Us “New Englanders” have a wonderful opportunity to see nature at its best. The four seasons we get to enjoy are really a true blessing! Summer brings warm weather, green trees and grass, cookouts, and abundant life! We witness the beauty of autumn with its vibrant colors of reds, oranges, and yellows, along with jumping in piles of leaves, and cool nights. Even though winter can be cold, the landscape after a fresh layer of snow is breath taking! To see the smiles and hear the laughter of people sliding in the snow or ice skating is priceless! Then we arrive at spring where everything comes back to life! Beautiful flowers with every color you can think of! Fresh breezes, budding trees… it’s great to see the changes!
It also makes me think of our life in general, how we go through different seasons as we age. From the innocence of our youth to our senior years, everything changes for us also. But there is one change that can only take place with the help of God. That’s the change of our heart. It is amazing to see that change take place!
I look at Paul the Apostle and the change that took place in his heart. Here was a man [named Saul at that time] that approved of the stoning of Stephen and was literally trying to destroy the church, going from house to house and dragging both men and women into prison, and breathing out murderous threats against the Lord’s disciples! [Acts 7 & 8) Then on the way to Damascus, Jesus changed his heart! The change was staggering to say the least! Paul authored so much of the New Testament!
Another example is John Newton. He was a Captain of a slave ship in the 1700’s. On a voyage in 1748, his ship encountered a storm and almost sank. During the night he prayed out to God, and God changed his heart! He later became an ally of William Wilberforce to abolish the slave trade. You may also know John as the author of “Amazing Grace”. At the end of his life, he told a friend this: “My memory is nearly gone, but I remember two things: That I am a great sinner, and that Christ is a great Savoir”.
I’ve been blessed to see this change in my earthly Father. Being in the military and serving in 3 wars, it took its toll on him. But when he gave his life over to Christ, the change was remarkable. Now at 90 [in April], to see him care for my mother suffering from Alzheimer’s and Dementia, and as a full time caregiver to her is a constant reminder to his five sons of what God’s Word says in Ephesians 5:25—33 how men should treat their wife.
For those whose hearts have been changed because of the grace and mercy of a loving God, we have an opportunity to show those that have never experienced that same saving grace and mercy to people we come in contact with every day by the way we live our lives. They too can have their hearts changed. It’s incredible that a God that determines the number of stars and calls them each by name could love us so much, that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us!
In His Service,