Focal Passage: Acts 26:2-5, 12-18, 24-26
Every time I get into our charcoal 2011 Chevy Traverse, I pray. I pray, because I am long overdue for an oil change. I can feel it as I drive. I can hear it with my ears. Let’s be honest, this is always the case right before I give in and take the car to the shop. After the attendant is finished, I feel like I’m in a brand new car. All of my senses are engaged. Something is different.
Those who have come to Christ experience a profound change as well. They are immediately imbued with new affections that, given time and sanctification, result in new behaviors. The dishonest heart that produced lies before now overflows with truth. The angry heart that reared its head in fits of rage now reaches out with arms of love. Everyone who has truly repented of their sin and put their faith in Jesus for salvation, no matter the severity of their past sins, shares this experience to some degree.
He echoes the sentiments of Jesus who said in Luke 6:44, “For each tree is known by its own fruit.”
People see the fruit of the Holy Spirit in our lives, but it’s often hard for them to look past the one they knew before.
In our witnessing, the gospel message is what the Spirit will use to save, but He may very well use our story to bear witness to the gospel’s power. For those desperately searching to fill a void that only God can fill, our story of change in Christ might be the final straw leading to salvation.