NEVER THE SAME AGAIN
And having been warned by God in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed for their own country by another way.
When I was 17 years old, I heard the true message of Christmas. It finally made sense to me, and God showed me that I needed His Son - not just to know facts about Him in my head, but to really know Him personally in my heart. You see, Jesus was born in Bethlehem so that you and I could be born again.
On a Monday night in January of 1980, I got down on my knees and asked Jesus to save me. I gave all I knew of me to all I knew of Him. And do you know what? He saved me. He forgave all my sins and came to live in my heart... and my life has never been the same since.
A CHANGE OF COURSE
The wise men from the east traveled a great distance (as much as 1000 miles) to worship Jesus, the new born King of the Jews. They brought expensive gifts and fell down in worship before the Christ child. When they went home, they did not go back through Jerusalem for fear of Herod. They returned "by another way." They changed course. Did you catch the spiritual significance of that phrase?
It is impossible to truly meet Jesus and not go "another way." It is impossible to receive the King of Glory into your life and not be changed as a result. Many times people will struggle with and agonize over the issue of assurance. They will ask themselves, "Am I really a Christian?" The acid test to know if you are truly His is this: have you been changed? Has something happened inside of you, calling you to go in a new direction? It is inconceivable to think that the Almighty, Most Holy God of the Universe would come to live inside of a person and that person not know it... and that person not be changed.
My life changed greatly after I received Christ. My friends and family noticed a difference in the way I acted and reacted. Although far from perfect, there was a change, a noticeable change. I had gone "by another way." I had a desire for God that I never had before... and I had a sorrow in sin that I never had before. As Adrian Rogers used to say, "The difference between a Christian and a non-Christian is this: A non-Christian leaps into sin and he loves it. A Christian lapses into sin and he loathes it." That has been true of me from the day I surrendered my life to Jesus.
HOW ABOUT YOU?
Have you really met Jesus? Has there been a genuine change? Is your life going His way now... or are you still going your way?
Christmas is a great time to rejoice... and to reflect: what change of course does He want to make in you? What adjustments are needed so that you can be all He wants you to be in your family... in your career... in your priorities?
I hope you have a great Christmas. May the King of the universe truly be King in you as you do like those wise men and bow your life before Him!
From His Heart Ministries can be seen on LightSource.com. This is another opportunity to reach people throughout the world with the love of Christ.
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Jeff Schreve is Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church in Texarkana, Texas. He and his wife Debbie have been married for over 20 years and are blessed with three wonderful girls. Jeff began From His Heart Ministries, a radio and television ministry, in January of 2005. This ministry is completely listener/viewer supported. It continues only through the faithful and generous gifts of people like you. Pastor Jeff takes no salary from this ministry. All gifts go to further the broadcast. Click here to become a ministry partner.