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Radical Life Change

Jesus seated and talking to a standing Zacchaeus

Foundation-shaking beliefs require radical life change. The belief that COVID-19 seriously threatened human life motivated millions of people to do what they hadn’t done before.

They wore masks, socially distanced, and washed their hands frequently. They stopped doing other things. They didn’t attend social events or eat in restaurants.

Similarly, believing in Jesus is foundation-shaking. Life can’t go on as before. We must leave behind the self-serving life.

 “This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun (2 Corinthians 5:17 NLT)!

Faith in Jesus that isn’t foundation-shaking isn’t saving faith. It’s just mental agreement with biblical facts.

I’m not good at throwing things out. I keep nuts, bolts, washers, old towels, fishing lures, and other things because I might need them someday in ways I can’t predict today. I look at them as raw materials to address future emergencies. That approach to life can cause problems.

My daughter has selected most of the clothes in my closet. She buys what she thinks I need. Why is that a problem?

I didn’t get rid of the old clothes. Despite having new clothes, I kept the old ones. My closet resembled a packed sardine can. Finally, I got tired of it.

In early January 2024, I took many old garments to Goodwill so others could use them. The clothes in my closet can breathe now.

It isn’t just stuff we have trouble parting with. It’s hard to leave behind self-centered thinking, talking, relating, and behaving after we come to faith in Christ.

Repentance is foundation-shaking. It’s both an event and a process as God keeps on pointing out areas of our lives that need to change.

Consider what we must turn away from or do when we repent.

We must stop justifying our sin, evil, and wicked actions and acknowledge their wrongness instead (1 Kings 8:47, Matthew 21:32, Mark 1:15, Mark 6:12, Luke 3:3, Luke 10:13, Luke 11:32, Luke 13:3).

Repentance includes being emotionally moved, remorseful, and sorry about our sins. We prove it by not repeating them (2 Kings 22:19; Ezekiel 3:19, 18:30, 33:12; Matthew 11:21). In other words, we prove we are repentant by how we live (Matthew 3:8, Luke 3:8).

Pride is the mob boss of our sins. We must turn away from it and humble ourselves to demonstrate our repentance (2 Chronicles 32:26).

Job did that by taking back everything he said and sitting in dust and ashes (Job 42:6). David exhibited a broken and repentant heart (Psalm 51:17).

Repentance is seeking God first instead of other things, fearing Him, and taking Him seriously instead of lightly (Psalm 78:34, Jeremiah 36:24). It accepts His correction (Jeremiah 5:3) and admits wrong.

We give Him our hearts (Joel 2:12). We turn from going our way to His (Matthew 3:2, 3:11, 4:17, 11:20).

Repentance is doing what is right and turning from disobedience to obeying God (Jeremiah 34:15).

It is turning from everything in our lives with a higher priority than God and putting Him above all else (Ezekiel 14:6, Mark 1:4). The fruits of repentance are evidence of a foundation-shaking belief. We haven’t arrived, but we surely aren’t what we were. #discipleshipresources #evangelismresources #christianleadershipresources 

See no-cost spiritual growth resources for Christians at

God has equipped and empowered me to write His Power for Your Weakness—260 Steps Toward Spiritual Strength. It’s a devotional, evangelism, and discipleship resource. Pastors have used it in Malawi, Mozambique, and Zambia to lead more than 2,400 people to faith in Christ and teach the basics of Christianity to 3,600 people. I invite you to check it out. 

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