God*s Impact On Men
Psalms 55:19b: . . . Because they have no changes, therefore they fear not God.
Some people*s attitude toward the Lord seems to be: God, you handle the big things and I*ll just be in charge of my life. If they believe in a God that has not significantly changed their lives I am doubtful that they believe in the God of The Bible. I am very thankful for the changes God has made on me and my life. I also enjoy studying in the Bible the dramatic changes He made in men at, shortly before or after their conversions. The ways God impacts us today should be similar if not identical to the ways He impacted men in Bible times. There were drastic changes in their attitude, behavior and purposes. Even the circumstances of their lives were changed. There can be no doubt that they became new creatures and experienced newness of life. I believe it is true that No man can come into the presence of God and be unchanged.
It would be quite a surprise if you were stopped by a police officer and his attitude toward you changed like the attitude of the jailer toward Paul and Silas changed after the earthquake opened the doors of his prison.
Acts 16:27-36: And the keeper of the prison awaking out of his sleep, and seeing the prison doors open, he drew out his sword, and would have killed himself, supposing that the prisoners had been fled. But Paul cried with a loud voice, saying, Do thyself no harm: for we are all here. Then he called for a light, and sprang in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas, And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. And they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house. And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway. And when he had brought them into his house, he set meat before them, and rejoiced, believing in God with all his house. And when it was day, the magistrates sent the serjeants, saying, Let those men go. And the keeper of the prison told this saying to Paul, The magistrates have sent to let you go: now therefore depart, and go in peace.
Who but the Lord could humble a cruel jailer before his prisoners and make him kind to them? Note in the next passages the insignificance and sinfulness men felt about themselves.
Genesis 18:27: And Abraham answered and said, Behold now, I have taken upon me to speak unto the Lord, which am but dust and ashes:
Psalms 8:4: What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?
Isaiah 6:5: Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts.
Psalms 73:22: So foolish was I, and ignorant; I was as a beast before Thee.
Luke 5:8: When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus* knees, saying, Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord.
Luke 18:13: And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.
Who but God could make men aware of their insignificance and sinfulness before Him? Notice individuals in these next passages asking for the Lord*s will:
Acts 9:3-6: And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven: And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.
Acts 2:36-38: Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ. Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
Luke 3:8-10: Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance, and begin not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, That God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham. And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: every tree therefore which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. And the people asked him, saying, What shall we do then?
Who but God could humble all those and cause them to ask for and want God*s will?
John 4:25-30: The woman saith unto him, I know that Messias cometh, which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things. Jesus saith unto her, I that speak unto thee am he. And upon this came his disciples, and marvelled that he talked with the woman: yet no man said, What seekest thou? or, Why talkest thou with her? The woman then left her waterpot, and went her way into the city, and saith to the men, Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ? Then they went out of the city, and came unto him.
Luke 8:27-33, 38-39: And when he went forth to land, there met him out of the city a certain man, which had devils long time, and ware no clothes, neither abode in any house, but in the tombs. When he saw Jesus, he cried out, and fell down before him, and with a loud voice said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God most high? I beseech thee, torment me not. (For he had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. For oftentimes it had caught him: and he was kept bound with chains and in fetters; and he brake the bands, and was driven of the devil into the wilderness.) And Jesus asked him, saying, What is thy name? And he said, Legion: because many devils were entered into him. And they besought him that he would not command them to go out into the deep. And there was there an herd of many swine feeding on the mountain: and they besought him that he would suffer them to enter into them. And he suffered them. Then went the devils out of the man, and entered into the swine: and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the lake, and were choked. . . . Now the man out of whom the devils were departed besought him that he might be with him: but Jesus sent him away, saying, Return to thine own house, and shew how great things God hath done unto thee. And he went his way, and published throughout the whole city how great things Jesus had done unto him.
Who but the Lord could turn a demoniac and a harlot into powerful witnesses for Him?
Mark 15:39: And when the centurion, which stood over against him, saw that he so cried out, and gave up the ghost, he said, Truly this man was the Son of God.
This man was in charge of a hundred soldiers. Who but the Lord could have given such a man instant public faith?
2 Corinthians 5:17: Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
Even if the Lord has not made changes in us that are identical with the changes He made in individuals recorded in the Bible there are two changes He makes in everyone when He saves them. He gives them joy and gratitude they didn*t have before. They weren*t aware that they had received everything from the Lord and therefore were not joyful in Him nor grateful to Him. Now they learn that they have received everything from Him.
I trust you will enjoy the words of Rufus H. McDaniel*s in his wonderful song Since Jesus Came into My Heart and that they are true for you.
What a wonderful change in my life has been wrought,