September 11, 2023
Joe Brockinton ’74
II Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!
I met Francisco in Cuba and he told me an amazing story. Prior to his retirement, he worked for the government and traveled extensively to China and Russia. After his wife passed away with cancer, he remarried but his lifestyle still involved womanizing, alcohol and drugs, even sometimes with his two twenty-something-year-old sons. When one of his sons was court-directed to go to Alcoholics Anonymous, Frank decided to go with him and that became one of the best decisions he ever made.
At AA he chose to become sober and as part of the twelve-step program acknowledged his first wife’s God as his higher power. There was not really a commitment to God but he decided to read the New Testament a friend had given him on a trip to Venezuela. As he read the gospels, the Holy Spirit drew him to Himself and he gave his heart to Jesus. As he read the Word, he was filled with the Holy Spirit. In the days that followed, all he could talk about was Jesus and his new wife had him committed to a mental health facility for evaluation. After seventeen days, he was released with this diagnosis: “He’s just gotten religion.” Today, in spite of Parkinson’s, he is following Jesus and telling others about the hope he found in Jesus.
Frank discovered that accepting Jesus made him a new creation. He was a new person and he couldn’t keep it to himself. When you accepted Jesus, did your life and your relationships change so radically that others thought you had lost your mind? There’s an old adage that asks, “If you were arrested for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you?” Are you living an abundant life that reflects you as a new creation?