Reference: Life and Work Directions
During a lifetime each of us experiences many changes. We have no control
over many of these, but we have some say about others. One of the secrets
of successful living is knowing when and how to make changes and being
able to adjust positively to them.
The Bible is a book of changed lives. The most significant kinds of changes
are those that God seeks to make in our lives. We cannot make such changes
in our own strength. Only God's grace and power can make real and lasting
changes in human lives. However, God does not force these changes on us.
Instead, He gives us the option of opening our lives to His transforming
grace and power.
Luke's Gospel gives examples of people whose lives were changed because
they had an encounter with Jesus.
- Mary was a young woman who was confronted with God's call to a new
and unexpected direction in her life. Because she responded with submissiveness
and trust, God's Spirit used this young virgin to give birth to Jesus.
- The disciples Peter and Levi (Matthew) experienced dramatic changes
when they responded to Christ's call to be disciples. Both men obeyed
Christ's call immediately. In the process they left their work as a
fisherman and a tax collector for tasks of eternal significance.
- The sinful woman anointed Jesus' feet in the household of Simon, a
Pharisee. She did so because Jesus had freed her from the burden of
sin's guilt. Jesus reassured her as she expressed her deep devotion
- The cleansed leper was one of ten lepers whom Jesus healed on the
same day. Only one of the ten returned to express his gratitude and
faith. When the man did this, Jesus assured him that the had received
more than physical healing.
- Zacchaeus experienced a complete change in values when Jesus showed
His love for the despised tax collector. He had been a greedy man whose
goal had been to make money. He discovered that life is for giving,
- The two thieves both made decisions that determined their eternal
destinies. The penitent theft repented and trusted Jesus. The Lord assured
him of being with Him that day in paradise. The other man died as he
had lived- without God and without hope.
- Cleopas and his companion on the road to Emmaus were filled with despair
as a result of Jesus' death. Their despair was changed to joyful hope
when they encountered the risen Lord.