We serve and worship a God whose love, redemption, and grace cleanses us and heals us and restores us. “If anyone is in Christ, He is a new creature. The old has gone, the new has come,” Paul said in 2 Corinthians 5:21. He should know! He was describing what Christ had done in his life, and in countless others as well through his ministry, because He believed Jesus could bring transformation to us as well.
This last Sunday was another Alpha Sunday. Alpha is one ministry in which we are experiencing people being transformed. Our hope is to help our church family benefit from the great teaching of this course, and also to become much more familiar with how Alpha works so that we would either attend ourselves to learn the foundations of the Christian life or to become more comfortable inviting friends who need Christ to join.
The truth is… Jesus is still transforming people! This week, I’m going to share the stories of people in our church whose lives are being transformed by Christ. Some are stories of people becoming Christians. Others are stories of people growing in following Christ.
As you read them, ask Jesus to be doing a similar work in you. I’ll have a Bible passage to read after each one.
Day 1 – Erin who is become a witness for Christ
I first met Sarah at the bus stop near beginning of last school year. Since both of us have three kids about the same ages, it was easy to connect. I began to pray for Sarah soon after. Several months later, I invited her and her kids over for a play date to get to know her more and hang out. I was very authentic with her, sharing good things and struggles. She knew I attended church and a women’s Bible study, which seemed to intrigue her.
We saw each other often throughout the rest of the school year and summer and continued to build our friendship. I began praying more and more for her, her husband, and their kids to understand the gospel. When Pastor Dan encouraged people to step out and have a Labor Day BBQ, we invited just Sarah and her family over to get to know them more. I also signed up to pray consistently for two of my neighbors, one being Sarah, after the Art of Neighboring series.
One morning this fall after the bus stop, Sarah began sharing with me some really hard struggles she was experiencing and said that maybe she needed to go back to church. I knew the Holy Spirit was nudging me to share more with her in that moment. So *gulp* amidst my fear and awkwardness, I shared the story of the woman at the well. The only thing that will satisfy this emptiness inside all of us is having true Living Water, Jesus. She was pretty quiet and we ended our conversation. I wasn’t sure how she had taken it and I was afraid I might lose a friend. Ten minutes later she sent me a text, thanking me for sharing with her. She even asked where to find the story in the Bible. The joy in my heart was overflowing to see God at work and softening Sarah’s heart.
I have now asked my parents and several of my friends to pray for Sarah, her husband, and their kids. I continue to have faith conversations when opportunities arise. Sarah and her family have started attending a local church that her husband grew up in. I am so humbled that God is using me and my family to affect this family. Recently she told me she’d been reading a Christian book and realized that Jesus wants our brokenness. Praise God!
As Pastor Dan just reminded me this week as I was talking about some of my insecurities about sharing the gospel with Sarah, “I am pretty sure you can’t mess this up.” As long as I’m faithful to pray and share when opportunities come, God can handle the results!
Text for the day: Read John 4:1-30. How does this woman end in a very different place than she began.
Read John 4:39-42. What impact did God have through this woman, just because she “witnessed” to others what Jesus had done in her?
Pray that God would make you His witness. Ask Him to help you remember what He has done in your life, see people who need Him, have compassion for them, pray for them, and be given an opporutntiy to love them.