“This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” - 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NLT)
About five years ago, I started going to a new church.
My grandma was a pastor of a church in Harlem. I was helping her in her ministry, but there were no young people there.
I found out that a local church that I’ve heard about for years had a young adult service on Friday nights, so I went to check it out.
When the service was over, I mingled for a bit but decided to leave since I didn’t know anyone. Right as I headed toward the door, a young lady came running after me.
“I know you!” she said. “Did you go to Grace Baptist Church?”
No, but I’m from Rockland, so we must know each other.
She told me her name, and it all clicked.
As it turns out, she and I went to Pioneer Girls (a Christian Girl Scout type of organization) together for years when we were little. And not only that, but we also went to the same middle school and high school.
That night started (or continued) a beautiful friendship.
Last weekend, I thought about the day my friend chased after me as she walked down the aisle to marry her perfect match and start a new beginning.
God chases after us in the same way.
He longs to have a growing relationship with us, and all we have to do is be willing to open up our hearts, stay, and trust Him.
I love the story in Luke 19 about a short (and wealthy) tax collector named Zacchaeus. The tax collectors were despised because they collected taxes for Rome.
When Zacchaeus heard Jesus was passing by, he climbed up a tree to see him. He was curious to see what kind of a man Jesus was, and he soon found out.
Jesus looked up and saw Zacchaeus and told him to come down. He invited himself to stay at his house.
Jesus, knowing Zacchaeus’ past and who he was, wanted to stay with him. And Zacchaeus happily welcomed Jesus to stay.
Zacchaeus didn’t have to change who he was to be with Jesus. He just welcomed him with his arms wide open and a joyful heart.
It was the presence of Jesus in his life that caused him to want to do better.
“This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” - 2 Corinthians 5:17
Jesus is forgiving. He meets us where we are and gives us a choice to never look backward.
Even when we mess up, God continues to pursue us and give us another opportunity to build a loving relationship with Him.
Just like a friend who goes out of their way to get to know you, you are so loved by God that He chases after you just so that we can grow with Him.
Yesterday is history and your past is in the past. The time is now for a beautiful beginning!
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Do great things with God.