God’s Word changes lives, chapel speaker says
Riverside, Calif. (Nov. 1, 2017) – Only the Word of God can change lives, author and speaker Bianca Juarez Olthoff told a California Baptist University audience on Oct. 31.
“The only thing that can change our lives is the incorruptible, immutable, everlasting, unchanging Word of God,” Olthoff said.
Olthoff is the founder of In the Name of Love, a nonprofit organization that aims to take the gospel into prisons. She also works with The A21 Campaign, a global anti-human trafficking organization.
Olthoff said people often allow issues, such as upbringing, financial status or their relationships, to become their identity. As Christians, the Bible tells us that our identity should be rooted in the fact that we are children of God, she added.
“The only identity to hold onto, especially in this stage of your life, is that ‘I’m a chosen child of God. That is my identity and no one can take that away from me,’” Olthoff said.
Olthoff cited an account in the Gospel of Mark, Chapter 2 as evidence of how the Bible speaks into our lives. The biblical story describes a group of men that lowered their paralyzed friend through a hole in the roof down to Jesus. Olthoff said, in the Gospels, when Jesus heals someone, the person’s name is rarely revealed, just their physical problem such as the woman with an issue of bleeding, a paralyzed man or a group of lepers.
Before healing the man, Jesus forgave his sins, Olthoff said.
“Sometimes in the secret places of our heart, we’re crying out, ‘God, if I didn’t have this problem, I’d be able to walk so much better,’” Olthoff said. “But that problem may prepare believers to hear from God.”
Before Jesus could deal with the disease of the body, He had to deal with the internal disease of sin, Olthoff said. Jesus did heal the man, and then He told him to “get up, take your mat and go home” (Mark 2:11).
“He picked up his mat as a reminder of what God did for him,” Olthoff said. “When we see a miracle happen, our opportunity to praise God goes through the roof. [We can] move past the worry, the doubt, the disbelief, the anger. It’s time for you to get up.”