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Lasting Change

Dear Friends,

What brings lasting change?

As a New Year begins I’ve been reflecting on change. There is a list of things I want to grow in this year, but I know that my human nature naturally resists transformation. The world might tell me to make some new years resolutions, or figure out the steps of growth and then just execute them. What does the Bible say?

The basic arc of Scripture is summarized with just four words – Creation, Fall, Redemption, and Restoration.
Creation – I was made to be more than who I currently am.

Fall – Sin’s effect is so profound that there is no way I can change on my own.
Redemption – Only through the work of Christ on the cross can I break free from the gravitational pull of my fallen nature.
Restoration – God’s Spirit is always working in me to draw me back to his original design for my life.

I know this story well, but as a new year begins, I need to realize that this path of redemption is not only for my initial salvation, but also for my ongoing transformation. In 2015 I won’t see any change without realizing how impossible it is to change on my own, and then crying out to Jesus for redemption, and responding in obedience to the Spirit as he leads me to restoration.

Last month I told you about Martina and the tunnel. Her son Radim trusted Christ at a JV English camp this summer, and 6 weeks ago she showed up in church for the first time in her life. Talking to her afterwards, Martina told me how she almost died, headed down a tunnel toward the light, and then was sent back, and didn’t know why. I asked you to pray for her salvation.

On December 19th Martina put her trust in Christ. The first Sunday of the New Year she told me this: “My life has turned 180 degrees since the 19th, and all of my friends are telling me how much I have changed. They are not believers, but the transformation is so evident that they are congratulating me – I guess they just don’t know what else to say.”

Martina has encountered the transforming power of Jesus. And this same power is the only thing that will change my life, and yours, in 2015.

I’m thankful for the gospel,

President, Josiah Venture



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