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Summary: Being thankful that through a relationship with Christ we can be changed

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Over the years, we tend to change. The change is primarily physical and requires no effort on our part our hair tends to turn gray or maybe even thin a little or just disappear. We may gain or lose weight, get a few wrinkles and these are just a few changes that we go through.

When it comes to who we are what we like, our personality and dispositions the real us, change is hard it’s a long hard process that most of us would just as soon do without. Most people I know are pretty stubborn and set in their ways and the older we get the harder it is for us to change. But people can and do change, but a lot of times it’s usually after a life changing event such as a wedding or diagnoses of some dreaded disease or a terrible tragedy.

Sometimes a horrific tragedy will change people but it doesn’t always stick.

According to some psychologist after we reach thirty years of age our personalities are pretty much set and usually any resulting changes are due to a religious experience.

The Apostle Paul had such an experience. He was traveling down the road to Damascus and was suddenly struck down & blinded and a voice said to him “Saul, Saul why do you persecute Me?” Paul replies “Who are you?” And the voice replied that He was Jesus. I’ll tell you something after his encounter with Jesus, Saul was never the same again, not only was his name changed to Paul his whole attitude and outlook on life changed.

Did he forget about his past? NO! Was he proud of his past? NO! But God forgiving his past through unlimited grace and mercy afforded us through Christ allowed Paul to change Paul was able to go from ignorance to knowledge and unbelief to belief.

Paul had come a long way but he wasn’t perfect, he still struggled, he still had problems. He wasn’t there yet but he planned on moving forward and continuing on.

Listen to what Paul says in Phil 3:12 “Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.”

Paul was not content to be the same man he knew that following Christ would transform him into something greater.

Paul didn’t allow his past to hinder him he used it to become a great witness to the mercy and grace of God. No matter how bad things became Paul didn’t complain He just praised God for the strength he had and the hope that was given to him by his relationship with Christ. No matter what was going on he was preaching the good news and God was using him to show others what He could do in their lives if they would just invite Him in.

Because of his encounter with Christ, Paul had a lot to be thankful for and it’s the same for those of us who have encountered Jesus and accepted the grace and forgiveness of God.

If you have a relationship with Jesus you can proclaim:

Thank God, I’m not What I Used to Be

We all have a testimony of what life was like before Christ, and we don’t forget that past life, we don’t act like it’s not there, we use it.

We use our past to tell people how we used to be before God got ahold of us. We use our past so people can see what Jesus Christ being in our life has done for us.

The good news for us is that we are not stuck being what we are, with Jesus Christ we can be transformed into a new person.

Jesse Duplantis puts it like this “Don’t like how you born, try it again!”

God has unlimited patience, and God never gives up on you. And when you establish a relationship with Christ you can shout

Thank God I’m not what I used to be.

Thank God, I’m Not What I’m Going to Be

Like Paul we can say “Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.”

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