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How are you being used by God to change someone's life?

Consider Augustine ...

Augustine was in his thirties when he willfully made the choice to follow Christ. Before this time, Augustine had many influences in his life that shaped his thoughts, and eventually, his path to Christ. His mother, a Christian, certainly had a positive influence on his life and very likely planted the seeds of scripture which later would be nurtured and bare fruit. In his younger years, however, “Augustine was converted to philosophy in general, but not to any particular philosophy.” Eventually, he was attracted to Manichaeism, which was seen as “Christianity for intellectuals.” Eventually, he moved away from Manichaeism, after it began to crumble, and experienced a period of skepticism. It was during this time he moved to Rome from North Africa, and this is where the seeds of his childhood would begin to grow.

Augustine matured and was eventually appointed as a professor at Milan. Bishop Ambrose, a well-respected public speaker in Rome, captured Augustine’s attention. Augustine was impressed with bishop Ambrose’s “intellectually respectable interpretation of the Scriptures.” Soon, Simplicianus took Augustine under his spiritual care. Augustine noted in Confessions that Simplicianus “appeared to me likely to have gained much experience; so in truth he had.” Soon, Augustine underwent an intellectual belief in Christianity while under Simplicianus’ care. It was in 386, when Augustine actually had a conversion experience and became a Christian. Before his conversion, however, Augustine experienced many moral failures. During a time of agonizing over his failures, he heard a boy “repeat a sing-song voice in refrain, Tolle, lege.” Letters from Paul were on a bench, which he read a passage from Romans 13:13-14, which states: “Let us walk properly as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in quarreling and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.” God's word spoke to him through this scripture, and it changed his life. In 387, Augustine was baptized by bishop Ambrose.

There were many who influence Augustine’s life, and many participated in leading him to Christ. His journey to Christ included his mother, bishop Ambrose, Simplicianus, the young boy singing, and whoever left scripture on the bench. Each were instruments used by God to bring Augustine to a full commitment to Christ.

Lead Pastor Andy Horton

Waco Baptist Church, Waco Georgia

Ref. Ferguson, Church History & Augustine, Confessions.

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