The Inside Column 16/06

Posted in: The Inside Column- Jun 17, 2019 No Comments

Good morning and welcome to St Barnabas Stoke – if you are visiting today we hope you encounter God’s goodness and love for you as you join us in worshiping Him, please feel free to stick around afterwards for a coffee and a chat.

Transformation

He started out by ‘nicking car badges from expensive cars like Mercedes and Porsches.’ Darrell Tunningley later reflected, ‘It’s scary how quickly you can go from stealing mars bars to cars.’ He became a drug addict: ‘When I started to use heroin I truly believed I would stay in control and that the drug would never control me. How wrong I was!’ Soon Darrell was selling drugs himself. He was eventually sentenced to five and a half years for armed robbery. He had become an extremely violent man.

In prison he agreed to attend an Alpha course, mainly because of an offer of ‘free coffee and biscuits.’ He encountered Jesus Christ. Darrell quotes 2 Corinthians 5:17: ‘This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!’ He was filled with the Holy Spirit. ‘Life had never been so good, I had bars on my windows but I never felt so free’, he writes. He started running Alpha courses in the prison. ‘More people were becoming Christians in the prison and the numbers at Sunday service kept going up and up. More and more people were choosing to live a drug-free life.’ On 4 August 2000 Darrell was released from prison. He became an accredited minister with the Assemblies of God. He met a young woman called Rebekah, and has since become a husband and a father. Darrell wrote a book about his life. It is called ‘Unreachable’. He writes, ‘If you have read this book because you feel that your life is going down the toilet then just stop, dare to dream what God may have in store for you.  Remember a heroin addict who was convicted for armed robbery, God came into his life, gave him a future that he could never have dreamt of.’

Transformation is possible. God can transform individual lives. He can also transform cities and nations. His power is not limited even by the laws of nature. Transformation can be miraculous. In our passage today day from 1 Thessalonians 2 Paul gives us some truths about what it means to share the good news about Jesus that can bring the transforming power of faith in him into people’s lives. The same power that was a work in Paul’s day is the same power to transform us and our world today.

Yours in Christ

Phil

 

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