On several occasions I have been encouraged when men I knew to be dishonest and immoral agreed to talk to me about their conduct. Yet each time I was disappointed at the outcome of our meetings.
In each situation the person said he believed in god and wanted to escape hell. Some rationalized by saying everybody, even churchgoing people, are basically selfish. They do good only to be rewarded, and avoid evil only to escape punishment. Those who reasoned this way believed that because they sometimes were kind and gave generously to charitable causes, their chances of going to heaven were as good as those of the Christians they knew. One man vowed that he would do his best to be more honest, moral, and kind. But like the others, he wanted to have eternal life without the forgiveness and inner change that only Jesus can give.
The apostle Paul told Timothy how to deal with religionists who focused on externals. He reminded him that the purpose of godly instruction is a life that reflects a radical inner change: “love from a pure heart, from a good conscience, and from sincere faith” (1 Timothy 1:5). Has God changed you from within? You can have a life-changing encounter with Jesus if you’ll trust in Him. – Herb Vander Lugt
HOW TO BE CHANGED FROM WITHIN
Admit that you are sinner and turn from your sin.
Believe that Jesus died for you and rose from the dead.
Call on Him to be your Savior and Lord.
When God changes you, He works from the inside out.
- November 26, Vol. 18, Our Daily Bread