Day 29 – All Change Boils Down to This

Today, we’re going to begin by making a statement that probably feels very obvious. 

Change is hard. 

It takes a lot of work—much of which, if you’ve been going through these daily lessons, you’ve been doing. 

Certainly, there are a variety of things which can make change a bit easier—but we should not expect change to be easy. Compulsive sin habits are most often deeply embedded struggles that have had years if not decades of reinforcement. This should go without saying, but that is hard to change overnight. There is much that needs to be rewired in our brains—and that typically takes time, spiritual growth, a level of maturing as a person, and the involvement of other people to help you in the journey. We’ve been walking through many of those things in this 30-day Freedom Experience. 

Addressing core wounds and going through inner healing certainly helps with change. So does learning who you are in Christ. Beginning to think soberly about sin and realizing that we are hurting God, others, and even ourselves, is also a critical step. It’s also important to catch a vision for where your life could be once you leave your sinful compulsions in the past that you can reference in a moment of temptation to help you think clearly. All of these things and more can be immensely helpful in the journey toward freedom. 

Ultimately though, as much internal work as you complete, there is one thing you have to do in order to break free and step into the life God has for you. Are you ready for it?

You have to make different, often difficult choices, consistently.

You have to say no to whatever it is that’s destroying you, repeatedly, and choose instead to pursue the path that leads to life. 

Freedom from sin is less of an event and more a continual choice to stop settling for cheap counterfeits and pursue a better yes. 

Every time you say no to sin and yes to the life God has for you, you build momentum. Over time, your appetites change. You begin to desire what is good and true and noble. You learn the art of living from your true, good heart—the one God put inside you that bears His image and nature. It’s a battle that requires much perseverance, but if you don’t quit, you will eventually win the war. 

Our prayer for you as we near the end of this 30-day journey is that it has helped you do the internal work that will help you experience lasting transformation—but that transformation requires that you choose differently. It requires that you begin to see sin for what it is—a fleeting pleasure that ultimately leads to your destruction, and that you begin to see God for who He is, a loving Father who wants nothing but the best for you, even when He asks you to forego the temporary pleasures of sin so you can step into more. 

You were created for more. 

When you learn to say no to sin and yes to the better life God is offering—one that flows from union with Him—you will find it. 

That is real life. It is life as Jesus intends for you. You were not created for bondage to things that lead to death. You were created to live in the freedom that comes from leaning into union with your Creator. In fact, in John chapter 17, which we read yesterday, Jesus makes a stunning statement. He says, 

Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.” (John 17:3, NIV)

That’s what this whole thing is all about. Knowing Him. As we make the often difficult choices to leave our sinful habits behind—to let go of the very things we’ve depended on for life—and instead learn to draw our life from God, we become more fully who He created us to be. In a mysterious paradox, as we become more fully His, we become more fully ourselves. 

Every time you face temptation and say no, you take one step closer to the life Jesus intends for you. Our prayer for you is that, after going through this 30-day freedom experience, this life of freedom feels not only possible, but inevitable, if you just refuse to quit in your pursuit of it. 

Jesus has given you everything you need to live free, whole, healed, and fully alive. Now, men and women of God, it’s time for you to rise up and step into your god-given destiny. You are no longer a slave. You have been set free. Now go live like it!

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” (2 Corinthians 5:17, NKJV)


Day 29 Freedom Work

Scripture Reading — Read 2 Corinthians chapters 4–5, and take careful note of who God has made you to be.

Journaling Exercises — Answer the following questions at length in your journal. Aim to spend at least 5–7 minutes per question.

  • Meditate on what it means that you are a new creation in Christ. How does that make you feel? What does that mean about what you truly want? At the core of your being, do you truly still desire sin, or is God working in you to desire something better?
  • Romans 6 says that you are dead to sin. 2 Corinthians 5 says that “old things have passed away, behold, all things have become new.” If you believed this, how would it allow you to put the past behind you and step into the new thing God is doing in your life?
  • In Christ, we are completely forgiven of all our sins. If you were convinced of this truth deep down—that before God, you are innocent and pure and holy, as if you had never sinned—how would it motivate you to live? Would you be afraid of Him and stay at a distance, or would you run to Him on both the good days and the bad? Would it make you want to sin or to stay free from it?

Prayer — Father, I am so grateful that you do not give up in your pursuit of me. Your love is truly relentless. Thank you that when I was dead in my sins, you made me alive in Christ. Thank you for making me a new creation—doing away with the old and raising me up into a new life in Christ. I don’t fully understand these mysteries, but I receive them by faith. Reveal them to me in deeper ways over time. Thank you that you have washed away all of my sins and cleansed me from all unrighteousness. Help me to trust you as a loving father and to learn to live as a beloved child. You alone can lead me to true life, for you alone are life. Amen.

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Dr. Joseph Serwadda's Story

Over the past decade, numerous pastors and leaders from all over the world have been crying out (and even begging us) for discipleship resources in their language. This may sound extreme, but in America we have an abundance of books and resources that are available to us that are often taken for granted. In many ways, we have access to excess.

In some developing nations, people have never seen a book in their language. When leaders from these nations are given a book, they treat it as sacred gift! They even hand-write books and Bibles word for word so that they can spread this message of hope to others in their sphere of influence.

Dr. Joseph Serwadda, a leader from Uganda who oversees a group of churches that number approximately 27,000, echoes this need among pastors and leaders all over the world: “Our biggest need is not money or bigger buildings, but solid teaching. We lack literature for people to read and study on their own. The more people we have in church who are less instructed in the Word of God, the less solidity we have. Come and help us preserve the harvest. This is a Macedonian call!”

Pastor Yassir's Story

Over the years, Cubans have long suffered under the oppression of a single message: communism. Despite this challenge, Yassir is committed to sharing a new message with his people, a message of transformation that can lead to national revival.

Cubans, in general, have been conditioned toward communistic consumption. That’s why Yassir wants his people to embrace a new identity: a life defined by what they can give. This shift requires growth and maturity that can only come through a new perspective.

He explained, “The Cuban church is strong and filled with passion. But I believe it’s important that we shift our mentality. We need to see how the Gospel goes beyond our own needs. Ultimately, we need to take responsibility for ourselves and our nation, and not just wait for outside intervention.”

There aren’t many Christian resources in Cuba. So, Pastor Yassir’s church, along with many other churches throughout Cuba, have been profoundly impacted by the resources Messenger International has provided for them in their own language.

In our conversations with Pastor Yassir, he often cited an ancient proverb: Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you’ve fed him for a lifetime. He sees MessengerX as a tool both to feed his people and teach them to fish.

It’s become evident that after many years in our ministry, the most effective way to transform a village or town is not to construct a church building. This just keeps the local leadership dependent on us.

We are much more effective if we give the indigenous leaders such as Pastor Yassir spiritual knowledge that will empower them to influence their village, town, or city. Such knowledge helps produce the faith needed to grow and sustain the work, which, if necessary, will include buildings and other resources.

Stories like Pastor Yassir’s fuel our mission, because we believe that everyone deserves to know life-transforming truth!

Nura's Story

Before Nura became a follower of Christ, her life was a living hell.
After the death of her husband—from whom she endured many years of abuse and suffering—she became a widow with four children. In search of peace and inner healing, she sought solace in religious places and practices, which only led her deeper into depression and financial debt.

Her last resort was Jesus.

“I came to the Christian church and begged for help! I accepted Christ after I heard of the promise of peace and healing that is found in Him,” Nura wrote. “I slowly began to recover, but there was one thing hindering my healing—unforgiveness.”
Filled with regrets, Nura struggled to forgive her husband. But the grip of offense began to weaken when her pastor handed her a copy of The Bait of Satan.

“I forgave my husband after I learned how much I, too, needed forgiveness,” shared Nura. “Now I am healed, and I have peace for the first time in my life. Some even say I look ten years younger!”


Pastor Raphael's Story

Pastor Raphael was raised in Kenya, immersed in a culture of darkness. As a child, he lacked affection because his father believed that strong men don’t show love. He continually witnessed his father beat and belittle his mother. Everywhere he looked, insidious behavior was practiced toward women and infants—families were being destroyed and lives were ending before they had a chance to begin.

This was the destiny Raphael was headed toward.

But everything changed when truth entered the scene. The first area to be transformed was Raphael’s heart—which, in turn, transformed his marriage and his family. And with a strong and healthy family, his whole outlook toward life has changed.

“Through the resources of Messenger International, a relentless passion was ignited in me to see the people of my country free from lies,” shared Raphael. “I discovered my purpose to train up others and bring God’s transforming truth to remote villages.”

Raphael has trekked miles through mud and rain to reach people, often rising early and returning late. He would travel over 50 miles a day with his bicycle—but through the generosity of the MessengerX community, he was given a motorcycle, which has enabled him to double his efforts while easily transporting the resources and supplies he needs to facilitate his classes. Raphael has seen over 200 of his students graduate in the villages he serves.

“Thank you for investing in my people,” expressed Raphael. “Each day tribal warriors are transformed into children of God, marriages are infused with love, and the innocent are protected. Your generosity has given us the tools we need to rewrite our story and reclaim our humanity.”

Dahlia's Story

Formerly a Muslim, Dahlia fled to Turkey after she was expelled from her Iranian school and excommunicated by her family. Her crime? Becoming a Christian.

You can now find Dahlia in a refugee camp, far from what she once called home. But despite the upheaval, she has found purpose in her pain. On a daily basis, Dahlia walks through her makeshift town and prays over the people. They have become her people—the audience of her message.

Dahlia has become a messenger, and she is often spotted lovingly serving those around her and sharing her faith with them. Despite language barriers, people are drawn to her because they see something different in her. And what’s amazing is that she’s not only reaching the people in her refugee camp, she’s also impacting those she left behind in Iran.

“I’ve had calls from Iran,” writes Dahlia. “People who mocked me because of my faith now believe in Jesus and want to know more. So, I tell them about MessengerX, which has a lot of translated discipleship resources.”

As we continue to provide people like Dahlia with life-transforming truth in their own language, we’re helping them grow in their faith and discover their purpose—and we’re equipping them to make a difference in their world.

“I am beyond thankful for all of the books that I’ve been able to read in my language, such as Driven by Eternity, translated in Farsi,” shared Dahlia. “I read them again and again. The messages keep me company in this lonely season, and they inspire me to reveal Jesus to the hurting people all around me.”