"The first picture is of a teenage punk.
A punk who used to believe that relationship with God was only meant for the time spent within the walls of the church. A kid who would lift his hands up to the Lord in worship and, a day later, lift his middle finger up toward others openly.
The second picture is of a kid who finally began to understand who God was. How the most important parts of that relationship often happen outside the church walls. Here, this kid fell in love with God's word and wanted to let everyone know about it.
One, full of stupidity and flaws, the other full of knowledge and growth.
Both Jesus loves deeply. Both are me.
How I got from picture one to picture two could be said in one word: Grace.
By grace my ears were opened to listen.
By grace I was surrounded by people who pointed me in God’s direction.
By grace God stirred my heart to pursue ministry full-time, go to seminary, and begin the process of one day becoming a pastor.
Only by grace."
Colossians 3:9-10 "Don’t lie to each other. Take off the old self with its practices and put on the new self, which is renewed in knowledge by conforming to the image of the One who created it.”
We've all done something we regret. Sometimes we might think of our past selves as someone we despise. But Christ wants us regardless. He wants you.
And He has a plan for your story. By grace.