Luke 19:9, Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house.”
High School reunions are very common in the summer bringing together individuals who graduated at different years from their high school. If you’re like me, you usually get an invitation every year inviting you back to the school where you graduated and reuniting with old classmates of years gone-by. This reminded me of a recent conversation I had regarding Lisa who was contacting her high school classmates about their 40th reunion. Many of those who responded to her invitation were quite excited about seeing their old friends. John wrote back stating he had the 5 B’s … baldness, bifocals, bridgework, bulges, and bunions. Mary quipped, “I wasn’t half the woman then that I am today” (referring to her weight). However, Janice said this, “I can’t wait to see everyone. I’ve changed completely. You see in high school I was the class tramp. I didn’t have any standards and everybody knew it.
But a few years after high school I received Jesus Christ as my Savior, and my life was completely changed. Because of Jesus, I’m not the person I was, and I want my classmates to know of the change that occurred.” Let’s change our focus now to one of many individuals mentioned in God’s Eternal Word. I’m reminded of Zacchaeus who was a cold-hearted and money-loving tax collector. But then he met Jesus, and his life was completely changed. This is evident from his willingness to make complete restitution as recorded in Luke 19:8, “And Zacchaeus stood, and said unto the Lord; Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken anything from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold”. Thus, receiving Christ as Savior marks the beginning of a brand-new life. Then as we grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord, you will find that:
(1) Sinful attitudes are replaced with godly traits.
(2) Selfishness gives way to caring.
(3) Greed to generosity, and
(4) Lust to purity.
Back in the 1990’s a group of missionaries took the gospel to Vanino, a town in the far eastern part of Russia. They didn’t know what effect their work would have on the people of Vanino. Several years later, Gary Anderson, then president of Baptist Mid-Missions, visited Vanino. He was met by the vice-mayor, who told him, “We have noticed that when people are associated with your church for a while, it makes a difference. It’s as though they are reborn.” Anderson was then asked by the vice-mayor if his church would work with troubled families and directionless young adults in Vanino. Without knowing it, that city official had correctly described what had happened.
People in Vanino had been “reborn”, born again by faith in Jesus Christ, who died for their sins and rose from the grave. Each of them was “a new creation” (2 Corinthians 5:17). My brethren, the question we need to be asking ourselves is whether people notice that we have been reborn. If you’re born again by the blood of Christ, can people tell there is an unquestionable difference or change about your life? One of the greatest witnesses we can have as born again believers in Christ is to leave a positive impression on others. The people of Vanino knew that something had changed the churchgoers in that small town. As believers in Christ, we tell others why we believe in Jesus Christ as Savior, and point them to His life as recorded in God’s Eternal Word. However, it’s just as important to tell them what He has done for us personally.
When telling others what Jesus can do for them, tell them what He has done for you.