What happened when I became a Christian, twenty years ago today?
There were no fireworks, no inner feelings of joy or relief.
I didn’t tell anyone, for weeks at least. I just went on with my day (July 31, 1995), which involved football workouts, of course.
Nothing felt different. But now that I look back, I know that a real change did take place, underneath my skin and within my soul.
I’m a completely different person. Yes, I still struggle and sin. I’m still mildly athletic and significantly nerdish. But I have changed in so many ways that I couldn’t see.
I am a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17).
I have died with Christ (Colossians 3:3).
I am now justified before God (Galatians 2:16).
I am delivered from the kingdom of darkness, and a part of the kingdom of Jesus (Colossians 1:13).
I have been sealed for the day of redemption (Ephesians 4:30).
I have been adopted into God’s family (Romans 8:15-17).
Twenty Years in the Making
I’m a project of God, twenty years in the making. He has changed me and given me life, and filled with inexplicable joy and hope. The effects of this radical change didn’t come all at once, but over time.
I must remember that I need the same grace today as I did 20 years ago. And I must remember that everyone around me needs the same grace as well. I easily lose my patience, expecting people to move along to maturity a lot faster than they are.
Twenty years ago, God did an immediate spiritual change in me, which led to slow changes in my thinking and actions. And He’s been more gracious to me than I’ll ever deserve.
So what changes happened when I became a Christian? Nothing, outwardly and immediately. But everything, internally and over my life since then.
That Rugged Cross
Join with me in praising God, through these words from “Man of Sorrows”:
Man of sorrows Lamb of God
By His own betrayed
The sin of man and wrath of God
Has been on Jesus laid
Silent as He stood accused
Beaten mocked and scorned
Bowing to the Father’s will
He took a crown of thorns
Oh that rugged cross
Where Your love poured out over me
Now my soul cries out
Praise and honour unto Thee
Sent of heaven God’s own Son
To purchase and redeem
And reconcile the very ones
Who nailed Him to that tree
Now my debt is paid
It is paid in full
By the precious blood
That my Jesus spilled
Now the curse of sin
Has no hold on me
Whom the Son sets free
Oh is free indeed