8/4/16 Carillo about 45
I love seeing the light of understanding come on in the eyes of someone struggling to understand some part of the Gospel. Sometimes this happens with the help of a good analogy, like today when I was talking with Carilo, whom I met and talked with on a sidewalk. He had gone to church with his wife, hoping to change some self-destructive habits, and was impressed with some of the people he had met there who had found dramatic life change through faith in Jesus. He wanted that for himself and wondered why it didn’t work for him. I asked him if he knew the difference between “renovation” and “reconstruction”. He did, and it turned out that he is a carpenter who works for a company that specializes in tearing down old houses in order to build new ones on the same lot. These houses are beyond the hope of a simple renovation – they need to start over with a new foundation in order for the new house to be built right.
Because of this I think Carillo could relate better when I told him that God has so much more for him than some sort of self-improvement. He can and needs to be born-again with a new heart that lives for God rather than himself, a right relationship with God that begins with his sins being washed away in forgiveness, not just tucked out of sight, through faith in Jesus. Ezekiel describes it in 36:26 – “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.” We don’t need to just change a few bad habits. We need a new heart and a new spirit that comes from putting God on the throne in our life rather than ourselves.