FOR MORE THAN THIRTY YEARS, a man wandered through the streets of a crowded city, sunken in drugs and alcohol. He lived a life without purpose; he had a seared conscience; he was a shadow of what he could become. One Sabbath, he felt that Jesus Himself was inviting him to go into a church, and so he did. With the level of conscience that he still had, he entered into that building, where he felt accepted by the congregation, forgiven by God, and loved in spite of his defects. He suddenly found the opportunity to begin a new life. Those three ingredients—acceptance, forgiveness, and love—made the difference. Day, touched by the power of God, the transformation began: he decided to give up his addictions. He never was the same again.
Sometime later, he felt the need to seek others like him: homeless people who wandered the streets without purpose or direction, bogged down by addictions. He began to speak to them about Jesus. His personal story and new lifestyle were a powerful witness for many people who, had it not been for him, would not have learned about the Lord. The answer of just one man to Jesus’s call, and his commitment to live a new life and give up evil, made him a clay vessel that showed how sublime the power of God is (see 2 Corinthians 4:7).
Today, the Holy Spirit remind us again through the Word: «Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord must turn away from evil» (2 Timothy 2:19, ISV). The term «call on» alludes to a human being who invokes a higher power to request its help and protection, and this is the first step. Do I want to change my life to express my unreserved surrender to Christ? I must begin by calling on Him, asking Him to help me. The second step, the one that follows, is to «turn away from evil.» If I call for the help, protection, and strength that only comes from the Lord, in order to live a life of surrender to Him, I have to turn away from evil. By turning away from evil, I will be able to spurn it in the way Christ did, and will develop a character that will give a faithful witness of the power of God.
«Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord must turn away from evil»(2 Timothy 2:19, ISV)