All posts tagged change

TRANSFORMED


Not long ago as a result of her transformation, Caitlyn Jenner was thrust into the spotlight and according to the sports network ESPN, instantaneously became one of the great “heroes” of our time for coming out as a woman in a man’s body.

Jenner claims to have been confused about his/her gender identity since earliest youth but finally mustered the courage to make an outward change more accurately reflecting the true inner self clothed in the wrong body.

My purpose is not to degrade Jenner or to even enter into judgment about the gender decisions made, but to use this situation as an illustration of something deeper and far more widespread than we imagine.  Who are you – really?

Principally we are a living soul housed in a physical body. We read in the first book of the Bible that “God created us as a living soul.” God freely offers all of us the opportunity to be truly TRANSFORMED in even a more dramatic fashion than anything Jenner has embraced or even considered. This truth is vitally relevant to all of us and can forever change you into someone entirely new.

It is generally acknowledged that we are more than mere animals at the top of the food chain. In fact, Christian Scripture declares that we are the height of God’s creation and embody His image in that we are Body, Soul and Spirit – 3 parts in the image of the triune God who created us.

“God made man and breathed into him and he became a living soul.”

~ Genesis 2:7 ~

When man fell from his original perfect state by asserting his independence from God, his soul was condemned and he was utterly lost.  All of humankind was banned from God’s presence and heaven forever.  Even worse, we are now unable to remedy this calamity on our own; just as a sick person cannot heal themselves without outside intervention from a physician. We now need an external source of help to bring us back to God and our intended relationship with Him. We cannot fix ourself by trying harder. We need a Savior to come to our aid.

Jenner is trying to do what all of us try to do… to fill the emptiness inside by making external changes, but this is a futile quest.  We must be made over from the inside out, not the outside in.  We need a spiritual adjustment.  We must be transformed… from what we are … to what we were meant to be and can become again. We must be made over into something new and only God has the power to do that.

Do you have desires you cannot control or maybe a habit that dominates your life, or an insecurity that makes you react too strongly? We all have something we want to change about ourself. The question we must ask is; “How can I make that change?”

“Therefore if anyone is in Christ, they are a new creature.  The old things are passed away and now everything has become new.” ~ 2 Corinthians 5:17

Jesus was God incarnate (God in a human body). It was God’s plan to become a man, enter human history, show us what we were intended to be like, sacrifice His perfect life in payment for our imperfect life and defeat death on our behalf so that whoever put their trust in Him could be transformed into something new – both inwardly and outwardly. Through Jesus Christ alone, we can be made new and be restored to our intended relationship with our Heavenly Father. Are you willing to let Him transform you?

“Jesus said, I am the way, the truth and the life.  No man comes to the father except through me.” ~ ~ John 14:6 ~

How can we be transformed? It’s very simple … We must acknowledge our need, tell God we are sorry for our independence and ask Him to save us from the certain eternal separation that awaits all those who go their own way apart from Him.

Two things happen when we are transformed

  1. Our standing before God is transformed. We get a new beginning and fresh start.  It’s a free ‘do-over’ from God: A gift which Jesus paid for and freely gives to us, just for asking. When we receive Christ as our Savior, God now sees the perfection of Jesus instead of our rebellion and independence. As followers of Christ, we literally “put on” Jesus like a covering over our sin and it is hidden forever!
  2. Our current condition and state of being are transformed. God changes our:  1.) will (we will want new things); 2.) intellect (we will think in new ways); and 3). emotion (we will respond differently than before).

In summary, God makes us over.  We still live in an imperfect and fallen world, but we ourselves and our future are being and will be forever changed.

“I beg you brothers that you present your body to Christ as a living sacrifice – holy and acceptable to God. And do not be conformed to this world (don’t let it press you into its mold),  but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may demonstrate what is the good, acceptable and perfect will of God.” ~ Romans 12:1-2

RUN THE RACE GOD HAS SET BEFORE YOU!

“But after God’s Spirit comes upon you, you shall receive power and you will be my witnesses wherever you go.” ~ Acts 1:8

T – take your problems to God.  He loves you!

R – remember that you are unable to solve your issues without external help from God.

A – ask Jesus to be your Savior. Confess your sin and turn your back on it. That is why Christ suffered and died on

the cross.

N – never despair. When you are feeling defeated – go to God for strength and encouragement.

S – sin no more.  Tell God that you are determined to follow his ways and allow Him to set you free.

F – forget your failures in the past.  Jesus gives you a new start.

O – offer encouragement to others.  No matter how bad our situation may be, there is always someone who is even

more in need of help than we are.

R – rejoice in your deliverance.  Thank God for coming to your aid.

M – memorize a few Bible verses that will keep you on track. Claim God’s promises as true in your life no matter how

things may appear on the surface.

E – expect a miraculous change to take place. Miracles are God’s specialty.

D – demonstrate your transformation by your obedience to God and by following Him daily.

Wouldn’t you rather be what GOD can change you into? Trust Him to transform you.  All you need to do is ask.

“Whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” ~ Romans 10:13. Acts 2:21, Joel 2:32 

PRAY A PRAYER LIKE THIS FROM YOUR LIPS TO GOD’S EARS

God in Heaven, I confess my sin and need for a Savior.  I realize that only You can truly transform me and make me over into what You want me to be.  Please come into my heart right now and transform me.  I believe You will change me inside and out.  I ask all of this in the powerful name of Jesus Christ Your Son.

PREPARING FOR THE WORST

Recent events have given us an amazing example of something that is going on in the spiritual realm. A jumbo jet disappeared somewhere over the ocean and no one can find it.  Search parties have combed most of South Asia looking for their loved ones and the giant airliner carrying them to their planned destination.  The passengers did not anticipate never seeing their friends or family again.  Last goodbyes that could have been shared and hasty decisions to catch a last minute business flight; it all went terribly wrong and now it’s over – or is it?

Maybe there are survivors somewhere crashed on a desolate island like in the TV series “Lost.” Maybe they were hijacked and landed safely on some abandoned airstrip left over from WWII,  Perhaps they  crashed into the sea and a few of them survived and are still floating around like a bobber in a vast ocean – we still don’t know…

Neither do we know what caused the disappearance.  Were there terrorists involved?  Was this the result of a mechanical or technical malfunction?  Did a pilot or member of the crew engage in a diabolical plan to take the plane down? Was it just an accident?

Why would something like this happen?  How could it happen?  We all have many questions and no answers.  Maybe time will tell.  Perhaps we will discover answers if and when we find the black boxes that are still with the plane.  The problem is that the transponders only give off a signal for a little while and then it fades.  Will we get there too late?

Time is of the essence isn’t it? But how do we appreciate the passing of time without something momentous bringing it to our attention?  I look into my bathroom mirror and ask, “Who is that old Dude staring back at me?”  Where did the time go? How did my children grow up so fast?  Did I do anything worthwhile with the time I have let pass so quickly? Can I still make changes?

God’s transponder’s signal is fading fast and possibly stopping at any moment.  Then it’s all over and I’ll never know the answers to the questions that I so deeply desire to answer.  Who put me here on this planet?  What is it all about?  How can I make the most of the time I am given? Am I still desperately searching or have I failed to even ask the right questions? Have I given up?

There will certainly be answers and there will be a reckoning.  We can be sure that God will not leave us hanging in suspense, but the answers may be horrifying and the story may not end well. Wake up!  Respond to God’s voice inside you, leading to the answers you seek, while you can still hear Him.  Make the change of heart to which He is calling you.  While there is time, there is hope.  But when time is out, hope dies and all that remains is the knowledge that our ship has gone down and nothing can any longer avert the tragedy we have brought upon ourself.  Prepare for the best before the signal fades and you are stuck with the worst.

“Very truly I tell you, a time is coming and has now come when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live.” John 5:25