9th February 2016

Opening Eyes to a New Life

“You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.”
Romans 5:6 (NIV)

Oh no! I’m sitting on a train, very close to a disagreeable person. She is ranting about her “useless” secretary at work. I know nothing about the secretary’s capability, but right now my sympathy is with the personal assistant. I don’t think I would like to work for this lady.

Maybe this lady is having a bad day. Perhaps I need to give her the benefit of doubt. Her secretary may be useless. Yet, I don’t need to hear about it, especially on a 5 hour train journey! Plus her other comments on different topics are not contradicting my first impression…

The scene playing out before my eyes – and too loudly in my ears – brings a little bit of discomfort. For my impression of this lady is clearly different from that of my Saviour’s. “While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8). Clearly, Jesus has a different view of my irritating neighbour than I do. As annoying and frustrating as she is to me, our Lord felt she was worth dying for.

I’m not saying that God glosses over her bad behaviour. How shocked will this lady be when she finds out that her choices had a terrible consequence—the death of the Son of God? Jesus didn’t die so that she will continue in this way of life. “For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!” (Romans 5:10). Jesus offers his life today as the bedrock of our lives. He offers us the opportunity to change through the power of his resurrection.

This lady is trapped in sin, and that’s all I can see. But Jesus can see something quite tremendous. He can see what this woman can be, if redeemed and freed from the tyranny of her negative behaviour. He knows the benefit that his resurrected life can produce on her mind—today!

The power of the gospel changes lives. Although it doesn’t always feel like it, deep down I know that Jesus has changed my life. And I hope that everyone reading this feels the same way. If you don’t, well, why not ask God to show you? What can you lose? God has demonstrated his own love for you in dying for you. Not even death could get in the way of Jesus achieving his aim of new life, new hope and new freedom for you. Yes, you!

Father, you see the world in ways that we cannot comprehend. Open up our eyes to see how you are working in the world through your Son, Jesus. Help us to see how you are transforming lives, healing souls and renewing all things. In Jesus’ name we pray.

Study by Ian Woodley


ianwoodleyAbout the Author:
Ian Woodley pastors the Nottingham Grace Communion Church.

Local Congregation:
Nottingham Grace Communion
Lucy & Vincent Brown Village Hall
Attenborough Lane

Meeting Time:
Saturday 2pm

Local Congregational Contact:
Ian Woodley
Email:  ian_woodley@wcg.org.uk