Lasting Change

Last week I went into Home Depot looking for some mirror hangers. After asking for help (saves time), I went to the proper area. I grabbed a small plastic box of hangers, but kept on looking for what I thought was a better fit for what I needed. After several minutes of scanning other items, I closely examined what I had already picked up at first. Then I discovered my first choice was exactly what I needed! I didn’t need to choose something different, as much as I needed to understand what I already had in my hand. This Sunday we begin a series of preaching messages on the subject of “Lasting Change” from the Book of Ephesians. The greatest change in my life happened when Jesus saved me. “God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions…” (Eph. 2:4-5). This wonderful salvation was not a “finish line” for me, but more of an open door to a new life. I have a little booklet in my office I often give to people whose lives are saved by Jesus. It is called, “Now What?”. We don’t receive Christ…just to stay in old habits and patterns. “God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus” (Eph. 2:6). After Jesus raises us up from our deadness in sin, His plan for us involves learning to overcome sin and walk in resurrection power! When it comes to our salvation, we don’t move away from it over time, but we learn to grow deeper in the One who saved us. Some believers in Jesus act like they are bored with their relationship with God. They are “window shopping” the world, trying to test the other “products.” But, take a closer look at what you already have in Christ. To really know Jesus and to seek Him daily satisfies the deepest longings of our hearts. Paul describes this connection with Christ as being “seated” with Him in the heavenly realms. To sit down means the job is done. Jesus did the hard work, making a way for us to get right with God. Now, we rejoice in Him and receive His salvation power in order to become like Jesus every day. Lasting change starts with Jesus and continues in Him. If you are a Christian, look more closely at what you have. You don’t need to “try other things.”

Pastor Mark Boucher

Longings

This past Sunday night I really enjoyed the presence of God at the worship service called “Submerge” here at Highway. As I was praying for the people of our community, I felt the Lord speaking to me from the story of “The Prodigal Son” (Luke 15:11-32). Jesus told the story of a son who left his father’s house to seek fun and adventure. His life of wild living crashed down on him when his money ran out and no one took an interest in his welfare. The Bible says, “He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything” (v16). This young man, who once enjoyed healthy food with his family, found himself trying to satisfy his hunger with the “husks” thrown to the pigs. Here is the message which came to my heart during prayer and worship: The story of the prodigal is reenacted every day all around us. You see, we all have this “hunger of heart” which longs to be filled. God, our Father, desires to bless us with his presence and the wonderful fruit of his Holy Spirit. In the greatest act of kindness ever demonstrated, he sent Jesus, his Son, to this world. God gives us the opportunity to “feast” with him by fellowshipping with Christ every day. However, many believe that Jesus isn’t enough. They feel their desires can only be met in the thrills and forbidden temptations of this world. So, instead of seeking the father, they feed on the “pleasures of sin.” These “husks,” however, never satisfy the soul. The truth is that we are created for much more than temporary physical stimulation. God created us for Himself! Only in his Son Jesus do we feast on the food that lasts forever! Jesus invites us to his table: “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me” (Revelation 3:20).

The choice is ours…the empty husks of sinful living or feasting at the table with Jesus. The invitation has not expired!

-Pastor Mark Boucher