Hello! How is everyone? I hope you are learning and enjoying your journey as you go forward with God in your everyday life. The moment one enters into a covenant relationship with God, their transformation begins because they accepted Jesus into their hearts and lives-thus, the Spirit of God now lives inside of them. “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.” (Galatians 2:20)
There are 2 major points I want to mention about the above scripture. 1) As brethren (brothers and sister in Christ), we are to live our lives as a holy sacrifice. You’re probably thinking “a living sacrifice does not make sense! That’s an oxymoron-a contradiction in terms!” You know what? That’s correct! I’m sure some of you are familiar with the fact that people have made and are currently making sacrifices to other types of gods who they worship or pray to; with no assurance that this god hears them or knows them; and most likely they are worshiping something or someone that is dead. Now, the God I serve-He is alive…and His life now lives within me and if you accepted Him, He lives within you. “For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12). God has also gave us His written instruction manuel to live by-that is the Bible. The “sacrifice” we are making is letting go and giving up our old ways on how we thought we should live. If people are really honest with themselves, they will look at themselves as say “well, I’m not as bad as so and so…” That may be true. However, we are not to compare ourselves to “so and so”. We are to compare ourselves to God-who is holy; and frankly, no one can align themselves to the perfection of who God is. The only reason we can see our frailties is because Jesus is showing them to us so that we can begin to transform into the likeness of God. “Therefore, from now on, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him thus no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.” (2 Cor 5:16-19)
2) By now you must be saying “huh?” “What is she talking about?” “What does this mean?” Well, I’m glad you asked, so I will continue to my second point. As most people know, any change they want implemented starts with a decision in their mind. “I’m going to start a diet” “I’m going to run a marathon.” I’m going to save money for college, a car, a home, etc…” They start to RENEW their mind. Renewing is basically replacing one type of thinking with another. People usually do it for good reasons. Many times it’s for wordly reasons. The focus is on self and what others may think about what I do and what decisions I make. But as a believer, we change for Godly reasons because we care more about what God thinks about us then what others do. How does one begin the transformation? We no longer conform to what this world dictates-whether it be in clothes, cars, money, marriage, worship-whatever. We care what God says in His Word about clothing, money, marriage, worship, honor, respect, governmental authority, and so on. Also, since His Spirit lives within us, it will guide us to godly decisions. As my friend Amy always says, “good decisions are not always godly decisions.” As believers, we want to be in the center of God’s will in everything we think, say, or do. “For if we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. Therefore, whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s. For to this end Christ died and rose and lived again, that He might be Lord of both the dead and the living.” (Romans 14: 8-9)
Please understand, transformation is not without struggle. That is why there is that picture of the butterfly. The caterpillar must struggle to get free from its cocoon to become a butterfly. As a a matter of fact, if someone tried to help the caterpillar so it could escape the cocoon more easily it would not survive because it’s strength was not developed during the struggle of the transformation. “And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness. Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” (2 Corinthians 12:9) As people, we will naturally struggle in this life. As believers in Christ, we will not be alone in our struggles that occur in this life. God is faithful to help us and guide to transform into His likeness every day-until we meet Him face to face and as we transform, it becomes less of us and more of Him. “He must increase, but I must decrease.” (John 3:30) We will make godlier choices and not even realize it. “Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God. For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” (2 Corinthians 5:20-21)
As you Walk Every Day With Grace, my prayer is that you will not retreat from God’s transformation and that you will become a living sacrifice for Him.
In His Love,