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Transformed Lives

Here’s a very pointed question for you to consider. Has Jesus Christ transformed your life? If so, how? That’s really where the “rubber meets the road” in terms of our faith isn’t it? The church exists so that people can encounter Jesus Christ and have their lives transformed by Him. Our mission at Bethel is “To live transformed lives by experiencing, embodying and extending the grace of Christ.” What does a transformed life look like? It looks a lot like Stephen McWhirter. Stephen is the lead vocalist for Iron Bell Music. Iron Bell Music has a hit single called “The God That Saves.” Before Stephen was a successful Christian artist with a hit single he was a drug addict. Here’s Stephen’s story in his own words:

Stephen McWhirter - transformed life“I grew up the son of a traveling evangelist, but the man I knew in private and the one I knew in public, were not the same. Due to the hypocrisy I witnessed as a child, I believed Jesus was simply a fantasy. As I grew into my early teens I wanted nothing to do with Christianity. I was the guy who would get volatile if you even mentioned the name Jesus around me.

In this time of my life, I fell into extreme drug addiction. Eventually, I became a crystal meth addict, for about 5 years. During this dark chapter, someone gave me the book, “The Case for Christ” by Lee Strobel. One night, at 3am, I sat in a bed reading the book, with drugs next to me on the side table. That night, as I read, I was acutely aware of the presence of God, in the room. I began to have an internal dialogue with Him, I knew He was real but I didn’t know how to quit the life of addiction I had known for so long. In that moment, with a thought more powerful than I could ever have imagined, I felt the Lord say, “You don’t have to do it alone, because I will do it!” And in that moment, I believed Him and gave my life to Christ. I found myself with a willpower not my own. Overnight, I went from addiction to redemption. A year later, I was hired as the worship leader for a small church, and began my journey into worship leading and Christian songwriting. God is good!”

Amen to that Stephen! God is indeed good and our God is in the business of transforming lives, but in order to be transformed we have to do what Stephen did and give our lives to Christ, the whole of our lives. So I ask again, has Jesus Christ transformed your life? If not, why not give all of yourself to Christ and trust him with your life? Ask Him to transform your life and be made new. I trust Christ will do for you what He did for Stephen. There is a great lyric in the song “The God That Saves” that goes like this:
“This soul once torn and beaten
Left without reason to move on
Then You reached down and brought me
Up from the valley of dry bones
You are that God that saves.”
Our God is a God who raises us up from the valley of dry bones to lead transformed lives. We thank God for His gracious redemption, for what He’s done for Stephen and for what He’s doing in our lives. If you’d like to know more about Stephen’s story and meet him and his band you’ll have that opportunity on Friday night, January 26th, when Iron Bell Music visits Bethel. Lauren Moore, our Youth and Children’s Minister, has done outstanding work in getting Iron Bell to visit Bethel. Perhaps you know someone who does not know the Lord, if so, please invite them to this concert and I believe they will encounter “The God That Saves.” Tickets to the concert are only $5 and can be purchased at https://www.itickets.com/events/390315.html. May God bless Stephen McWhirter and Iron Bell Music and may God bless Bethel Baptist Church. Amen.
 
Todd
 

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