“But you don’t know how bad I am …. I have ___________________! There is no hope for me – I am doomed, helpless and hopeless.”
I have heard this many times and even said it myself. Our society can be pretty unforgiving of the mistakes of the past. A record can follow you forever.
But what is interesting is that some of the most famous, interesting and successful people have a record. They have been to the pit. I remember hearing T.D. Jakes preach one day about a Pastors conference he had attended. He was recalling the Pastors stories of faithfulness and many had only been married once and had served the church all their life. He said –
“While all those stories were great and I am very happy for them, they had nothing to say to me. You can’t help me if you have never been through anything.”
Bishop Jakes story rang really true to me. Then I recalled the story of the Maniac of Gadares. Jesus crossed the Sea of Galilee just to see him and it changed everything. This man couldn’t live with the rest of the people. They tried to chain him but he was so crazy that he broke the chains. He lived in a cemetery, probably waiting to die – wanting to die. Anybody been there?
After one touch – one word from Jesus, his life was different. In fact, he was so different and the change so radical, that it scared the people of the closest town. The man wanted to leave with Jesus but Jesus knew that this man had a mission. Jesus told him –
“Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee and had compassion on thee.” Mark 5:19b
Do you know what the man did? – exactly what Jesus told him to do. Yet, not only did he go home, on the way there he…
“…and began to publish in Decapolis [Ten Cities] how great things Jesus had done for him: and all men did marvel.” v. 20
Real change is possible! Jesus can take you from insanity to peace. This transformation is what Paul describes as “You are God’s Masterpiece, created anew in Christ Jesus…” (Eph.2:10 NLT). But you are not saved to sit. You are not transformed to be placed upon a pedestal and pose. You are saved to serve – transformed to testify. The Maniac of Gadares published, which means to spread the mission far and wide, and the people all marveled. His life now made a difference, where before he only wanted to die and he had to be locked away. Now that he was free on the inside, he shared it with all who would listen.
You too have a mission – Paul continues to tell us in that same verse,
“created anew in Christ Jesus for the good works ordained for you from the beginning.”
God has a plan for you and it is a good one. God had Jeremiah, the prophet, tell people in “captivity” aka -Jail, this:
“For I know the plans I have for you, saith the Lord. Plans for good, not destruction. To give you a hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11
There is more here but I want to stop and hear from you. Let me know what you think and if you want to talk more about this reach out to me. I would be honored to hear from you. Maybe you want to share your story of transformation – this is a good forum to do so. I will accept guest blog posts about this topic as well. Have a blessed day and let not just talk about – let’s be about it!
There is life on the other side of brokenness – a life full of the grace of God Almighty. God radically changed my life and made me a “Transformation Project” and He can and will do the same for you, even when you think you are beyond hope!
You may have big doubts and that is alright. God is bigger than any doubt you may have. In the Book of Isaiah, the prophet writes about the coming of Christ and His mission of transformation…
“The Spirit of the LORD God is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and the opening of the prison to them that are bound… to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness… And they shall build… For your shame you shall have double [the reward]; everlasting joy shall be unto them.” Isaiah 61:1, 3, 4, 7
Did you see that? It’s a systematic plan that will take us wherever we are and do things for us and in us that we could never do for ourselves. And just like Job, He can give you double for your trouble. Or like Joseph, He can take you from the pit to the palace. So, if you are in a bad place today, please hear me no matter how bad things may look, no matter what you have done, Jesus Christ has more for you than you could ever imagine. This passage tells us that whether our problem is alcohol, drugs, greed or abuse or even the worst criminal on death row awaiting his or her execution date, Jesus Christ cares deeply for you and passionately wants to do for you what that passage in Isaiah said He came to do. This passage tells us You need to know that there is life on the other side of brokenness – a life full of the grace of God Almighty. God made me a “Transformation Project” and He can and will do the same for you!
You may have big doubts about all of this right now and that is alright. God is bigger than any doubt you may have. God made a way for you and me to be transformed way before we were ever born.
The meek in this passage are those who are downtrodden – isn’t that all of us at some point? The brokenhearted get healing – how many of us have dealt with lies, broken promises, lives that didn’t turn out the way they were supposed to, let down by those who we were supposed to trust….? Jesus came to heal that heart that has been shattered into a million tiny pieces.
Proclaim liberty to the captives – those that are dealing with addictions, trapped in bad and abusive situations. I know people who are locked up far worse than those who are actually behind bars. Christ Tomlin added the bridge,
“My chains are gone, I‘ve been set free…” to the song Amazing Grace because this is exactly what Jesus Christ came to do. He is transformative.
Finally, He came to release those who are in actual prisons…. For a few this will be an actual physical early release. Some don’t want to hear about that but it’s true. Jesus talks about prison a number of times but we will get back to that tomorrow. For everyone it is a spiritual release from bondage as real as any prison.
So where are you today? Do you need healing – has your life gotten out of control? Call out to Jesus today. He is waiting with arms wide open.
Send me an email if you have questions you like to talk about off-line. email@example.com.