I "Used to."
"Now Peter and John were going up to the temple at the ninth hour, the hour of prayer. And a man who had been lame from his mother's womb was being carried along, whom they used to set down every day at the gate of the temple, which is called Beautiful... When he saw Peter and John about to go into the temple, he began asking to receive alms... But Peter said, 'I do not possess silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you: In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene - walk!' And seizing him by the right hand, he raised him up; and immediately his feet and his ankles were strengthened. With a leap he stood upright and began to walk... And all the people saw him walking and praising God; and they were taking note of him as being the one who used to sit at the Beautiful Gate of the temple to beg alms, and they were filled with wonder and amazement..." Acts 3:1-11 (NASB)
I want us to take notice of a simple phrase - "Used to." When we have been transformed by Jesus Christ, there will always be a "Used to" as part of our story.
Today I want you to think about the "Used to" or "Used to's" in your life since you encountered Jesus. What would you say, and what would someone say about you? What is so amazing about your life to others since you starting following Jesus? Have you even noticed yourself? How far have you come? You may be encouraged.
If you can't think of any, maybe you haven't encountered Jesus as you thought. Anyone who has been touched by Jesus will be made stronger, like the lame man in our story. It will be noticeable to others, and friends and family will take notice that you "Used to ________."
Maybe today is the day to ask Jesus to forgive you of your sins, and to change you from the inside out. Maybe you have struggled and wrestled with God all year. Don't wrestle with Him any longer; He loves you and proved it at the cross when He gave Himself for you. Give yourself to Him and let Him become the LORD of your life! He will make you a new person with a new heart and a fresh start. This is what Jesus called being Born Again - Spiritually made new. Then you too will have a "Used to" story.