April 20, 2023
- By Ed Powell
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"Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us." Romans 8:35, 37
Jesus said, "I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly." One of the most convincing proofs of the validity and effectiveness of God's Word is an "exchanged life"...a life characterized by discouragement and defeat, weakness and weariness, ineffectiveness and apparent uselessness ... that has been exchanged for a life of victory, strength, and vibrant enthusiasm, and leaves a lasting impact on all the lives it touches. The world cannot understand such an exchange! People try to explain it as a psychological process they have gone through which has effectively changed their outlook. But those who believe and apply God's Word to their hearts and lives know the Source of this transformation. This dynamic exchange "within" is the result of finding the Spirit of God to be their strength, their guide, their confidence, their companion, and their life.
People of the world say something has happened to them, but it is not "something," it is "some One" who has come into their lives to be their Sovereign Lord. This does not take place by someone simply deciding to change his life, but from the Holy Spirit drawing them to God. We do not wake up one morning and say, "Today I'm going to be a Christian." The Holy Spirit awakens us to the great need in our lives that has separated us from God. Sin is the barrier that has fixed a great gulf between God and us. Only Jesus Christ can bridge the mighty gulf that separates us from a holy, just, and righteous God. But how glorious the exchange when we come in all our need and surrender to our blessed Savior!
Dr. V. Raymond Edman, past President of Wheaton College, in his book "They Found the Secret," expressed the contrast so beautifully--the exchange of the new life for the old. "It is rejoicing for weariness, radiance for dreariness, strength for weakness, steadiness for uncertainty, triumph even through tears, tenderness of heart instead of touchiness, lowliness of spirit instead of self- exaltation, and loveliness of life because of the presence of the altogether Lovely One! Out of striving and struggling, out of discouragement and defeat...we enter into the realization of life more abundant, drawing upon the all-sufficient grace of our Lord Jesus Christ."
How beautifully the hymn "Himself" by A. B. Simpson, expresses this exchanged life. I trust this will be your experience and you can sing it from a heart that has found its sufficiency in Christ. "Once it was the blessing, now it is the Lord. Once it was the feeling, now it is His Word. Once His gifts I wanted, now the Giver own. Once I sought for healing, now Himself alone. Once was painful trying, now it's perfect trust. Once a half salvation, now the uttermost. Once was ceaseless holding, now He holds me fast. Once was constant drifting, now my anchor's cast." A crisis of utter surrender finds a fountain of unfailing love in Jesus Christ. Life will never be the same when HE IS LORD OF ALL!
© 2007 by Ed Powell. Used by permission.
This page was reprinted by permission from: http://litmin.org/dare.php?date=2023-04-20
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