A New Man with New Plans (II Corinthians 5:17)
II Corinthians 5:17, Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
We are truly a new person in Christ. The grip of a great God molds us into new creations in Christ. The transformation that is brought about by the new birth is not only an instantaneous miracle but also a lifelong process of sanctification. Everything changes; the old things have passed away. All things "become" new. This carries the idea on continual results. God is continually working in our lives. When we become new in Christ, old values, ideas, plans, loves, desires, and beliefs vanish, replaced by the new things that accompany salvation.
Jack Eckerd, the founder of the Eckerd Drug Stores, the second largest drug store chain in America years ago, trusted Jesus Christ as his Savior after reading about the resurrection of Christ in Chuck Colson's book, Loving God. Eckerd wondered why he did not feel anything, but Colson assured him he was saved because he was trusting in Christ. The Spirit of God immediately began to work in Jack's life. One of the first things he did after he was saved was to walk into one of his drugstores. When he walked down through the book shelves, he saw Playboy and Penthouse pornographic magazines. He had seen them there many times before, but it never bothered him. Now he saw them with new eyes. He had become a Christian. Jack Eckerd went back to his office and called in his president. He said, "Take Playboy and Penthouse out of my stores." The president said, "You can't mean that, Mr. Eckerd. We make three million dollars a year on those magazines." He said, "Take 'em out of my stores." And in his 1,700 stores across America at that time, by one man's decision, those magazines and smut were removed from the shelves of Eckerd Drug Stores because a man had given his life to the Lord Jesus Christ.
Colson called Mr. Eckerd and asked, "Did you do that because of your commitment to Christ?" He said, "Why else would I give away three million dollars? The Lord wouldn't let me off the hook." Mr. Eckerd was submitting to the lordship of Christ in his own life. He did not stop with his own stores. Jack Eckerd wrote a letter to all the other drugstore operators, all the other chains, and he said, "I've taken it out of my store. Why don't you take it out of yours?" Not a one answered him. He wrote them some more letters. Meanwhile, God blessed Eckerd's decision. Eckerd's Drug Stores began to get floods of people coming in to buy things at Eckerd's because they had taken Playboy and Penthouse out of their stores. Then People's Drugs removed the magazines from their shelves and then Dart Drug removed them from their shelves and then Revco removed them from their shelves. Over a period of twelve months, while the pornography commission in Washington was debating over what to do about pornography, stores across America were removing pornography from their shelves. The chairman of 7-11 stores, who sits on Jack Eckerd's board, finally gave in and five thousand 7-11 stores removed the magazines. In a period of twelve months, 11,000 retail outlets in America removed Playboy and Penthouse, not because somebody passed a law, but because God wouldn't let one of his men off the hook. God used a changed man to bring a change in society. God is passionate about the total transformation of people. Let Him change you. God is willing to do whatever it takes to make you more like Jesus.
PRAYER: Lord, today I am dedicating myself as a living sacrifice to be used in whatever way You choose. With all my heart I vow to give You my soul, my emotions, my spirit, my body, and everything else that I am and that I possess. I consecrate myself to You. I want to live a life that is pleasing to You. In Jesus name, AMEN!
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Dr. Blackman is passionate about helping others grow in the grace of the Lord. His devotions are centered on how to grow closer to the Lord through a personal relationship.