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  • Writer's pictureKristina Trott

A life-changing Bible message I heard 30 years ago

Updated: Feb 26, 2023

I lived 47 years of my life as a 5th generation Christadelphian. I actually listened to the talks that were regularly given for about 35 years so therefore I must’ve heard thousands of Christadelphian talks in that time.

There were no paid clergy so each baptised man was asked, if they were willing, to provide the messages. Unsurprisingly, there was a wide array of aptitudes yet the only talk I can actually recall was one given by someone who was in the far left on that continuum of abilities.

The message was that God doesn’t want a show of right behaviour – he wants to capture our hearts. That God doesn’t care so much about what we may look like but He cares very much about what is going on in our hearts.

3 We have fasted before you!’ they say. ‘Why aren’t you impressed? We have been very hard on ourselves, and you don’t even notice it!’

“I will tell you why!” I respond. “It’s because you are fasting to please yourselves. Even while you fast, you keep oppressing your workers.

4 What good is fasting when you keep on fighting and quarrelling? This kind of fasting will never get you anywhere with me.

5 You humble yourselves by going through the motions of penance, bowing your heads like reeds bending in the wind. You dress in burlap and cover yourselves with ashes. Is this what you call fasting? Do you really think this will please the Lord?

6 “No, this is the kind of fasting I want: Free those who are wrongly imprisoned; lighten the burden of those who work for you. Let the oppressed go free, and remove the chains that bind people.

7 Share your food with the hungry, and give shelter to the homeless. Give clothes to those who need them, and do not hide from relatives who need your help (Isaiah 58:3-7).

The irony is that my entire life as a Christadelphian had been one of appearance! In everything I did I was showing myself that I was doing the right thing! God had never captured my heart. Yet, that message kept prompting me to search out how I could have my heart captured by God.

It wasn’t until I read and understood Ephesians 2:8-9 that I actually grasped what God wanted from me:

“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works lest anyone should boast”.

This verse was the lightbulb moment for me to realise that I couldn’t save myself –God had already done that. The words “have been saved” are in the perfect tense in the original Koine Greek and, unlike the English perfect tense, they convey the idea that the action was done in the past yet it has repercussions for the present. (I can thank my Christadelphian heritage that I learnt to read the Koine Greek).

In other words, all the fasting in the world couldn’t save me. God didn’t care about how many meals I missed to look good. Only God could make me holy and only He could save me.

I think it is strange that I should remember the message of a poorly presented talk yet it was the message of that talk that was to subsequently lead me to Jesus and to know Him personally.

So my message is that God can use anyone, any event, any article, any thing to bring us to have a personal relationship with Him. All He wants is a heart that will yield to Him.

All quotations are from the NLT.

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