Rising from the Ashes

Greek mythology tells of the legend of a bird named the Phoenix.  The Phoenix is said to die in a display of flames and combustion, and then it rises from the ashes and is regenerated, or born again, into a new creation.  While there is no evidence of this in bird existing in our world, we can learn much from this symbolism. 

All too often, many of us walk in darkness.  Our lives are filled with all manner of sin, sin that abounds by engaging in the evil things of this world.  As a result, we become filled with shame and guilt and we try to hide in the darkness, not wanting anyone to see or know the wrong that we are doing.  But, when we live in the darkness, there can be no joy.  There are only negative emotions, like fear, doubt, and isolation.   

Luckily, we don’t have to live like this.  There is a way to break through the darkness.  It is light.  The light from a single candle can bring warmth, comfort, and help you see a path forward.  We all can have this light inside of us, through accepting the free gift of salvation from Jesus Christ and receiving the power of the Holy Spirit. 

In order for this to happen, we need only to humble ourselves, confess our sins, and declare Jesus as the Lord of our life.  When we do this, the sinful person we once were will die and we will become new creations in Christ.  Much like the Phoenix, we can rise from the ashes of our old lives and in a spiritual burst of flames, the Holy Spirit can enter our souls and renew a right spirit within us.   

Although these changes are on the inside, Jesus offers us Baptism as a visible way of demonstrating to the world that we have chosen to follow Him.  When we are submerged in water, it represents us leaving behind our old, sinful lives and rising anew to life with Jesus Christ.  We are washed clean in the waters of salvation and regenerated as a new creation. 

Our church has recently gone through a season of prayer and fasting.  For some, salvation and the healing power of the Holy Spirit came during this special time.  But, if you missed out on this opportunity, it is never too late.  Jesus is always reaching out His hand to you.  You only need to accept His embrace and let Him into your life.  Be like the Phoenix and let the Holy Spirit renew you.  Let Him regenerate you from the inside out, so you can rise from the ashes and have the light of Christ break through the darkness in your life. 

by Paul McCullough

Paul and his family came to Kingsway four years ago, after moving back to the United States from an overseas military tour in Japan.  He has been with his bride, Heather, for 21 years and they have been blessed with two great kids, Paul IV and Sarah.  Paul is passionate about ministry, working full time at the American Bible Society and engaging at Kingsway in KLS, Growth Track, Next Steps, and LifeGroups.  He enjoys spending his spare time reading, building nanoblocks, and watching great movies.