. How could I, a weekend hacker, ever get to play Augusta National -- private home of the Masters Golf Tournament? Answer: It would have to be a gift. The more precious the item, the more it can only be gotten by gift. So, is it any surprise that the most precious gift of all -- eternal life -- can only come as a gift?

In the movie, It Could Happen to You, the stars win the lottery -- but what they actually find is love. You can experience the transformation I've talked about above by accepting God's gift, but what you will really find is His incomparable love. How good is that! According to His promise, it could happen to you!

By His Grace, Pastor Dave

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