But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.  Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. — 1 Peter 2:9-10 (NIV)
Once, way back in college (first time around, not Bible college), I found myself wandering far from God.  Once, I was roaming away from His grace and mercy.  Once, I thought I knew what was best and I thought I knew the direction for my life.  Once, I was caught up in a lifestyle of which God would not approve.  Once, I was a modern day prodigal.  I had everything I needed and I wandered away from it.
Once.  It’s a simple word, but it has a huge meaning.  It means that things have changed.  Things used to be that way and now things are this way.  It is because of God’s grace and mercy that I can say that things were once that way and things are now this way.  I was called out of the darkness and into the glorious light of His grace.  I was welcomed back into His family and because of His unconditional love and grace, I never want to leave.  Praises be to His wonderful name!
Here’s something to meditate on today: What’s your “once” story?  Where have you been and what have you been through?  How has God changed you and your future?
PRAYER: Thank You, Father God, for changing my life. Thank You for Your love and grace. Help me to stay close to You today. In Jesus’ name I thank and praise You, amen.

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