Following Jesus Means Transformed Living | Blog | Mount Carmel Christian Church

Following Jesus Means Transformed Living

June 25, 2019 | Didi Bacon

For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord. Ephesians 5:8-10 (NIV)

In his book It Came From Within, Andy Stanley tells of a man whose faith sprang back to life once he dealt with his anger. 

Andy met Joe at Starbucks. He was sitting in one of those overstuffed chairs with headphones on and a scowl that said, "Don't anybody come near me." Everything about his countenance and posture communicated anger. So when Andy saw him, he avoided eye contact and went on about his business.

As Andy was waiting for his soy latte, Joe approached him and said, "Aren't you Andy?" At that particular moment, Andy wasn't sure if he should be Andy or not…. "Somebody gave me one of your CDs," he said. "I've been listening to it. But I've got to tell you, I have a real problem with God, and the church, too, for that matter."

Joe had been through two difficult divorces. His first wife had been sexually abused as a child and was never able to face the issues involved. After 30 years of marriage, the memories of abuse surfaced and eroded their marriage, which ended in divorce. His ex-wife passed away suddenly two years later. Joe then remarried, but after three years, this too ended in a heartbreaking divorce. Joe was both lonely and a recovering alcoholic. There was no evidence of the existence of God as far as he could see.

Andy got Joe's phone number and connected him with one of the pastors at his church, John Woodall. John called Joe, met him for coffee, and struck up a friendship. That was the last Andy saw of Joe, for a while.

Three months later, Andy was sitting in that same Starbucks, talking to a student pastor from another church, when in walked Joe. When he saw Andy, he headed straight for the table. The first thing Andy noticed was that he was smiling. The second thing he noticed was that he was carrying a Bible, a notebook, and a book on marriage.

"I'm getting remarried next week!" he announced. "To who?" Andy asked. "To Susan!" he exclaimed. Susan was his ex-wife. "Susan and I are getting remarried. John is doing the wedding."

It was obvious from Joe's eyes that something remarkable had happened. And it had. Over the course of several meetings with John, Joe found the courage to quit the blame game and, instead, take a look at what was rattling around in his heart. He had been an angry man, with reason to be angry. But like so many people, Joe had no idea what to do about his anger. And his unresolved anger had eroded his faith to the point where it was almost nonexistent.

John had helped Joe's faith come to life. With his renewed faith came the motivation he needed to address other issues in his life. The transformation was so remarkable that Susan noticed and began asking questions. Soon after, she put her faith in Christ. The week before Susan and Joe were remarried, John baptized her.  Following Jesus means transformed living.

For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord. Ephesians 5:8-10 (NIV)

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