The Upper Room Devotion for Friday, June 23, 2023, was written by Christopher King of Delaware.
16 So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! 18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 20 We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. 21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
2 Corinthians 5:16-21 NRSV
A NEW MAN
In the spring of 2009, I hit rock bottom. Many times, in my years of alcohol and drug abuse I thought that I had reached my lowest point, but they paled in comparison. This time I found myself in a tiny jail cell with no one left to turn to. With nothing to lose, I sank to my knees and prayed in total desperation. I begged God to forgive me for the way I had lived my life and asked God to show me a better way. Soon after that prayer, God’s love became real for me. I received treatment I had desperately needed for years and finally was delivered from the desire to use alcohol and drugs.
People I had hurt, despite their love for me, began to return to my life. God started to open new doors for me, and I was able to see how I could use my experience to help others who were suffering as I once had. Today, I am a new man in Christ. Although I am still serving time for crimes I committed while on drugs, my relationship with God is unwavering. I go to God each day, asking God to use me as a vessel of diving love. Through me God has been able to change lives. I remain a witness to God’s amazing grace.
When did you hit rock bottom? You may not have suffered from alcohol or drug abuse like Christopher, you may have been in a toxic relationship or had uncontrollable anger issues. There comes a point when we had to make the decision to change, to seek a new way of being, and find hope for transformation. Christopher’s reflection reminds us that the key to our deliverance comes when we humbly submit our lives to our loving God. I invite you to re-read Christopher’s reflection and ask yourself: Is there an area of my life where I need God’s healing touch?
For your forgiveness, my God, I thank you. For the new life you are always ready to give, I thank you. For your love that never leaves me alone, I thank you. Amen.
- Christopher King