Monday, July 28, 2008

Teen Challenge

Teen Challenge visited our church yesterday for an amazing morning of testimony and worship. There was no three point sermon to illuminate the Scriptures, but instead a living example of the power of God's word. In front of us stood forty men and women whose lives had been dramatically changed by Jesus. They were once in prison, suicidal and strung out on drugs or alcohol, but NOW, now they are free from Satan's grip by the power of Jesus' blood.

Through tears or jubilant smiles, they told their stories. About living without hope. Living in sin and living in lies. How Satan lied to them about their worth in this world, convincing them that they were junk. How Satan stole from them, their hope, their identity, their futures. But, when they turned and asked Jesus for help, He came in a mighty way and rescued them. He is the restorer of hope. He is the voice of truth, speaking tenderly to each heart how much He loves them and forgives them in spite of their sin.

My husband says that testimonies are IRREFUTABLE evidence of God.

We sing "there's power in the blood" from an old hymnal, wondering what kind of power that is. But, these people KNOW about Jesus' power: power to transform a life from useless to invaluable, from practically dead, to vibrantly alive. When we quote verses from our well-worn Bibles about being a new creation, do we remember what we once were?

I wasn't ever a suicidal drug addict, but that doesn't mean my transformation from sinner to saint was any less dramatic. Only Jesus can change a life. Only through His sacrifice can we be transformed from the walking dead to those who hold eternal life in their hands.

Is there something He needs to transform in your life (in mine)? Do we believe that He has the power to do that when we walk in faith and obedience? Do we think we can muster up the strength to change ourselves, or do we realize like these students from Teen challenge, that there's nothing we can do to save our sorry selves?

It's only by the power of His blood!


Mari said...

"Only Jesus can change a life" becomes more and more of a reality as I learn that in and of myself I have NO power to change has to be TOTAL dependence and reliance on Him.

Vicki said...

Amen! I love hearing these testimonies and recall my own conversion many years ago when the Lord scooped me up out of a pit and freed me from so much junk. Thanks for sharing this, Heather. Love you, girl.

Anonymous said...

I check your blog daily for new entries. I REALLY enjoy your writing and APPRECIATE your Heart for God! I am anxious to hear more about your new job.
Crystal Potter

The Olson's: said...

We have a Teen Challenge centre near our town as well. I have heard of the transformations that take place in the graduates' lives.

I grew up in a Christian home and never strayed very far from God, but as you said, it still takes Jesus' blood to transform my heart. Thank you for the reminder that there IS "power in the Blood"!
~ Leanne

Tiffany Stuart said...

Love Teen Challenge and their ministry. I love testimonies, they spur me on.

Glad God used this time to touch your heart and remind you (and me) of his transforming power!