I watched a movie recently in which one of the lead roles was a man who lived a hard life, and paid the price through the judicial system, resulting in his arrest. Because of his arrest, and being confronted by the reality of his poor choices, a change took place in his heart. And when questioned by authorities later, asking him if, in fact, he was the suspect in the crimes committed, his reply was a simple, “I was.”
Two words: I was. Simple enough, yet so profound. And like the actor in the movie, once upon a time, or yesterday, I was.
For some, yesterday was our glory days; accomplished athlete, honor student, highlight of the party, everyone’s friend. Or maybe, yesterday was a day we’d like to forget; poor decisions, befriended the wrong crowd, chose paths that didn’t honor our family name, or even more, didn’t honor the name of the One who created us and gave us life.
I was. That was yesterday. And yesterday I was a liar. Yesterday, I was unfaithful. I was someone who never seemed to get life right. I was selfish and self-centered. I was. I chased my own will and pursued fruitless desires, made the wrong choices and entertained impure thoughts. I rationalized hateful actions, and marginalized my sin. I was. I was empty and lifeless, lost, and without hope. I wandered from pleasure to pleasure, seeking fulfillment, and finding only temporary happiness. I was without joy. That was then. That was yesterday. I was.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.
The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.”
2 Corinthians 5:17
Oh, but today! Today I am a new creation. What I was is now forgiven and forgotten, forever. In Christ, I am new. No more defined by what I once was, but now seen by my Creator through His eyes of redemption. I am alive! I have new breath in my lungs, a new outlook on life, and an abundant joy for the journey ahead. My eyes tend to trail back to what I was, but my God sees what I am today. And I am new. What is old has passed away and what is new is my present reality and my future hope. I am!
The truth is this: I will still entertain impure thoughts at times, act in ways that do not align with my faith, and say things that might not be pleasant to hear. But my heart’s desire is to do His will and chase hard after Him, more than desiring what I once was. And that’s because of His grace that took the old me, redeemed what I was through His cross, and renewed me to what I am today. The old is gone. What I was has been washed away. And today I am new.
Yes, I was. But today, I am. I am new. I am recreated. I am His. And He makes all the difference. What’s your story?
“But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ Jesus…by grace you have been saved.”
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