‘I’ll never be the same, Forever I am changed’ – the last two lines of the chorus of the song ‘Happy Day’ – link below. Nearly every line in every worship song is taken from the bible – God’s promises to us.

I bought a new CD Box Set on Tuesday. One of the less expected expenses (personal not charity!) in Uganda is CD’s. The roads are so bad that they get destroyed in the car’s CD player. So last night, as I drove my 500th mile so far this week, I put it in the hire car’s music system. I have owned this particular box set before so I know the songs but I hadn’t listened to it for a couple of years and so I REALLY listened to the lyrics. And was struck again by how improbable, awesome, wonderful and inconceivable Christianity, and particularly the cross, are.

God became man. Not so he could give me the kicking that I so definitely deserve but so he could die. Instead of me. In my place. So that he could suffer an execution so cruel that the Romans (not known for their kindness to criminals) banned it in about AD120. You couldn’t make it up. Which is one of the many reasons that I believe the whole story of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus is fact and not fiction.

But it was the last lines in this particular chorus that affected me the most. At the very moment, on February 28th 2004, that I genuinely gave in to God and asked him to come and live in me by his Spirit…..I was changed forever. And I’ll never be the same as I was the moment before he graciously accepted his offer of new life. Yes, I still sin. Yes, I still mess up. And yes I have such a long way to go in my growth as a Christian. But something miraculous happened that night and I was changed – I’ll NEVER be the same person that I was before that moment. And I’m so flipping glad.

However hard life may be, however scared I sometimes feel, however badly I fail…….I will never be as lost, broken, scared, lonely or frustrated as I was when I tried to do this life by myself – and lived in the opposite way to the way that God created me to live.

Some things changed immediately: I knew that God was real. Some things changed very quickly: sobriety after 15 years drunk and 3 weeks celebrating my conversion (!?). And others have changed over time and are still changing. But I’ll NEVER be the same as I was.

A week after my ‘conversion’ I was walking through town with my then 6 year old son and 10 year old daughter. Back then my son, Alex, rarely said ANYTHING! So when he pulled on my hand and said, ‘Happy new you, Dad.’ It was a bit of a shock. ‘What son?’ I barked at him. And he looked me in the eye and said it again, ‘Happy new you Dad, you’re like a brand new person.’ Good enough for me son.

And this new life is available to anyone. If, as I did, you say sorry for what you’ve done, ask Jesus to help you to change, accept the free gift of his death in your place and invite him to live in you and make you all you can be……then he will.

And life will NEVER be the same again. And, just as the bible promises, he will give you more than you could ever ask or imagine. It is, genuinely, the deal of a lifetime. For a lifetime. For all eternity. Thank you Lord Jesus.