- From the Cedar Street Times, Pacific Grove
What does God say about our transformation?
Rom 12:2, “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” This transformation process begins when we accept Jesus as our savior and continues with the renewing of our minds, which is marked by our reasoning with His Word to prove to ourselves what is the good and perfect will of God. God’s Word does not change when we are reasoning with Him, only our understanding of it changes. We can either choose to conform to this world and all we see happening around us; or be transformed by the will of God into the image of Christ Jesus, 2 Cor 3:18, “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.”
God has made His will for us perfectly clear, Phil 4:8, “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” Rather than worrying about the evil others are doing, God asks us to see the evil we are doing and to remove it from our lives so that we might be able to focus on the good we are meant to do, Lk 6:41-42, “And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but perceivest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Either how canst thou say to thy brother, Brother, let me pull out the mote that is in thine eye, when thou thyself beholdest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, cast out first the beam out of thine own eye, and then shalt thou see clearly to pull out the mote that is in thy brother's eye.” This is the transformation He calls us to make, and we will not make this transformation without His Word guiding us, Jn 10:3-4, “I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye. Be ye not as the horse, or as the mule, which have no understanding: whose mouth must be held in with bit and bridle, lest they come near unto thee.” God will lead us to His will, which will help us establish order in our lives; separating us from the chaos of this world. This world’s idea of good is confused and conflicting; thus leading us to chaotic thinking and away from His peace. However, He will lead us to His peace, Jn 14:27, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”
Our transformation is the process that moves us to become better people, but it will not happen automatically. The process of transformation requires us to consciously examine and correct the all that we see wrong with our lives, Prov 4:26-27, “Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established. Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: remove thy foot from evil.” Notice, He did not ask us to see what is wrong in our neighbors’ lives and He did not ask if we need to lose a few pounds, dye our hair, or look for a bigger home, He is asking us to remove the evil in our own lives. This transformation is about becoming the person He saw when He first created us, Matt 6:27-33, “Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” When we seek His righteousness, God will complete the work He has begun in us, Phil 1:6, “Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:”
He gave us the Bible so that we might clearly see that love is the embodiment of good, Rom 12:9, “Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.” Pure love abhors evil and cleaves to that which is good! God calls each of us to love Him, as He loves us, 1 Jn 4:19, “We love him, because he first loved us.” He proved His love for us, Rom 5:8, “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” When we give our love to others, we are introducing them to God, for God is love, 1 Jn 4:8, “He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.” Can we ever give anything more valuable than our love?
God is not forcing us to love Him. It is His great love for us that requires the freedom He has given us to accept or reject His love. He is going to love us no matter what we do and we will all ultimately receive our heart’s desire. But, as any parent wants the best for their children, He wants us to accept His love and choose to spend eternity with Him. This is why He chose to die for us, to show us how much He loves us. This is why He calls us to transform, Col 3:8-10, “But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:” He calls us to renew our minds, He calls us to reason with Him, Is 1:18, “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.”
We can say we love God, however, if we are not living the fruit of the Spirit, which He fully described in, Gal 5:22-23, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law” our pretense of love is empty, 1 Jn 3:18, “My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.” There must be evidence of our transformation, or we are just fooling ourselves. We certainly are not fooling God, Eph 5:8-11, “For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.” There will be no darkness in heaven and no unfruitful works. He is giving us every opportunity to choose to be with Him for all eternity.
What is the point of all God has done, if we do not let it change us?
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