Before and after

I was looking at a before and an after picture online the other day. The person in the pictures had lost a lot of weight. I couldn’t believe how fit and happy he looked in his after picture. It truly looked like two different people. It made me think of the before and after me. Not the physical before and after me, but the spiritual and emotional me. I thought about my life before Christ. Going down memory lane and revisiting our past can be tricky if we do it all the time and we live in the past. Going back to the past momentarily to see how much progress we have made is a great exercise. Do you ever compare the old you with the current you? If you have never done it, I suggest you spend some time making the comparison. What were you like before you got saved? What are you like now? What has the Lord done for you? The person you were before Christ will surprise you in many ways. You will see how much you needed Christ and how you barely made it without Him. When you accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior, your spirit became new and your heart changed. Your mind remains the same and it still needs to be worked on but your spirit is born again. You were dead inside before Christ. His resurrection is your success story and the new you was made in His image. Celebrate the Lord who lives in you. He is the fire behind every miracle and every blessing. You have His power inside you and you are a new creature. Take a quick look at your old self and keep your eyes on the One who makes you who you are today.

What was I like before Christ? I was lost. I was distraught. I had no hope. I was helpless. I thought I knew life but I was flirting with death every day. I thought I had the world figured out but I was buying into lies that made my life a nightmare. I lived in a very bad dream. That awful dream was my reality and I couldn’t get out of it. Imagine living in a nightmare and not being able to wake up to peace and joy. I was sleeping all the time. My spirit was asleep all the time. My inner light was off and I needed someone to turn it on. I need an ignition, a new start, a new beginning. I couldn’t imagine life could get any better. Today I feel bad for those who are where I used to be. I know how it is. I know how it crushes their spirit. I know how weak and feeble they can become. Christ gave me a new spirit and He taught me that life in Him and through Him was the best way to live. Jesus gave me the light. He went into my spirit and turned on the flame. He took my dead spirit and breathed life into it. His love, His words and His peace invaded me and changed me. I can remember life before Him but I don’t like life before Him. Life before Him had no rhyme or reason. There was no joyful song and no beautiful music. The Holy Spirit gave me a new song that has not stopped playing in the chamber of my spirit. Jesus’ melody is bouncing up and down in my heart and I know that I have nothing to worry about and nothing to fear.

The old me was crippled by fear. Hope was something I was not familiar with but today hope is alive in me and I am well aware of it. Jesus can take all fear and put faith in you. He can give you a life where His presence is like a river that never runs dry. Thank Him for the new you and Thank Him for being in you. He is part of your life and if you let Him be your whole life, there is no limit to what He can do through you, for you and in you. When Christ is the center of your life, the “after you” is a version of you that glorifies the Lord. Like I said before, it is ok to take a glimpse at the old you but it is important to focus on the One who is responsible for the new you. Notice the changes in you. Notice the new birth in your spirit. Notice Christ in you. Notice the love, the peace, the joy and the faith in you. It’s not about you but it’s about Christ in you and what He is accomplishing. Stay close to His Spirit. Embrace His Spirit. Imitate Christ and spread love, spread joy. Spread Christ around you. The new you will emanate Him and shine His light around you. You will exude His presence and give the world a chance to know Him through you. The new you is all about Jesus and that is what counts the most. You were meant to worship the Lord. Worship and praise Him with your life. Your before and after you are two different people. Stay in the present with the Lord that is working in you. May God bless you and protect you and remember that He will always love you!

Suggested reading: Isaiah 43:18; Romans 6:4; 2 Corinthians 5:17

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