Before and After

Two amazing pictures

The before picture shows a tremendously out-of-shape chubby person. The after picture then shows the person looking trim, sculpted, and usually holding out the waistband of their old pants. The ad then tells the story about how this particular diet plan melted off the pounds in record time.

Whether or not you believe those amazing ads, there is an even more amazing before and after picture that is not only believable but available as well. It’s the picture of your life before and after Jesus.

The before picture would show how purposeless, sometimes burdened, often confused and searching your life really was. The Bible is pretty clear about our condition before we met Jesus. It describes us as being lost, broken, guilty, condemned, and even “enemies” of God.

Thanks to Jesus, our before picture now lays in pieces amidst the rubble of our past lives. We now have the privilege of stepping up to have another picture taken.

We have become his poetry, a re-created people that will fulfill the destiny he has given each of us, for we are joined to Jesus, the Anointed One. Even before we were born, God planned in advance our destiny and the good works we would do to fulfill it! (Ephesians 2:10, TPT)

When it says, “good works,” it’s about more than just going to church. Good works are actions that reflect God’s mercy, grace, compassion, and righteousness. It’s the action of loving others, even when they aren’t all that loveable. It’s reaching out to the poor and disadvantaged. It’s being patient and tolerant with the faults and failures of others.

Another way to see it

Our after picture ought to be a duplicate picture of the good works that God has so generously showered on us. In fact, His good works in our lives are a model of how to treat and respond to others.

When I see the after pictures in diet ads, I often wonder what the person looks like now. Believe me, I know what it’s like to trim down only to lose sight of the goal and add pounds on again. So, let’s not lose sight of the goal.

You’ve been saved to be an ad for the glory of God’s goodness in your life. His good work then works through you to the lives of others. So what’s your after picture looking like today? Shed the excess fat of your past and let His glory show!

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