Weekday Devotionals

Written by: Raquel Simmons

Verse: Ephesians 5:1-3 …Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered Himself as a sacrifice for us.

Romans 12:1-2 …Fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out….

Thoughts: “Remember who I was before Jesus. Now, live the opposite.”

We all have a story of how we came to Christ. Some of us were raised in a Christian home, while some of us began a relationship with Him later as an adult. I gave my life to Christ when I was 23. I used to feel ill equipped around others who had been believers for years because I could not recite Scripture and did not know much of the books in the Bible. Over time, God humbled me with this perspective. Now, I see how very fortunate I was to have lived some years and experienced a life of “darkness”. I know now how different and sweet it is to live in the light because I have the two to compare. Pastor Pete said on Sunday, “Remember who I was before Jesus. Now live the opposite.” My mind will think back to my life before Jesus, and I cannot believe the way I used to live! I know I am not the only one who feels this way. You might be sitting there reading this thinking, “that’s how I feel too!” By society’s standards I was a “good person,” but I was still selfish, using foul language, abusing alcohol and partying, lying, and some other things I’d rather not mention, but you get the picture. It can be so easy to slip into feeling shame when I look back to those days, but then I am reminded of the transformative power of the Holy Spirit at work in my life. Romans 12:1-2 says, “…fix your attention on God. You will be changed from the inside out.” When we make the decision to surrender our lives to Jesus, we may not have a miraculous earth-shaking moment where we are a completely new person. It will take time. But I assure you that if you fix your attention on God, you can’t help but be changed from the inside out. Not because you have to but because you want to. It will be difficult and sometimes painful. We may have to say no to somethings we want to say yes to, but friend I promise you it is so worth it! I am speaking from experience. As we allow God to peel back layers of the onion, we will find that our lives will change (for the better) and loving others will come more naturally. Human beings are deeply complex creatures. We are so beautiful and lovely, however we also sometimes make mistakes and do terrible things. When I read of the woman caught in the act of adultery I think, “that’s me.” Not in the sense of adultery, but in the sense that I have sins too. Jesus’ response to her accusers amazed me. He did not condemn her like her accusers were. Instead, he extended grace and love to her. He does the same for you and I. I believe He wants us to do the same for each other.

Ephesians 5:1-3 says “…live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered Himself as a sacrifice for us.” Jesus Christ is our example.

Should we strive to BE Jesus? No. That may leave us feeling inadequate. However, we can use Him as our example. Read and learn about how he behaved when he came across difficult people, what He said when He encountered people living in darkness, and how He loved his enemies. Let Him lead us in our day-to-day decision making and problem solving. “For once you were full of darkness, but now you have light from the Lord. So, live as people of light! For this light within you produces only what is good and right and true.” Ephesians 5:8-9.

Challenge: Let’s fix our eyes on God and allow Him to transform us from the inside out. And let’s look to Jesus as our example so that can live a life filled with love and in service to others.

- Raquel