“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)
I have always found it interesting that a single moment in time can impact your life forever. One of those moments for me was when I met a young man with a handlebar mustache—the one that curls up at the end.
I first met Manny about five years ago at an event in the Bronx, New York. He was one of the speakers for the night. He mentioned his walk with God being important to him, and I was impressed.
You see, I went to many of those events, and the speakers rarely mentioned anything about having faith in God. I mean, some referenced God, but Manny was different.
Other than his super cool mustache, Manny looked and talked like all the other young people, but he was on fire for God. At the time, I still wanted to do worldly things, but I knew God was tugging at my heart to go all-in with Him.
Manny was bold about his faith. He was unashamed about Jesus being his first love. I wanted his boldness.
I found out that Manny and his girlfriend hosted a bible study every week, and I jumped at the opportunity to check it out. That bible study was the beginning of my commitment to living fully for God.
I was surrounded by people who understood my desire to walk with God and felt free to be my authentic self. They showed me by their lives that I could still be me and follow God.
That might sound silly—be me and follow God—but I thought I had to be a different person or even dress differently. The truth is, I didn’t. God meets us where we are.
I am reminded of the story of Zacchaeus in Luke 19. Zacchaeus was a chief tax collector and very rich. He was also short in stature. When he heard Jesus was passing by, he climbed up a tree to see him.
Zacchaeus was curious to see what kind of a man Jesus was. And he found out. Jesus looked up and saw Zacchaeus and told him to come down. He invited himself to stay at his house.
That is important to note because Jesus, knowing Zacchaeus’ past and who he was, a sinner, still 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 had to welcome him with his arms wide open and a joyful heart. The presence of Jesus in his life eventually caused him to want to change.
“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. Zaccheaus chose to follow God. And so can you.
Today is a new day. You don’t have to change to follow God, but you do have to open your heart for change.
My prayer today is that you will go all-in with God. And that He will change you from the inside out. Whatever obstacles that are holding you back, give them to God, and let Him do amazing things through you.
This is your moment in time that will forever change your life for the better. Choose God.
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Do great things with God.