(Remember Susan Boyle?)
Makeovers. What a remarkable change-of-appearance can be achieved with a becoming hairstyle (and maybe color-enhancement!), deftly applied make-up, and well-fitted clothing. Add the benefit of plastic surgery and a person hardly resembles her former self.
But the transformation of someone’s face and body doesn’t begin to compare to the transformation of someone’s spirit.
Anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person.
The old life is gone; a new life has begun!
–2 Corinthians 5:17 (NLT)
Notice: We’re not just improved and beautified. Jesus remakes each of us into a brand new person.
And what might that newness include? Here’s a partial list:
- New purpose
(“Whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”
–1 Corinthians 10:31b)
Those who follow this directive discover an interesting phenomenon: honoring God brings satisfaction and fulfillment to us. (By the way, God is not on some ego trip, demanding us to give him all the glory. He desires his splendor and benevolence to be evident everywhere, so others might be drawn to him.)
- New attitude resulting in new character
(“Put on your new nature and be renewed
As you learn to know your Creator and become like him.”
The more we know of God and appreciate all his benefits, the more we want to please him by following his example. That new attitude impacts every aspect of our lives.
- New perspective
(“Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life.”
Just knowing God has our best interest at heart is enough to renew energy and hope.
- New power to face what comes
(“[He] is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine,
according to his power that is at work within us.”
Think of it: the same power that controls the universe is at work within us. Tell me again why we revert to worrying?!
- New emotions, such as peace and joy
(“The kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking,
but of righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit.”
We do not need to live at the mercy of our circumstances. With God as our constant companion, we can experience peace and joy in spite of what happens. The Bible is full of examples of people who lived that way: Joseph, Daniel, Peter, and Paul readily come to mind.
- New confidence
(“The Lord will be your confidence.”
God is not only with us, he is our Protector, Provider, and Guide. As we become increasingly aware of his faithfulness, our trust grows. Trust = confidence.
- New opportunities and blessings
(“The faithful love of the LORD never ends!
His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness;
his mercies begin afresh each morning.”
–Lamentations 3:22-23 (NLT)
Experience tells us that when we say “yes” to Jesus, God does not bestow the full measure of all of these wonderful new things instantaneously. God told Isaiah: “Behold I am doing a new thing” (Isaiah 43:19). That hints at process. We’re made new, but growing into that newness.
Think of buying a coat in the fall that’s a little too big for your child. She owns the coat, but it doesn’t quite fit yet. Within a matter of weeks however, the sleeves hit the wrist not the fingertips, and the shoulder seams sit properly–no sagging down the arms.
Might it be that when we invite Jesus in our lives, our spirits are made new, but we don’t quite fit into them yet? Then, as we cooperate with Holy Spirit and his fruit grows within us (Galatians 5:22-23), we steadily become more Christ-like, day by day.
* * * * * * * * * *
Oh, Father, I don’t want to cling to aspects of the old me—things like worry, perfectionism, selfishness, and pride. I want to embrace everything new that YOU bring to my life, to become my true self—the one you designed me to be.**
**Based on idea from Jesus Calling by Sarah Young, Thomas Nelson, p. 381.
Photo credits: www.joblogging.weebly.com; http://www.ilovemybible.tumblr.com; http://www.pinterest.com; http://www.dayofgrace.me; http://www.faithgateway.com; http://www.pinterest.com; http://www.slideshare.net; http://www.plus.google.com; pinterest.com (2).
Share your thoughts in the Comment section below. I’d love to hear from you!