I’m sure you’ve seen them before, the pictures of huge, overweight people who discovered the perfect diet and then appear in magazines saying, “I lost 143 pounds in just 100 days!”
The difference is jaw-dropping.
You naturally share their sense of pride and respect their discipline. As a boy, I read muscle magazines, determined to be the next Mr. Universe. I was the “before picture” — the average body shaped kid who dreamed of a barrel chest, biceps larger than my waist, a washboard cutout stomach and big legs.
The before and after images still get our attention, like “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,” “The Biggest Loser,” etc. Their attraction is the compelling contrast between life before and life after.
Consider, then, the contrast between the Christian life before and the Christian life after coming to Christ, and even after being filled with Holy Spirit. Giving my life to Christ as a teenager, I have lived in both places. The difference is like night and day — like a drought in southern Ohio compared to an oasis garden or a perfect tropical environment.
The magnificent Holy Spirit filling and baptism comes with an abundance of grace and gifts rarely, or never, accessed by those who have not given their lives to Jesus or been filled with the Spirit.
For the Believer in Christ, the Bible makes numerous promises filled with power, authority, grace, love, faith and gifts beyond measure. God never presented us with a Jesus who would come a pay the most gruesome and painful price anyone could ever pay for a bound or sin imprisoned person to get us to heaven and no more, meanwhile, living depressed and “hoping” that God will hear our prayer. Matter of fact, Jesus not only saves us to establish a relationship with him but gives us the promise to be filled with the power, protection and provisions of heaven, as representatives of His Kingdom here on earth.
As Jesus said in Luke 11:2: “thy kingdom come, thy will be done, as in heaven so in earth.” This was his desire and God did — and continues to — make this request happen in the earth.
Is your life experiencing the will and the kingdom of God in every area? I encourage you to jump into the ever-refreshing river of God’s presence, provisions, protection and power promised to you.
Make your “after” greater than your “before.”
And make it a great day!
The Rev. Alex Colón is pastor of Lighthouse Assembly of God in Gallipolis, Ohio. Online at www.lagohio.org.