Meant It

Then Philip said, “If you believe with all your heart….” – Acts 8:37a NKJV. 

In 1999, I took a group of young people to a youth event and heard Todd Roberts speak. He told about how he was “saved” at the age of eight and baptized. But then he described how in his early teens he began drinking, using inhalants and using illegal drugs. By the time he was 14 years old he had been to Falls Creek, a summer youth camp, three times. There was a youth minister who kept asking who finally convinced Todd to go to the camp one more time. 

At the camp Todd went to a class on alcohol and drugs in the mornings. He said everyone was laughing most of the week at the speaker who was a burned-out hippie with long gray hair. They kept on laughing until the last day. That day the old hippie began describing all the drugs he had tried. He said none of them worked to give him peace. He then said he had even tried Jesus but He didn’t work. Todd said there was a long pause as everyone began to think surely, he didn’t really say that. But then the old hippie said, “He didn’t work until I meant it.” 

Todd Roberts knew exactly what the man was saying because that was where he was at. He hadn’t really meant it when he was eight years old. He hadn’t really meant it when he had rededicated his life or the times, he had acted like he was going to change before. That night Todd Roberts, “meant it,” for real and God took all the garbage out of his life and began to use him to reach others. 

The Gospel of Jesus Christ is life changing, life transforming, life empowering but only if you “mean it.” Just saying some words will not change you. Getting wet through baptism will not change you. Joining a church will not change you. Changing your outward appearance or the way you talk may deceive some but the only way for the Gospel to really make a difference in your life is to “mean it” in your heart. Have you ever really “meant it?”

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