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Day 17

Christ in Me, the Hope of Glory

by René Schlaepfer

Read Colossians 1:24-27

To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. [Colossians 1:27]

Nicky Cruz was the leader of the toughest gang in New York. He grew up hopeless and hate-filled after a childhood of abuse at the hands of both parents. “I wanted to do to others what my mother did to me,” Nicky says. “I used to say I felt good when I hurt people.”

But when he was alone, he didn’t feel so good. “Privately, when I was alone, loneliness became like a monster that crawled inside my chest and ate me up. I was twisting and fighting; I felt so lost.”

Only two people claimed to see into Nicky’s heart. “A psychologist told me about five times. ‘There’s a dark side in your life that nobody can penetrate. Nicky, you are walking straight to jail, the electric chair, and hell. There’s no hope.’”

A pastor named David Wilkerson saw the darkness in Nicky’s heart, too. But he risked his life to tell Nicky there was hope. “He told me: ‘God has the power to change your life.’ I started cursing loud,” says Nicky. “I spit in his face, and I hit him.” Wilkerson answered, “You could cut me up into a thousand pieces. Every piece will still love you.”

Nicky and his gang showed up at one of Wilkerson’s services. One by one, they gave their lives to Christ. Finally, Nicky himself turned to Jesus, drawn by the hope of a changed life. That day a change did begin in Nicky; today this former gang member is himself a minister to the gangs of New York. He knows best what they need most: Hope.

Nothing in Nicky Cruz’ background would have given anyone hope that he could change. As Paul says in today’s Scripture, his only hope was in Christ, “the hope of glory.” That means that, when I open my life to Christ, I begin to see his power at work inside me, changing me. Those changes give me hope that one day I will be changed completely, glorified and transformed into the image of Christ.

Question to Consider

A key component of my hope level is how I see myself. When I speak to myself, am I more like Nicky’s psychologist (“I’ll never change!”), or more like Pastor Wilkerson (“I can do all things in Christ!”)?


Lord, thank You that there is hope for me as I put my trust in Christ!