Standing in the kitchen peeling an orange, I was listening to a song. And then it hit me, I am changed.
It was one of those things I’ve known for a long time, but today it hit me full force.
I had just returned from the grocery store where I bought oranges, strawberries, pecans, pistachio nuts, talapia, chicken and brocolli.
Had it been 10 years ago, I would have been buying bread, hot rolls, donuts, chips, ice cream, cake, potatoes, cream soups, cheese sauce and who knows what else.
Today, my choices are born out of a desire to be everything God wants me to be—body, soul and spirit
The song was Meredith Andrews’ The Gospel Changes Everything. It reminded me of the difference 10 years can make.
Although the song is really about how accepting Christ changes our life, to me it has a deeper meaning. “The gospel changes everything. The turning point in history and even now it’s changing me from who I was.”
When we encounter the gospel message, it should change us. It’s not a one-time change. Although the initial encounter with Jesus is phenomenal, changes should continue throughout our life right up until the day we die.
Every day the gospel should change us from who we were even the day before. Each day we should understand just a little more, be just a little further along than we were the day before.
Paul talks about how before coming to Christ there is a veil over our minds so we can’t understand the truth. The veil is removed by believing in Christ.1
Once that happens, we “can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more like Him as we are changed into His glorious image.”2
The King James says we are changed from glory to glory when we “with open face behold as in a glass the glory of the Lord.”3 As a believer, our life should be moving from glory to glory, not for some feel good kind of experience but so we can continually be changed so one day we will become like him.
I’ve known a couple of people who were pretty close to the image of Christ before they went to join Him. One was my father and the other was Sister Forsee, a neighbor who lived on our street.
My father was pretty much like Jesus from the time he was little, according to his sister, my Aunt Joyce. She says, “There was just something special about Ernie.”
I’ve heard the story about my dad told by his brother Bill. Apparently they both made professions of faith at the same time and were baptized in the creek.
Uncle Bill said, “I went down a dry sinner and came up a wet one, but it took with Ernie.”
I believe the calling on his life was to unconditionally love every person he ever met. At his funeral, I had more than one person tell me, “Your dad was a friend to me when no one else would be.”
Dad had seen the glory of God and it changed him every day.
Sister Forsee had long white hair she wore in braids, which she twisted into a bun. If it was a nice night, after supper she would sit on her front porch and comb out her hair.
If she saw me playing in the neighborhood, she’d invite me to come and sit a spell. She took an interest in me, asking me questions about my day. She’d give advice if I asked, but mostly she just listened to me.
Maya Angelou says, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
That was certainly true of Sister Forsee. She somehow had a knack for reaching inside and making me feel like a real person, not a kid or an adult, but a person. I remember asking her very adult theological questions.
She didn’t dumb her answer down for me. It was always on par with the depth of the question. She didn’t hold back because I was younger.
When she died, I remember my mother saying, “Sister Forsee just went from glory to glory.” Even as a kid I knew that meant when she was here she had that glory aura and just took it with her.
I was reminded today, that I have changed physically, yes, but emotionally and spiritually, as well.
When I had erected a great wall of disobedience between me and God. When that wall came crashing down, Jesus was standing with arms wide open to welcome me into the abundance4 I had been missing for years.
“Jesus changes everything there is no greater mystery that God would come to rescue me from who I was … Jesus changes everything and He is changing me. You saved my soul by your blood. And I’m undone by your great love.”
I want nothing more than to continue to change for the better. I want to understand His mysteries. I want to be completely undone from any vestiges of my past disobediences.
I want the gospel to continue to change me from who I was to that glorious image of Christ. I want to change.
How about you? What do you need Jesus to change in you?
Listen to The Gospel Changes Everything Here.
1 2 Corinthians 3:14 NLT
2 2 Corinthians 3:18 NLT
3 2 Corinthians 3:18 KJV
4 John 10:10, NAS
Teresa Shields Parker is a wife, mother, business owner, life group leader, speaker and author of Sweet Grace: How I Lost 250 Pounds and Stopped Trying to Earn God’s Favor and Sweet Grace Study Guide: Practical Steps to Lose Weight and Overcome Sugar Addiction. Get a free chapter of her memoir on her blog at Teresa Shields Parker.com. Connect with her there or on her Facebook page.