Monday 19th July 2021
‘’I’M NOT THE PERSON I WAS’’
Pastor Soong Kok Kee
Luke 19:9 Jesus said to him. “Today salvation has come to this house.”
A woman was contacting her high school classmates about their 35th reunion. Many were excited about seeing their old friends. One man wrote back to the woman, “I have the 5 Bs – baldness, bifocals, bridgework, bulges, and bunions.” A woman quipped, “I wasn’t half the woman then that I am today” (referring to her weight).
But another woman said, “I can’t wait to see everyone. I’ve changed completely. In high school I was the class ‘tramp.’ I had no standards and everybody knew it. But a few years after high school I received the Lord Jesus as my Savior. My life was transformed. Because of Christ, I’m not the person I was, and I want my classmates to know about it.”
Zaccheus was a cold-hearted, money-loving tax collector. But then he met Jesus, and his life was transformed. This is evident from his willingness to make complete restitution – “Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.” (Luke 19:8). No wonder our Lord said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house.” Receiving Christ marked the beginning of a brand-new life for Zaccheus.
The same thing happened to the Apostle Paul after his encounter with Christ on the road to Damascus – from Persecutor of the Faith to Preacher of the Faith. No wonder he said “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!”
Have you ever asked yourself whether there was a change in your life after you became a Christian? The former class “tramp” had and wanted to tell everyone about that, so had Zaccheus and the Apostle Paul. Hudson Taylor once said: “If your father and mother, your sister and brother, if the very cat and dog in the house, are not happier for your being Christian, it is a question whether you really are.”
For some the change may be immediate like Zaccheus and the Apostle Paul. For others, it may be a slow but sure process, as someone had described “sanctification” in layman terms – it is a process whereby we slowly sin less and less and become more and more like Christ.
A Christian should slowly but surely grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord, sinful attitudes should be replaced with godly traits. Selfishness should give way to caring, greed to generosity and lust to purity.
A changed life is the greatest testimony that we can share to the world that we have indeed met our Lord. So my dear brothers and sisters, the question we should ask ourselves often is “Has Christ transformed our life?” Can we truly say, “I’m not the person I was”?
PRAYER: Dear Lord, thank you for coming into the world to die for us on that cruel cross that we may have forgiveness of sin and eternal life. Help us to examine our life often to see where we can change for the better to the glory of your name. In your precious Name we all pray AMEN.
路加福音第19:9 耶稣对他说： “今天救恩到了这家。”
一位女士正在联系她的高中同学，谈论他们的第35届同学会。许多人为见到他们的老朋友而感到很兴奋。一名男士给她回信说：“我有5个B – 秃头(baldness)、双焦(bifocals )、搭桥手术(bridgework)、赘肉(bulges)以及拇囊炎(bunions)。” 一名女士打趣道：“我当时还不及今天的一半呢”(指她的体重)。
撒该是个冷酷无情、贪财的税吏。但后来他遇到了耶稣，他的生命发生了改变。这从他愿意完全赔偿就可以看出 —— “主啊！请看，此时此刻我把我的一半财产给穷人，我若敲诈了谁，就还他四倍。”（路加福音19:8）。难怪我们的主对他说：“今天救恩到了这家。” 接受基督标志着撒该一个崭新生命的开始。
使徒保罗在前往大马士革的路上与基督相遇后，也发生了同样的事情 – 从信仰的迫害者到信仰的传道者。难怪他说：“所以，若有人在基督里，他就是新造的；旧的已经过去，新的已经来了！”
您有没有问过自己，当您成为基督徒后，您的生命有没有改变？以前的班级 “流浪者” 有了改变并想要把这件事告诉每一个人，撒该和使徒保罗也是如此。戴德生曾经说过：“如果您的父亲和母亲，您的姐妹和兄弟，如果家里的猫和狗，不因为您是基督徒而感到更快乐，那么问题就在于您是否真的是基督徒了。”
对于某些人来说，这种改变可能会像撒该和使徒保罗一样立竿见影。对于其他人来说，这可能是一个缓慢但肯定的过程，正如有人用浅白易明的话描述 “成圣” 那样 – 这是一个我们慢慢地越来越少犯罪，越来越像基督的过程。
一个改变了的生命是我们可以向世界分享的最好的见证，证明我们确实遇见了我们的主。所以我亲爱的弟兄姐妹们，我们应该经常问自己的问题是：“基督改变了我们的生命了吗？” 我们真的可以说：“我已不是以前的我了” 吗？