Friday, October 2, 2015

The Moment That Changes Everything

There are moments in history that define each one of us, moments that completely change the course of our lives.  Whether they are marked by a decision or an event or an encounter, our lives look drastically different than they did the moment before.

Think about the day you got married or the day you held your child for the first time, about how much your life changed that day.  Life would never be the same from that point, would it?  Good or bad, there was no going back to life as it was before.

Think about life before 9/11.  What was life like on September 10th, 2001?  Very different than September 12th, for sure.

One event, and the course of an entire nation was re-routed.

One moment and everything changed.

One moment of weakness, one swallowed lie, one bite of forbidden fruit.  Sin found its way into humanity and the world was changed forever.

One choice by a man named Cain to bring not the best and first of his crops – just “some” – to make an offering to his Creator.  The choice to keep the best for himself and make an offering not out of faith in God to provide, but rather an offering out of the leftovers.  The choice to stand proudly before God, angry that his offering wasn’t found acceptable, rather than submit in humility and repentance.

This choice would change Cain’s life drastically.  The anger that began as a small seed that day grew in his heart like the wheat that he had sown in his field.  It matured into full-grown hatred, strong enough to lead him to murder his own brother.  Again, when given the opportunity by God to confess his wrongdoing, he stood proudly and defiantly before his Maker and confessed nothing

And so the consequence: the once highly successful farmer would no longer be able to coax even the scantest crop from the ground, and instead would spend the rest of his days a wanderer.  His family, too, would be sentenced to wander with him.  No home, no livelihood.  Just wandering.

But the effects of Cain’s choices didn’t end with him or his immediate family.  Several generations later, one of Cain’s offspring would become himself a murderer and proudly claim a promise God had made to Cain as his own.  It started with one choice, but the ripples of that choice continued to spread.

How different would Cain’s life have been had he chosen that day to bring the first and best of his crops as an offering?  Or if, when God disapproved of the offering, he had reacted with humility or remorse? How would his story have gone then?

Maybe there is a moment in your own life that very distinctly divides it into “before” and “after.”  Maybe it was put there by your own choice, or perhaps it was handed to you by someone else. Regardless, it changed your story.  There’s no going back, no matter how much you wish you could.

One moment and everything changed.

But there is another moment in history that can change your story again.  Oh, it won’t undo what has already been done; it won’t erase history.  But it will rob your history of its power to dictate your future. Indeed, it will redeem your history and make your story one of beauty and grace.

I’m talking, of course, about Jesus.  About the moment that he stepped back out of the grave and crushed the power of sin and death.  Forever.  I’m talking about that moment when you encountered Him – or will encounter Him – and He began to re-write your story.

One moment with Jesus and your life will never be the same.

Will it be 9/11 kind of change? Probably not in the world’s eyes. But to you…yeah, it’s that big. The difference, my friend, is that instead of looking back with nostalgia or regret or sadness, you’ll be looking to the future with anticipation, hope and joy.

Jesus.  He changes everything.

And what a wonderful thing it is when He does.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.  The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. ~ 2 Corinthians 5:17

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