When Jesus Transforms a Life
March 27, 2016
When God transforms a man, He transforms the whole family. And that’s exactly what happened in the life of James Checchia and his family.
Over a year ago, James began attending The Church at Station Hill because his wife, Becky, had asked him to attend with her. Each week he’d come, sit in the back row, listen to the music and the preaching, and then leave without much changing in his life. But Becky continued to faithfully pray for James.
“I always knew God was real and I always knew that Jesus was real, but I never had any real guidance. So I just kind of lived with that in the back of my mind, just kind of doing what I wanted to do.”
That changed several months ago when James realized something was missing in his life—a personal relationship with Jesus. The realization came the night before James had knee surgery.
“Is your heart right with God?”
Becky asked James that night. He simply replied by saying, “Yeah,” but she knew deep down that he wasn’t convinced, and he knew it too. That was the defining moment when everything changed, and James knew what needed to happen.
The following Sunday in worship, though on crutches from the recent knee surgery, James made his way down the aisle, grabbed a decision counselor by the hand, and shared about his desire to follow Jesus.
Jay Strother, Campus & Teaching Pastor at Station Hill remembers that day well—that with tears in his eyes, James said, “I’ve been in church. I’ve heard the message, but today’s the day that I’m ready to give my life to Jesus Christ.” Jay adds that you “could just tell a peace came over this man.” And from that day on, God has continued to work in James’ life and the lives of his children as well.
A few weeks later, during Vacation Bible School, James was volunteering in recreation when Jay came and found him, letting him know that his son, Josh, had filled out a card indicating he wanted receive Christ that day. So James went to his son and Josh explains:
“I got to pray with him, and I got saved that day.”
Then, a couple weeks later, James’ other son, Nathan, decided he wanted to be saved as well. During the church’s annual Baptism service in August, Jay had the privilege of baptizing James. Then, in a very special moment for the Checchia family, James was then able to baptize his sons.
Since then, the family has noticed a greater peace and joy in their home. James has stepped into his role as the spiritual leader of the family, and everyone has been impacted by the transformation of Christ in his life. James shares, “Being the spiritual leader of my household, it felt really good that my kids were following along, and it gave me more optimism and made me feel more secure and stronger as a dad that I was doing the right thing.”
When Jesus transforms a life, it’s not just that one person who is impacted. Sometimes, it’s an entire family.