DEAR BILLY GRAHAM: I’ve just been released from prison for about the fifth time. Every time, I’ve said I’d change and not fall back into my old ways, but I always do. What’s wrong with me? I know you’ll probably say I need God, and maybe I do, but what difference would that make? — M.R.
DEAR M.R.: Yes, you do need God, because without him you have little hope of ever changing your life. You’ve tried without success to stay out of trouble on your own; why do you think the future will be any different?
What difference will God make? First, he’ll give you a new purpose in life. Right now, your life centers on one person: you. But when we come to Christ, we’re no longer the most important person in the world to us; Christ is.
Instead of living only for ourselves, we have a higher goal: to live for Jesus. We begin to see others through his eyes, and we want to honor him by the way we live. Your desire will be to “live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way” (Colossians 1:10).
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But God will also give you a new power in life. When we give our lives to Christ, he comes to live within us by his holy spirit. When temptations come, you can turn to him and find strength to resist them. The Bible says, “The spirit helps us in our weakness” (Romans 8:26).
Finally, God will give you new people in your life — Christians who love Christ and will love you, as well. One of your problems, I suspect, is that you’ve had “friends” who pulled you down, tempting you to do things that were wrong. But God has new friends for you who will encourage you and help you grow in your faith.
Write “My Answer,” Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C., 28201; or go to BillyGraham.org.
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