September 03, 2009

From Cynic to Servant

Romans 12:1-2

James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ …
James 1:1


Some years ago a widowed mother told me that she had given up on her son who had turned his back on God. She no longer prayed for him because she was sure he was lost. It’s so sad that many people have given up on a child or family member or friend because they have felt their loved one is a lost cause.

But the Bible makes clear that the Holy Spirit has power to change even the most unlikely people. Many of us are aware, for example, of a man named Saul (also called Paul) who changed from being a persecutor of Christians to one of the greatest missionaries for Christ (Acts 9-28). Another person who changed dramatically was James, whose letter identifies him as “a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ.” According to John 7:5, there was a time when James, together with his brothers, did not believe Jesus was the Son of God, the Savior (see also Galatians 1:19). But James’s eyes were opened, and a cynic became a servant of Christ.

Don’t ever give up on your child, your parents, your colleague, your coworker or neighbor. The God who changed James can change anyone!

If there is someone in your life who needs to come to faith in Jesus, continue to pray and trust that the Spirit of God will keep working to bring that person to new life in Christ.

Lord God, you have the power to change anyone. Show us your power, we pray, by changing the persons who need to believe in you. We ask this in the power of your Spirit. Amen.

About the author — Arthur J. Schoonveld

Rev. Art Schoonveld is a retired minister in the Christian Reformed Church. Before retiring in 2001, he served churches in California, Illinois, and Michigan. Since his retirement he has worked part-time for the denomination and has served as an interim pastor. Art and his wife, Anita, have four children and nine grandchildren.

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