A few years ago, Andy and I bought a new mattress. Our previous mattress was second-hand from a friend and sleeping on it was only a fraction better than just sleeping on the plywood that supported it from underneath. Then, enter the world of a the new mattress.
I was so dumbfounded by how life-changing this one purchase was. I told everyone about my new mattress…occasionally at really unfitting moments. Like that time my friend and I were standing in her back yard looking at her lemon tree and I awkwardly blurted out, “I got a new mattress.” And then we both just kinda looked at each other with blank expressions.
I was so excited about how good it was and how much it had changed my life that I had to tell other people about it.
I think that’s what God wants our relationship with Him to be like. When He tells us that we should “go into all the world and make disciples,” He certainly wasn’t intending us to do that with swords in hand like the Crusades or even with megaphones in hand like those street preachers who condemn everyone to hell unless they repent.
He intended us to share with those we love about this amazing thing that has just completely changed our lives. It’s such good news that we can’t keep it to ourselves.
A couple nights ago, my friend told me the story of how she became a follower of Jesus this past year. Her life and her heart were in a lot of turmoil. She had begun prioritizing financial gain and career advancement over her family. Some hurtful things had transpired in her marriage and she couldn’t bring herself to forgive her husband. Try as she might, every interaction with him left her wanting a divorce. She knew her life was not going the way she wanted it to, but she didn’t know what to do to fix it. In her desperation, she reached out to God.
She started devouring the Bible, beginning with the book of John. She found South Bay Church and started meeting with another Christian regularly to pray and ask questions. And somewhere along the way, she met Jesus. Her doubts melted away and were replaced with a faith that filled her with hope.
She began to see her life with more clarity and made some fundamental lifestyle shifts in order to prioritize what matters most. As she applied what she was learning from the Bible, her heart that had been suffocated in turmoil began to experience peace.
The most dramatic change, however, was in her relationship with her husband. As she understood and personally experienced the forgiveness of God through Jesus, she found that she was able to forgive her husband. Like truly, miraculously forgive him. All the bitterness, gone. All the thoughts of divorce, gone. She said she had never experienced such a powerful transformation and that that is what really solidified her faith.
Now, that’s Good News.
That’s the kind of news people want to hear. In our world that has been crippled by such tragic news week after week in recent days, we need some good news. Some hope that there is more to this life. A promise that we can experience an inner peace in the midst of a chaotic world.
That is the hope of the Gospel. This past Sunday at South Bay, we celebrated what we called, “Life Change Sunday”.
Many people received forgiveness and hope for the first time on Sunday and they are forever changed as a result.
We celebrated as many went public with their faith through baptism. We can’t help but celebrate because this one decision has the potential to change everything for this person. When you get a new mattress, ya gotta celebrate.
Watch this video on how one woman’s life changed. In the comments, I would love to hear one way your relationship with Jesus has changed your life.