Have you seen God working in your life? Do you want to reflect that change to others, but you’re unsure of where to begin?I’ve seen how redemption has changed me, and I also know I hold onto bad habits and hide doubt in the corners of my mind. I’ve often pondered what it would take to let go of all that. After all, I already accepted Jesus into my heart, yet my thoughts and decisions are still messy. The Bible tells us we are born again once we choose to follow Jesus, so why do I still carry hang-ups? Is there some magic prayer I need to do every day to be “reborn?” Not exactly. The more I learn, the more I realize that I am a new creation in Jesus, and I need to continue to seek redemption every day. In this life, there won’t be a miraculous moment when my sin disappears, yet my future with God will always be secure. I don’t have to worry about earning my place in God’s family; I am a permanent part of His Kingdom. Because of that, I want to represent God’s love how He intends. The thing is, sometimes I don’t want to do what that requires, or I just don’t know how to. That’s why God tells us to continuously seek His wisdom and surrender our hearts to Him.To move forward, we need to identify our sin and realize it is not who we are. Next, we can model our renewal to others. That does not mean we should pretend we are perfect. I know if I did that, I would constantly feel like my imperfections are chasing me, just waiting to reveal themselves from where I hid them. It means choosing actions that point others to Jesus. That simply means asking ourselves, “What would Jesus do if He were you?”What did Jesus’ character look like?First and foremost, Jesus loved God and loved people.Jesus served others.Jesus was truthful and filled with grace (He used discernment).Jesus spread the news that all can receive forgiveness.When God tells us to live like Jesus, that doesn’t mean we need to walk from town to town having dinner with tax collectors and prostitutes (unless that’s what you are called to do). We each have gifts that help us represent God’s Kingdom, and the ways we impact the world are unique. So, what are your spiritual gifts? (You can also sign up for a Sun Valley account and take a spiritual gifts assessment!) What are the issues you’ve overcome, and how can you use that for good? What current struggles can you relate to others?Sin is real, and it hurts us. However, when we receive forgiveness and give forgiveness to others, that breaks the chains of guilt and destruction. Forgiveness makes room for new choices. Through our choices, we can model God’s love to people. We will mess up, but it’s not a one-time opportunity. God will meet us wherever we are, and He will convict us when we’re pointing others in the wrong direction. We may not always know the “right” decision in every situation, but we can look to Jesus’ example and apply God’s Word to our next steps. We are evidence of Jesus’ resurrection when we become new creations in Him.Whether you realize it or not, God created you to lead. You don’t have to be a CEO or someone who speaks to thousands of people; you are the light of the world through your relationship with Jesus. God doesn’t base His grace on our outward performances, but He does want us to pursue His purpose with intention. You can live out your faith by joining a group, getting baptized, telling your story, applying the wisdom of the Bible, and teaching. People will see God in you when He is a part of all that you do, and above all, they will see Him when you show them love.
Written Content Coordinator at Sun Valley Community Church. An avid writer since the age of 5, who loves to explore new ideas and places. Inspired by Jesus, books, and travel.