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For Reading and Meditation:     Ephesians 2:1-10

A Hindu once said in my presence: "A man may change his acts but not his character." He was saying that a change is possible, but not a vertical change; there can be improvement, modification, a change of attitude, but no deep radical change. The Christian church is not without a sprinkling of what yesterday I called "horizontal" conversions. Many historians have called attention to the fact that when Christianity swept through Europe, there were many genuine conversions to Christ but many horizontal ones too - people taking the Name of Christ for political or economic expediency. They were converted horizontally but still in need of a vertical conversion. When I was about fourteen years of age I was "horizontally" converted. I was a mischievous young man, and one day in church I made up my mind to be "a good boy." I tried hard to give up such things as swearing, stealing, and so on, but it didn't last. Although I felt religious, there was no great inward change. On a horizontal level I was converted, but not in relation to God. About a year later, sitting in the same church and under deep conviction of sin, I made a complete and total surrender to God. I was vertically converted. I walked out of that church feeling as if I had been turned inside out. From that moment my life was changed, old habits began to disappear, and my whole being was flooded with light. I tell you with all the conviction of my being, the vertical was much different than the horizontal.

O God, help us not to be converted to the things surrounding Christ - religious rituals for example - but to Christ Himself. For if we don't touch Him we don't touch life, and there will be no deep inward change. In His dear Name we ask it. Amen.

Questions to Consider
  • How is the change in a person described?
  • How is it accomplished?

Bible Verses: Ephesians 2:1-10Titus 3:1-5Ezekiel 36:26John 3:3-71 Peter 1:23

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