I grew up knowing about Christ, but I didn't know him. I thought I did. Well into my twenties I even had the audacity to call myself a Christian, even though I didn't act like one. I can see now that I was too self-centered, too focused on material things and striving for worldly success.
It's hard to say exactly when it all fell into place, to pinpoint the exact date that I came face-to-face with Jesus and knew that I desperately needed him in my life, but sometime in my 30th year, Jesus went from being someone I was familiar with, just a character in the Bible, to the most precious name of the most important person in my life.
2 Corinthians 5:17 says, "Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold the new has come” (ESV). I'm still the same Diana I've always been in terms of the way I look, my mannerisms, all the physical attributes given to me through genetics, but my thinking is different.
Jesus rescued me from the path of darkness and death and set me on the path of light and life in him. He delivered into being a changed person, a new me, one who is kinder and more generous. A person who no longer thinks material wealth the way to happiness. Someone who wants to see everyone find the joy of faith and the freedom from fear that only belonging to Christ can bring.
Christ as our deliverer means he is our rescuer from our own selfish desires and habits and eventually, from all the ugly in the world - death, crime, illness, wars, natural disasters. As his children we know Heaven awaits us at our death, and the world will be restored to its original glory at his coming. We have a reassurance that transcends our current circumstances.
Do you know him? Have you let him take away your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh?
"And I will give you a new heart and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules" Ezekiel 36: 26, 27 (ESV).
Diana Dodd is the founder and managing editor of the Christian blog site, Joy in Faithful Living. She and her husband Bryan, a career Army officer, have been married for 23 years and lived all over the United States. They currently reside in Kansas with their two girls, ages 16 and 10.
This piece was originally published at Joy in Faithful Living in 2020. They have graciously granted us full permission to re-publish the series here, but we would love for you to visit their site and support their ministry, as well! Check out their work at joyinfaithfulliving.com.